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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, August 07, 2006

They're Going to Pump You Up

By Keith Schmitz

Brace yourself.

CNN announced this morning that BP has discovered “severe corrosion” in their pipeline leading out of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay. They will be totally shutting down that flow of oil for pipeline repairs.

This is the US’s largest oil field so folks, the pain is coming in the form of yet another jump in oil prices. This is 8% of our oil supply and according to an oil analyst the increase will be five cents to a barrel of crude. Expect once the middle-men get their cut a multiplier will kick in on that figure.

It is predicted the repair to the pipeline will take weeks, perhaps months.
The question here: is this what the tax cuts our Congress happily handed over to the oil companies have bought us? What are they doing with the money? You would think pipeline maintenance would be one of the routine benefits that would have come out of this donation from you, the taxpayer, who will have to make it up by paying the interest that this contribution to the deficit will make down the road or more cuts in vital services.

Makes the mind wander as to where that money really went.

The timing could be good or bad for the oil companies depending on how you look at it. Fortunately for the oil companies Congress is in recess and the hearings that could have come out this would have been more bad publicity for the oil barons. I say could because our Congress has basically slept through its job of oversight.

Of course this is where the bad timing part comes in. The yet higher gas prices may quite likely inspire voters in November to put people in Washington who will do the job of oversight. You know, what a member of Congress is hired to do. Hear that Jim Sensenbrenner?

If our friends over at the right wing blogs pick up on this coming wave of higher prices, they of course in their usual spirit of “thank you sir, may I have another sir” will be cooking up all sorts of sonorous arguments in their pseudo-learned tones, lecturing us about the intricacies of oil price hikes. In less academic terms. BS.

Trouble for them is that most of the public doesn’t read political blogs, and their defense of the oil companies will be drowned out by the sound of that tank of gas going through the roof.

Bear in mind it wasn’t really Woodward and Bernstein that brought Nixon down. It was gas at over a buck a gallon.

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