It would be nice to be an oil company; every time you utterly fail to do whatever it is you’re supposed to do when not busy buying politicians, your epic fuckup simply boosts your profits. At the moment, gas prices are approaching $5 in California, due largely to the fact that the oil companies run refineries the way Cubans run Edsels, so Californians are handing out yet another bailout for incompetent thieves in expensive suits, every day at the pump. One refinery, Chevron’s Richmond facility, a dystopian hellscape at the best of times, caught fire in August, not only blackening the skies of the Bay Area for days, but is still barely able to produce gas nearly two months later. The punishment for such suckitude? Higher profits.
Big Oil has always had an abusive, love/hate relationship with California; as a sprawling, car-dependent state, it is a fertile field from which to “harvest” profit, but it also has a tendency to get so uppity about oil spills, and worse, vote liberal, so it needs beatings all the time. Although there can be no doubt that deferred maintenance and profit-mining has led to the point that Big Oil is unable to serve its own market, wouldn’t you know that any price spike can be blamed on those sun-kissed hippies, just in time for the elections, to boot? These guys can’t lose for winning.
Coincidentally, I’m sure, the Koch brothers are rolling out a vote-buying scheme wherein they sell gas for $1.84 to the first hundred takers, which was, in reality, a rock-bottom price that reflected the global collapse brought on by Bush, but to these lying scumbags is an Obama/UN plot to take away every gun-racked pickup in America. Such insultingly ridiculous folderol, from these supposed Galtian Heroes who seemingly can’t be bothered to extract and process their already harmful product without making complete asses of themselves on a global scale in the process, is mindlessly repeated even in the “liberal” media.
Those of us who actually work for a living could never get away with what the titans of Big Oil do every day. Imagine what would happen if, say, you lost a multibillion dollar resource, killed a bunch of people, and exposed your company to years of litigation and bad press in so doing, would you expect to still have a job? Me neither. It’s pretty hard to listen to people who never felt the consequences of any action, no matter how boneheaded and ultimately catastrophic, lecture you about “makers” and “takers.” (I’m also talking to you, Jamie Dimon…)
Daily, we are asked to identify with Wall Street scammers, sweatshop operators, polluters, war profiteers, and other overpaid nincompoops over regular, honest people who, in the end, finance their shenanigans. I think that is the main reason Romney can’t and will probably never gain an edge over Obama, despite the fact that their economic programs differ so little; Americans aren’t as stupid as Republicans think, and they smell something rotten in our unaccountable elite. And it isn’t just gas.