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An insidious form of manipulation of oil prices

Thursday, March 15, 2012

An insidious form of manipulation of oil prices


I have written a number of articles on how pump prices of oil are being kept high. Let me summarize the main reasons:

First, there is a monopoly of oil. The big oil companies – Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, then Chevron Texaco in fourth, which is followed by the relatively smaller oil companies such as Total– are vertically integrated. They control the production and distribution of oil and natural gas: from exploration, extraction, refining, distribution to your friendly gasoline station. Since they control the supply, they control the prices.

The days when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was able to control the production and price of oil, such as in the 1970s, are long gone. Remember that in 2008, during the peak of spikes in oil prices, announcements by OPEC of increases in the production of oil did not temper prices.

There are those who claim that because the production and sale of oil and gas are not being controlled by only one company, there could be no monopoly pricing. They are, after all, in competition with each other and competition lowers prices. This is the same argument of the Philippine government in justifying the continued implementation of the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Law. While it is true that giant oil companies compete against each other, they act as one in setting prices. One could readily observe that oil companies always announce that they are raising the pump prices of oil one after another..... MORE
SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/14/an-insidious-form-of-manipulation-of-oil-prices/

US soldier fingered in Afghan massacre flown to Kuwait

US soldier fingered in Afghan massacre flown to Kuwait


The US soldier accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan was flown to Kuwait on Wednesday despite calls from Afghans that he face justice in their country.

­The soldier was held by the US military in Kandahar until Wednesday evening, when he was flown out to Kuwait, a US official said on condition of anonymity.

"We do not have appropriate detention facilities in Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain John Kirby said later on Wednesday. He added that meant a facility for a US service member "in this kind of case.".... MORE
SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/afghanistan-us-soldier-kuwait-617/

Occupy Miami raided by SWAT teams (VIDEO)




Occupy Miami raided by SWAT teams (VIDEO)

Dozens of cops equipped with shotguns and assault rifles stormed a Miami, Florida apartment building on Tuesday, drawing weapons at peaceful protesters and children with the local Occupy Wall Street campaign that were lawfully residing inside.

Members of Occupy Miami moved into an Overtown safehouse last month after their previous encampment outside of the city’s Government Center was shut down by authorities earlier this year. Now for the second time in only six weeks, cops donned in SWAT-team style gear and brandishing weapons swarmed the residence of several occupiers again, allegedly acting on reports that the residents inside were stockpiling weapons to use in an upcoming demonstration..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/occupy-miami-raid-swat-579/

Obama and Cameron: No intervention in Syria, pullout in Afghanistan (w/ Video)



Obama and Cameron: No intervention in Syria, pullout in Afghanistan

The US and the UK are just as determined as ever to remove Bashar Assad from power, but are unlikely to go for a full-scale military intervention – at least for now.

This was the gist of the message from US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron as they stood side-by-side before the White House press corps.

Cameron is on a three-day official visit to the United States, and the leaders were keen to reaffirm the two allies' “special relationship.”.... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/obama-cameron-syria-afghanistan-591/

Goldman Sachs exec leaves sinking ship in disgust

Goldman Sachs exec leaves sinking ship in disgust

 One of the most notorious Wall Street firms that became a symbol of corporate greed and disdain to its own clients in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis is in hot water again. This time it’s after a Goldman Sachs top executive resigned in disgust.

In a bombastic editorial published in The New York Times on Wednesday, an outgoing executive from Goldman Sachs blasts the investment bank as a heartless company that he says thrives in a culture he calls both “toxic” and “destructive.” Greg Smith, most recently a top exec at the London office of Goldman Sachs, writes in the Times on Wednesday that moral corruption behind the scenes of the legendary Wall Street institute came close to causing the collapse of the firm over nearly a century and a half..... MORE

Source: RT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/goldman-sachs-smith-times-571/

To coup or not to coup VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 03/15/2012

To coup or not to coup

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
03/15/2012
On one hand, there is the famous former coup man himself who is quoted as saying there is an ongoing attempt at ousting the present administration.

The reason given is that its chief in command is viewed progressively being, left, pro-red or the like. There is also a once military official practically identified with coup staging plus another former high ranking Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) man, both of whom in effect say that more than the question “To coup of not to coup” is not really the question. Reason: Any coup would not succeed during these times.

On the other hand there is the AFP. Its leaders professing unquestionable fidelity and integrity earnestly claim that there is no coup of any kind in the making. And there is also the Philippine National Police formally stating that there is no coup of any kind in sight. And finally there is the Malacañang live-in hurray team that, as expected, vehemently and loudly belies the alleged coup in the making..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120315com5.html

Pinay killed by armed men in Syria 03/15/2012

Pinay killed by armed men in Syria

03/15/2012
A Filipina nanny was killed in Syria last month when unidentified armed men opened fire on the vehicle she and her employers are riding in, intensifying government concern on the worsening security situation in the troubled Middle East state.

