August 10, 2006
Worse than Enron

Paying high prices for gas on the West Coast, or about to lose your job in Alaska? Timing is everything and Greg Palast provides us with a sordid tale of greed and corruption that is every bit as evil and corrupt as anything Enron could conceive of. Selected excerpts are below, but read the whole thing:

First a little history:

BP’s CEO of Alaskan operations hired a former CIA expert to break into the home of a whistleblower, Chuck Hamel, who had complained of conditions at the pipe’s tanker facility. BP tapped his phone calls with a US congressman and ran a surveillance and smear campaign against him. When caught, a US federal judge said BP’s acts were “reminiscent of Nazi Germany.”

…and now for current events:

Why shut the pipe now? The timing of a sudden inspection and fix of a decade-long problem has a suspicious smell. A precipitous shutdown in mid-summer, in the middle of Middle East war(s), is guaranteed to raise prices and reap monster profits for BP. The price of crude jumped $2.22 a barrel on the shutdown news to over $76. How lucky for BP which sells four million barrels of oil a day. Had BP completed its inspection and repairs a couple years back — say, after Dan Lawn’s tenth warning — the oil market would have hardly noticed.

But $2 a barrel is just the beginning of BP’s shut-down bonus. The Alaskan oil was destined for the California market which now faces a supply crisis at the very height of the summer travel season. The big winner is ARCO petroleum, the largest retailer in the Golden State. ARCO is a 100%-owned subsidiary of … British Petroleum.


Posted by Buck Batard at August 10, 2006 04:33 AM
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Yes, but how much will they lose with the pipeline shut down? I don't buy it. This is purely conjecture on Palast's part. Conjecture is not fact and, besides, I hardly think this is worth it considering BPs strident attempts to paint such a green picture of themselves as in Beyond Petroleum. Palast things that peak oil is also a conspiracy.

Posted by: tom on August 10, 2006 9:14 AM

Alaska will just have to institute a sales tax and a personal income tax like we have here in Pennsylvania, where the oil ran out before we came up with a scheme to tax it.

And why didn't Beyond Petroleum fix the problems they knew about a decade ago?

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on August 12, 2006 10:05 AM
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