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We welcome our new corportate masters.

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Mar. 21st, 2004 | 01:53 pm

According to The Case to Re-regulate the Gasoline Market the refinery industry is in a similar place to the california electric industry last summer. A handful of companies control the production of gasoline formulated for california and are positioning themselves to play the same games with gasoline.

Apparently shell is trying to close a refinery in bakersfield which will further hike california prices. Also some internal memos described various strategies Mobil was implementing to keep the smaller refiner Powerine from reopening its California refinery.

I suspect that the refiners will complain how the special California gasoline blend is the reason that gas is so expensive in order to sway popular opinion against this gasoline formulated to help reduce smog. Obviously this formulation is more expensive for the refiner than less processed gasoline so if they can overturn our clean air regulations they can claim this will help lower gasoline costs.

However since the reason gas prices are currently climbing faster than the rest of the country is because of market manipulation there is little reason to believe that giving in will help do anything except increase our odds of lung cancer and their profit margin.

It sure seems like unregulated capitalism rapidly devolves into a handful of monopolies which use their market power to crush any attempt to threaten their domination.

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