Pain Unseen — don’t make sense

February 5, 2013

13026Cloudy with a chilly wind this Tuesday morning along California’s north coast with some good rainfall forecast for later today and tomorrow.
Unfortunately, my next-door apartment neighbor left their back patio light on and I can’t hardly see the sky at all. One twinkling star can maybe be seen way to the west.
Well, what I can’t see won’t hurt me, right?

Unless it’s that bubbling crude underground we humans near-worship to keep the wheels of civilization moving.

(Illustration found here).

A lot of the price flak for oil is drum beating. A new report from the Centre for Global Energy Studies indicate the price increase of recent years has caused, rather than been caused by, the cost hikes that have occurred.
In other words, these big asshole energy companies are making a huge profit off us — what we don’t see hurts us way-way-bad.
Via CBS: By early (Monday) afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for March delivery was down $1.03 to $96.74 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was down 81 cents to $115.95 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Last Sunday, I visited my local Union 76 station and put another $20 worth of gas in my old Jeep at $3.99 a gallon for regular, the same price the last month. Twenty dollars netted a sum total of 5.01 gallons — for my near-static self that will last at least a week.
Not so for normal people.

In California, a gallon of regular jumped to $3.91 on Monday, up 23 cents from a week earlier, with some spots in the southern part of the state topping $4 a gallon. Nationwide, a gallon of regular had its highest average ever for this week, up 18 cents to $3.54 a gallon.
And oil companies are piling in the profits — via Climate Progress:

ExxonMobil — now the most valuable company in the world, passing Apple — earned $45 billion profit in 2012, a 9 percent jump over 2011. Meanwhile, Chevron earned $26.2 billion for the year. In the final three months of the year, the companies earned $9.95 billion and $7.2 billion respectively.

Exxon received $600 million annual tax breaks. In 2011, Exxon paid just 13 percent in taxes. The company paid no taxes to the U.S. federal government in 2009, despite 45.2 billion record profits. It paid $15 billion in taxes, but none in federal income tax.

In October, Chevron made the single-largest corporate donation in history. Chevron dropped $2.5 million with the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC to elect House Republicans.

Chevron paid 19 percent U.S. taxes last year (half of the top corporate tax rate of 35 percent), and received an estimated $700 million in annual tax breaks last year.

Meanwhile, International Energy Agency’s head economist, Dr Fatih Birol, says it’s time to end this shit: “On one hand these countries talk about renewable energy, efficiencies and climate change, and at the same time subsidises fossil fuel energy – [it] does not make sense,” he said. “All the countries and governments of the world need to pay attention to this issue.

In the news anew, oil asshole BP’s profits have tanked off its f*ck-up with the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010: Oil and gas giant BP’s profit fell nearly 80 percent in the fourth quarter in results released Tuesday, dragged down by payouts related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Already BP has paid $24 billion in spill-related expenses and has estimated it will pay a total of $42 billion before the shit dies down. BP created the disaster by cost-cutting/time-saving on safety.
Here in California, BP is getting nailed again, along with oil giant, Arco, as these two are the focus of a lawsuit by state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris, claiming they’re assholes about fuel storage.
Via the LA Times:

The lawsuit accuses the parties of failing to properly inspect and maintain underground tanks used to store gasoline at more than 780 gas stations in California.
“Safe storage of gasoline is not only common sense, it is essential to protecting the integrity of California’s groundwater resources,” Harris said.
Harris added, “California’s hazardous waste laws safeguard public health and this lawsuit ensures proper maintenance of the tanks that store fuel beneath California’s communities.”
The lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court alleges that BP companies and Arco have improperly monitored, inspected and maintained underground storage tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale since October of 2006.
The lawsuit also accuses the companies of tampering with or disabling leak detection devices.
The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants improperly handled and disposed of hazardous waste and materials associated with the underground storage tanks at retail gas stations throughout the state.

This is also located where we can’t see it — and yes, it will hurt us.

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