Monday, May 22, 2006


Sorry (Not Really)
The speed at which the investigators looked into the possibility of major oil companies colluding to manipulate oil and gas prices, and found NONE, will shortly have someone, somewhere, screaming COVERUP! and WHITEWASH! Oh, there were isolated instances at the retail and distribution levels post-Katrina, but no major oil company involvement.

I knew it wouldn’t take long for the ‘oil gouging’ investigation to wrap up. It was impossible for it to take much time. I mean, we only keep more excruciating public details on all aspects of the oil business than just about any other commodity, including:oil production,imports(PDF),petroleum product exports (.xls),transportation, and refinery operations.

Remarkably, even with much ambiguity over the mere definition of ‘price gouging', investigators found NO “big oil” collusion.

Of course that won’t keep the innumerate, paranoid, politically ambitious or possibly somebody suffering from any combination of these faults from claiming the investigation was a whitewash or coverup.

Update in midstream...
….report shows ``that federal investigators don't have the tools they need to protect the American people from gas price gouging,'' Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said today in a statement.

``The FTC ignored the 800 pound gorilla in the room, namely that the oil companies engage in price leadership - setting prices higher than what real competition would merit,'' Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said in a statement.
Look for a gripping performance by Reid’s or Schumer’s proxies (right column) when the FTC chairwoman appears before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee tomorrow.

Should be a hoot.

Oh, one more thing. Chuck Schumer's wrong about that gorilla; the gorilla is the fact that federal and state governments make much more off every gallon of gas than anybody in the actual production/supply chain. Especially in Schumer's state, where the state taxes on the total value of the sale instead of by the gallon. Now that's a definition of gouging I can live with!

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