Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Norman Farrell highlights how following the reversal of the HST transition, B.C. businesses haven’t given up on their goal of making sure that only individuals pay consumption taxes. – Jordan Press and… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links
PHOTOS: With the revelations about how Enron and like companies got what they wanted from Ralph Klein’s government, are we seeing the sunset of Alberta’s disastrous experiment with electricity “deregulation”? Below: The old Kleinster himself an… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: A dispatch from the road: Enron and the power boys played Ralph Klein’s government for suckers
Today’s episode is focused on the economics and politics of climate change, both more globally and locally.
To get a global perspective on the state of climate negotiations and the recent US-China climate deal, I speak with Leigh Phillips, a science writer and journalist who has written for Nature, the EU Observer and . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Climate deals and pipeline steals
God bless Merwan Saher, Alberta’s Auditor General! He grabbed the government by the scruff of the neck and gave it a shake for dragging us into the abyss of “Enron” accounting. Sadly, the government refuses to budge and opaque financial reporting will continue.
Merwan Saher has been a government auditor for 33 years. He was . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: The Auditor General’s Report: Alberta’s “Enron” Moment
Damien Gillis from the Commonsense Canadian produced and has made available this excellent interview that is shocking to say the least. In it Rafe questions economist Erik Anderson about the real story of what is happening and what has happened to BC Hydro and why.
Part 1 of Rafe Mair’s July 2012 interview . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: A number of people should go to jail for what has been done to BC Hyrdo!
DeSmogBlog, on multiple occasions, has reported that the damage caused by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" in the unconventional oil and gas industry goes far beyond water contamination, put in the spotlight by the documentary film "Gasland." The multi-pronged harms were tackled in a comprehensive manner in our report, "Fracking the Future."
One . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: EOG Resources: The Gas Corporation That Does It All From Cradle to Grave
The rush to drill for unconventional gas, enabled by a process popularly known as "fracking," or hydraulic fracturing, has brought with it much collateral damage. Close observers know about contaminated water, earthquakes, and climate change impacts of the shale gas boom, but few look at the entire life cycle of . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Sand Land: Frac Sand Mining in Western Wisconsin – Video Report by DeSmogBlog
Given radioactive wastewater, earthquakes, and flammable tap water, one might think that drilling and fracking could not possibly have any more dirty secrets. But here’s the biggest secret of all: it’s expensive.
With natural gas at historic low prices – the Wall Street Journal ran a column recently suggesting that . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: What Chesapeake Energy’s Financial Scandals Mean For The Rest of Us
Last week Exxon-Mobil announced their 2011 third-quarter earnings, reporting $10.3 billion in profits, which is an increase of 41 percent from the same period last year. So far, Exxon has earned over $31 billion in profits in the first nine months of the year. It needs to be noted that Exxon-Mobil is also one of . . . → Read More: NEW MEDIA AND POLITICS CANADA: Big-Oil Monopolies Engage in Price-Gouging
Last week Exxon-Mobil announced their 2011 third-quarter earnings, reporting $10.3 billion in profits, which is an increase of 41 percent from the same period last year. So far, Exxon has earned over $31 billion in profits in the first nine months of the year. It needs to be noted that Exxon-Mobil is also one of the big five big-oil companies that spends the most money muddying climate-change science – to add to their long list of egregious behaviour.
The people at Shell are also onto good times. Royal Dutch Shell announced their 2011 third-quarter earnings, announcing profits of $6.98 billion, like Exxon-Mobil more than double their profits posted a year ago, bringing their total profits for 2011 to over $21 billion.
In fact he big 5 oil companies have made $102.85 billion in profits since January 1. The massive increase in oil company profits year in and year has nothing to do with market forces but with good old fashioned monopolistic price-gouging. A report from the CFA (Consumer Federation of America) says:
The spike in oil prices has not been caused by natural market supply and demand. In fact, U.S. demand for oil has declined since 2005, while global demand has grown less than 4 percent. In addition, global oil reserves have been growing faster than consumption and the reserve-to-consumption ratio now stands at a higher level than it has been in a quarter of a century. Today, OPEC spare capacity is almost three times as great as it was in 2008.
The CFA also estimates that crude oil is about $30 a barrel higher than costs or historic trends justify, which generates needlessly high prices for petroleum products that drains about $200 billion out of the US economy.
The reason for this is speculators buy and sell as much oil as possible to make quick and easy profits. Speculators might trade a barrel of oil more than 20 times before it is ever used – the price going up with each speculative trade, and consumers picking up the final tab.
And let me close by reminding you that this kind of unregulated speculation has everything to do with what the Occupy Wall Street movement is all about::
Lobbyists and special interests (have) used their influence in Washington, D.C. to weaken regulations on oil trading. For example, in 2000, Enron convinced Congress to overhaul 60-year-old commodities rules that formerly provided checks and balances on oil speculation. This loophole allowed speculators to manipulate and potentially corner the market.
Wouldn’t it be great if governments paid as much attention to consumer groups as to lobbyists from big-oil and Wall Street? Maybe if they could afford to ante up the same kinds of bribes they’d be listened to. . . . → Read More: NEW MEDIA AND POLITICS CANADA: Big-Oil Monopolies Engage in Price-Gouging