Fun With Oil Companies


I have been reading one of those news stories that makes you shake your head, and ask questions you would be very tempted to answer yourself, even though you don’t know those answers. The title of the story is self-explanatory.

Oil giants coddled Qaddafi, lobbied on his behalf

Reading the story is like reading a litany of the wrongs that exist in Washington.

Lobbyists and lawyers too eager to grab money, any money, and do any job, for anyone, with no scruples about the destroying the concept of “moral integrity”.

Politicians too eager to listen to these slick salesmen and women, to help these people who grease the wheels of Washington politics, with the money (I say blood money, but I’ve always been the dramatic one) with no view towards the good of the American people, and looking only at their own finances, like they are more important than “We The People.”

Oil companies too eager to use these clearly easily useable and used people to further their own ends, instead of looking elsewhere for profits, seeking the easy dollar instead of working for it.

This starts with legislation, aimed at letting American terrorism victims seize assets of countries found liable, signed into law by Dubya.  Libya sought an exemption to the law.  How did they seek it?  The oil companies claim that Qaddafi, and one of his henchmen browbeat 2 executives and threatened them with decreased production if they didn’t talk the congress into signing off on an exemption for Libya, which was a country which was explicitly targeted by this law.

After the oil companies hired on additional lobbyists to speak to members of the house and senate, they were convinced to allow the exemption after hearing that Libya would create a fund for victims of terrorism.  This should not have convinced them of anything, because over the years Libya has racked up several hundred kills, or have we forgotten Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie?  Or the plane they blew up a year later that killed another 171 people? Or the Berlin disco bombing in 1986?

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Real success in business is to be found in achievements comparable rather with those of the artist or the scientist, of the inventor or statesman. And the joys sought in the profession of business must be like their joys and not the mere vulgar satisfaction which is experienced in the acquisition of money, in the exercise of power or in the frivolous pleasure of mere winning.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

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Viddy of the Day:  Hillary Clinton urges Africa to support Gaddafi´s exit CCTV News

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There is no way to dress down the oil companies without also talking of the actions of the politicians who passed this exemption.  These being politicians, I expect as much from them. I am not surprised, or angered to be honest, that they would see the move to create a fund for the victims of terrorism as a good move for everyone.  Simply leaving the law as it was, without the exemption, would not make sense for them. After all, who could be against a fund for the victims of terrorism, paid by a nation considered to be terrorist?  Seems that action is always better than inaction in political calculus.

The political side of this equation makes sense, even if it starts motivated by greed and weakness, like in this case.

I find it frustrating that big oil companies are willing to stand up to Congress to claim that the deserve all the tax breaks in the world, claiming that cutting  those tax breaks are discriminatory and counterproductive, but can’t stand up to a foreign leader cajoling them for 30 minutes.

Especially when these companies have it within their grasp to go elsewhere and get oil from a great many countries.  I’m sure Nigeria, Algeria, and Angola would have all gladly signed contracts with these companies to increase production and make up the shortfall from being cut off by Qaddafi.  Those countries, and 16 more (15 if you take the United States off of the list), all produce more oil than Libya.

These oil execs are wimps, plain and simple.

Qaddafi cajoled James Mulva, browbeating him for 30 minutes.  One wonders whether he falls apart every time his wife yells at him. This paltry half hour talk was enough for the man to turn around and press the political machine in Washington for breaks for Libya, with the aid of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S.-Libya business association.  He didn’t stand up for himself, or the American people, who this oil would come to.  He didn’t even try to find a way around Qaddafi, tucked tail and ran for the cover of government.

This is, by the way, the same man that said that cutting tax breaks for oil companies was “Un-American.”

Sounds like Jim Mulva is the Un-American one to me.  He must’ve left his balls at home that day.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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