Meran Prieia Montezor, 23, a native of Camarines Sur, was reportedly killed in an ambush by “armed gangs” last February 24 in Homs, one of the violence-plagued areas in Syria, while riding with her employer’s family. She is the third Filipino reported to have died in Syria since the conflict erupted last year.

The incident came to Philippine officials’ attention only last Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120315hea3.html

Prosecutors foiled in bid to cite CJ dollar accounts By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 03/15/2012

DEFENSE PRESENTS PROOF OF CORONA INCOME

Prosecutors foiled in bid to cite CJ dollar accounts

By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 03/15/2012

The prosecutors again failed to crush the testimony of the defense panel’s witnesses who disclosed Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona’s earned P21.6 million income in the last 10 years, and they, with the help of some senator-judges, appeared to have resorted to the opening of the chief magistrate’s alleged undisclosed dollar accounts which had been disallowed by the impeachment court due to a Supreme Court restraint order.

Lead defense counsel, former Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas, however, did not take the bait as he repeatedly stated to some senator-judges who tried to sway him into discussing before open court Corona’s alleged dollar deposits that there is no need to dwell on the matter since there had been “no revelations” established so far by the prosecution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120315hea1.html

Solons urge TRB to collect P4-B concession fees from PNCC 03/15/2012

Solons urge TRB to collect P4-B concession fees from PNCC

03/15/2012
The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) should initiate legal action to exact payment from the Philippine National Construction Co. (PNCC) of some P4 billion unpaid concession fees to the government, the House of Representatives’ committee on good government and public accountability chaired by Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas said Tuesday.

Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro) and Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Abante Mindanao party-list) initiated the congressional inquiry through House Resolution 826.

Treñas asked the officials of the PNCC to submit its financial statement for 2010 to the House panel at the next public hearing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120315nat1.html

Lawmakers voice support to protests vs VAT on oil By Charlie V. Manalo 03/15/2012

Lawmakers voice support to protests vs VAT on oil

By Charlie V. Manalo 03/15/2012

A lady solon yesterday belied claims by Malacaang the value-added tax (VAT) collected on oil products have been beneficial to poor Filipino, citing President Aquinos inadequate spending on social services like health and education.

This even as another lawmaker warned Aquino of possible street riots resulting from his inaction to address the unabated ooil price hikes.

Aquinos 2012 budget reflects a P147-million net budget cut for state universities and colleges. The P309-billion budget of the education sector for 2012 remains inadequate to cover the annual shortages in classrooms, desks and teachers. The 2012 budget allots a meager P2.9 billion for the hiring of 13,000 teachers when we in fact need 104,000 additional teachers, said Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120315nat2.html

Lacierda gets fidgety when asked for reaction to reports Angeles is ‘a criminal, not a victim’ By Rocky Nazareno 03/15/2012

Lacierda gets fidgety when asked for reaction to reports Angeles is ‘a criminal, not a victim’

By Rocky Nazareno 03/15/2012
Like a wrangler trying to stop a stampede, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda could only appeal when members of the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) pounced on him after his regular press briefing, awaiting word about colleague Fernan Angeles of The Tribune who was shot six times Monday in Pasig City.

“Wait a minute, let’s hold your horses here,” Lacierda said after MPC members hounded him for his reaction to initial police reports which portrayed Angeles, who is still in critical condition at the Pasig City General Hospital, as “a criminal and not a victim.”

“The police never released that. It was only by…it was released by media. It was not…” Lacierda could only answer as he groped for the right words to appease the angry bunch of Angeles’ co-workers for the last three months..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120315met3.html

DILG chief orders probe into slay try on Dominguez brothers By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/15/2012

DILG chief orders probe into slay try on Dominguez brothers

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/15/2012


Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo has ordered a deeper probe into the slay attempt by two armed men on carjack gang leaders Raymond and Roger Dominguez last Tuesday afternoon in Quezon City.

Robredo directed Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome to task the Quezon City Police District to get to the bottom of the slay try on the Dominguez brothers.

“Leave no stone unturned until the suspects are identified and arrested,” he told Bartolome..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120315met2.html

Palace: eVat on oil needed to fund pro-poor projects By Rocky Nazareno 03/15/2012

Palace: eVat on oil needed to fund pro-poor projects

By Rocky Nazareno 03/15/2012

Malacaang is bullish on the economy yet it is holding back on a proposal to reduce the 12 percent expanded value added tax (eVAT) on oil by two percent to help ease the burden of the Filipino people.

At his regular press briefing, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the income generated by the eVAT on oil is needed to fund the various pro-poor programs of the government.

The taxes on oil are really needed. While the circumstances at that time when it was imposed are different now. We need it to continue to fund our programs, he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120315met1.html

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