What close to $3 billion a day can buy!


Offshore oil rig in the Pechora Sea, Russia

The oil and gas industry has delivered $2.8 billion a day in pure profit for the last 50 years, a new analysis has revealed.

The vast total captured by petrostates and fossil fuel companies since 1970 is $52 trillion, providing the power to “buy every politician, every system” and delay action on the climate crisis, says Prof Aviel Verbruggen, the author of the analysis. The huge profits were inflated by cartels of countries artificially restricting supply.

The analysis, based on World Bank data, assesses the “rent” secured by global oil and gas sales, which is the economic term for the unearned profit produced after the total cost of production has been deducted.

The study has yet to be published in an academic journal but three experts at University College London, the London School of Economics and the thinktank Carbon Tracker confirmed the analysis as accurate, with one calling the total a “staggering number”. It appears to be the first long-term assessment of the sector’s total profits, with oil rents providing 86% of the total.

If you find yourself, your peers, wondering how many of the politicians controlling your country might be owned by the masters of the fossil fuel industry…the answer is “as many who are willing to have their pockets, bank accounts, investment portfolios, filled with enough money to make them richer than they ever dreamed”.

Is water a commodity?

❝ Is water a commodity?

❝ It’s a question that more and more investors are asking these days. The media has been full of stories about rising water scarcity: water lawsuits in the American Southwest; growing demand for water for ethanol plants; drought conditions in key grain-producing countries like Australia. Water’s role in the global economy is becoming both more real, and more visible.

It’s not entirely a new idea. An article in Fortune Magazine back in May of 2000 stated, “Water promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century: the precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations.”

❝ Really? Is water a commodity?

RTFA for more questions, more answers.

Outdoor Recreation Beats Big Oil in Growing the U.S. Economy


Click to enlarge

❝ Spending on outdoor recreation outpaced Big Oil’s contribution to the U.S. economy according to federal statistics released Thursday, prompting critics to renew their attacks on Trump administration policies of ramping up oil and gas leases on or near public lands.

Outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2 percent of GDP at $412 billion in 2016, statistics released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Activity indicate. The oil and gas industry meanwhile accounted for $162 billion in economic activity the same year, or 0.9 percent of GDP.

❝ The data – representing the first time the bureau has compiled detailed economic information on outdoor recreation – give ammunition to critics of the Trump administration’s industry-friendly approach to public lands.

Real economic growth doesn’t matter a jot to our Fake President. What is accomplished on behalf of the brokers who own the Republican Party decides the policies of someone who is consistently bought-and-sold to the highest bidder this side of the Moscow Exchange.

Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone expected to be larger than the state of Connecticut this year

❝ Scientists have predicted the dead zone, or area with little to no oxygen in the northern Gulf of Mexico, will become larger than the state of Connecticut by the end of July. The dead zone will cover about 6,620 square miles of the bottom of the continental shelf off Louisiana and Texas. While there are more than 500 dead zones around the world, the northern Gulf of Mexico dead zone is the second largest human-caused coastal hypoxic area in the world.

Although this forecast has been the average size for the past 31 years, it is more than three times larger than the goal outlined by the Hypoxia Action Plan, which is about 1,930 square miles. Efforts to reduce the nitrate loading have not yet demonstrated success at the watershed scale…

❝ Nutrients from the Mississippi River watershed, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, fertilize the Gulf of Mexico’s surface waters to create excessive amounts of algae. When the algae decomposes in the deepest parts of the ocean, it leads to oxygen distress and can even kill organisms in the Gulf of Mexico’s richest waters. These low oxygen conditions threaten living resources including fish, shrimp and crabs, which humans depend upon for food and industry…

Why worry about dead sea life when you still can drill for oil, eh?

Trump wants to charge consumers billion$ more for clean energy

The wind and the sun may be free, but Trump’s energy regulators want you to pay the same price – or more – for clean energy than what we pay for electricity from our country’s aging, dirty coal-fired power plants.

The Republican-dominated Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave states and utilities just 60 days to weigh in on how to do this in nation’s largest wholesale electricity market serving 65 million customers in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

❝ “We’ve never seen this kind of federal intrusion in the energy industries,” said energy consultant Rob Gramlich.

The proposed changes could cost consumers billions of dollars more. One estimate for a narrower proposal said it could cost utility users $14 billion to $24.6 billion roughly over the next 10 years. That’s between $216 to $379 for each of the 65 million people served.

Bad enough Trump pimps for carbon-heavy energy producers. Now, he wants us to pay more than needed for renewables – even as the cost of construction and production come down and will continue to do so over time.

I wonder where he’s stashing his payoffs. A worthwhile topic for another special prosecutor after his butt is pushed out of office.

Trump & Republican Dirty Fuel Pimps Hand Over $20 Billion-a-Year of Taxpayer Subsidies

❝ Millions of Americans may be struggling to pay routine household bills, but still US taxpayers are handing out a whopping $20 billion in fossil fuel subsidies a year.

This is the major finding of a new report Dirty Energy Dominance: Dependent on Denial published by Oil Change International today.

Subsidies are where the government gives financial incentives to artificially lower the cost of production or consumption of fossil fuels to encourage more drilling or oil, gas, or coal use.

❝ …The irony gets worse. There is something morally wrong with a billionaire-led Administration handing out money to rich executives, when this money could help America’s poorest and most at need.

The cost of the subsidies to American taxpayers is equivalent to the projected 2018 budget cuts from Trump’s proposals to slash 10 public programs and services, including supports for America’s most vulnerable children and families…

❝ The US spent on average $2.5 billion annually subsidizing the exploration of new fossil fuel resources in 2015 and 2016, even though the science clearly shows that fossil fuel expansion must stop immediately in order to meet internationally recognized climate goals.

Government giveaways in the form of permanent tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry – one of which is over a century old – are seven times larger than those to the renewable energy sector.

So, the Clown Show in Congress continues to cut subsidies to homeowners trying to save on energy costs with solar and other green alternatives – while perpetuating the taxpayer handout to oil and coal companies. Mail me a penny postcard when the crew in DC grows enough backbone to stand on their own and oppose the profit-hungry crooks they really work for.