By Harvey Oberfeld
Keeping It Real…
June 22nd, 2014
Now we can clearly see the price we all pay for governments that look the other way … and media managers who have hired inexperienced kids to play at reporting.
Canada’s oil company cartel have once more found an EXCUSE to raise the price at the pump without a single iota of proof that shows that what’s flowing through those pumps has cost them even half a penny more per litre.
No…the price increase is “anticipatory” … because down the road …literally … higher prices will be impacted by … wait for it …the latest conflict in the Middle East.
Surely, the turmoil in the Middle East … now in it’s 900th year, minimum … has been fully accounted to for in oil pricing. And so has OPEC’s blackmail marketing techniques.
Even if that’s true … and there’s no guarantee it is …. WHY raise the price at the pump NOW? Not a drop of the gasoline now flowing through in Canada’s gas pumps was bought before the ISIS attack on Iraq.
Under normal business practices, companies can be forgiven for passing on to consumers increased prices for new stock, new product, new fees or taxes … ONCE THEY ARRIVE.
Yet, all of a sudden, right across the country, the oil oligarchs have put the squeeze on Canadians yet again …up to 10 cents a litre in just a few hours.
All of them…at virtually the same time. Some competition! Some free enterprise market!
It is a total rip-off based on nothing more than GREED.
And most of the media have lapped it up, regurgitated the pap to listeners, readers, viewers …. young, inexperienced “reporters” telling us it’s because of an attack on a refinery in Iraq …two days ago.
Exactly what the press release from the oil corporations said! Good boys and girls!
VERY FEW reporters asked the tough question: why so fast?
And those real journalists who did were well rewarded: there is NO reason for those prices to go up now; there may not even be a real reason to raise the price at the pump in the near future; it’s all a farce propagated by the oil companies.
Experienced reporters, and their bosses who should know better (if they even care anymore ) are well aware what we’ve seen in the past few days is all part of REGULAR EXCUSES the oil companies use EVERY FEW MONTHS to push oil prices at the pump upward.
You know … prices must increase because of conflict somewhere (anywhere will do); severe weather … even thousands of miles away … is another good one; or how about a refinery is down somewhere for repairs or cleaning (apparently that effects the whole world!); the groundhog has seen his shadow… or hasn’t; and, occasionally even the truth … most of the increases are about supply and demand …. summer is here, when more people are travelling … and we have a de-facto monopoly, so we can FORCE them to pay a premium.
Want proof in black and white?
Just look at the annual reports of the oil companies! There, they not only are forced to reveal their huge increases in profits … they even boast about them.
And this has been going on for YEARS … almost every year, for almost every oil company, as the consumers have been squeezed more an more.
Had the kids looked it up, they could easily have discovered the truth in the various corporations’ NET earnings (that’s after they taken every deduction, every write-off, every tax loophole, every subsidy and paid their low tax rates).
In 2009, Petro Canada (Suncor) reported net earnings of $9860 Million; in 2013 $2.61 BILLION.
In 2009, Imperial Oil announced net earnings of $1.57 Billion; in 2013 $2.8 BILLION.
In 2009, Chevron reported world-wide net earnings of $10 billion; in 2013 a whopping $21.4 BILLION.
Now, even if you allow for corporate expansions and acquisitions, it sure looks like HUGE increases in PROFITS, directly proportional to the regular, increasing SQUEEZES oil companies have inflicted on consumers.
Surely, at least enough to ask about???
And not just the oil companies and their industry fart-catchers (P.R. spokespeople); but also politicians and the supposed consumer protection regulators as well.
IF the media had real reporters going after the FULL story … not just serving up the excuses dished out to the them on a platter.
Truth is …the oil companies know how to deal with ALL of them.
Watch for a price drop in the Fall … and that will all be reported on, commented on and celebrated … sometimes even with a tone of gratitude.
But what the kids won’t notice or report is that while the price WILL drop five or six cents a litre … that will only be PART of the 10 cents or even 15 cents a litre we will likely have been subjected to between June and September.
That’s how we’ve slowly but surely gone from a once unheard-of $1 a litre(or even less) up to $1.55 a litre (or even more) … and still counting. All WELL ABOVE any world price increases and local, regional, provincial and federal tax increases.
Once more, the oil companies … and their investors … will be laughing all the way to the bank.
While the media will confine themselves to asking people at gas stations, what do they think of it?
“It stinks,” the “streeters” will dutifully respond.
But we won’t know if they’re referring to the oil company ripoff itself … or the lousy reporting job the media have done on it all.