Saturday, August 16, 2014

Why Private Equity Firms want to Export US Oil

Jeffery Bezo's Washington Post says the government should allow exports of U.S. crude oil:

The U.S. has become an energy powerhouse, with crude oil production leaping some 48 percent in the last few years. New technology is tapping oil-bearing shale formations in states such as North Dakota and Texas. Most of this product is light oil, which does not require heavy refining. Some of the most advanced refineries in the world are along the Gulf Coast , but that’s actually a problem: Their owners invested in expensive facilities suited to refining heavier crude, so there is a mismatch between the refining infrastructure and the type of crude flowing from U.S. wells. In the deeply interconnected global oil market, in which borders matter less than many people think, the obvious solution is to allow oil companies to ship the light crude to refineries suited for processing it, supporting U.S. profits and U.S. jobs in the process, and to tolerate imports of crude oil that U.S. refineries can handle.

When the article mentioned that this export nonsense is supported by the Council on Foreign Relations, we had to look to see who was on their board of directors. Below is a short list of some of their officers and directors , but it gives you an idea of the supposed "non-partisan" nature of their Board:

  • Carla A. Hills - Chairman and CEO of Hills & Company, International Consultants
  • Robert E. Rubin - Former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury
  • David M. Rubenstein - Cofounder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group (a private equity firm)
  • Maurice R. Greenberg - former CEO of bankrupt AIG
  • Peter G. Peterson - former US Secretary of Commerce and co-founder of The Blackstone Group (a private equity firm)
  • David Rockefeller - Honorary Chairman
  • Peter Ackerman - Managing Director of Rockport Capital, Inc. (a private equity firm)
  • Alan S. Blinder - co-founder and a vice chairman of the Promontory Interfinancial Network,LLC
  • David G. Bradley - Chairman of Atlantic Media Company
  • Tom Brokaw - Special Correspondent, NBC News
  • Steven A. Denning - Chairman of General Atlantic LLC (a private equity firm)
  • Blair Effron - Partner of Centerview Partners, LLC (a private equity firm)
  • Laurence D. Fink - Chairman and CEO of BlackRock (a private equity firm)
  • Stephen Friedman - Chairman of Stone Point Capital (a private equity firm)
  • J. Tomilson Hill - Vice Chairman of The Blackstone Group (a private equity firm)
  • Donna J. Hrinak President of Boeing Brazil: The Boeing Company
  • John A. Paulson - President of Paulson & Co. (a private equity firm)
  • Ruth Porat - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Morgan Stanley
  • Colin L. Powell - United States Army (Ret.)
  • Richard E. Salomon - Managing Partner of East End Advisors, LLC (a private equity firm)

If that isn’t a "feed the rich, starve the poor" club, then I don’t know what is. But Americans should be smarter than that to realize that exporting oil to other countries, while importing millions of barrels a day, is not good policy.

What does the whole argument about being “energy independent” really mean? If we manufacture import more energy efficient appliances and electronics from other countries, buy cars that get more miles to the gallon, install solar panels on our roofs, use the best insulation in our homes, keep our thermostats adjusted to save on heat and A/C, drive less miles and/or car-pool and/or use public transportation, and keep our lights turned off when not in use (because everybody says we need to be more energy efficient, because we are depleting our domestic oil & natural gas reserves), then why does gasoline, electricity and home heating fuel cost so much (and keeps going up) --- but yet, we also have to import oil because we are not "energy dependent" --- and yet, they also want to export more oil and gas?

Why is that? Maybe it's because of this:

China Vehicle Population Hits 240 Million as Smog Engulfs Cities 

China is now the world’s largest net importer of petroleum and other liquid fuels

Here's the REAL reason why we need to export oil:

With so many American companies doing their manufacturing in Asia, they will need the oil for production in countries like China and Vietnam --- and they will need more oil to ship their Apple iPhones and Nike sneakers back to the U.S. on huge cargo tankers --- along with all of China's products manufactured for sale at Walmart.

That's why lobbyists got Obama to "Power Africa" --- to offshore more jobs for cheaper labor (they need oil and natural gas to power the infrastructure, utilities, offices, plants and factories to be built there). And the government is going to reclassify the manufacturing of those Apple iPhones and Nike sneakers made in Asia as part of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), even though they are REALLY imports.

Also: oil and natural gas (as are all other "commodities") are bought and sold on the "global market" --- usually by huge institutional investors, like the big banks, private equity firms and hedge funds. If the "demand" for oil goes up in places like China and Africa, it raises the cost on everybody else. We need to export oil (our natural resource) to maximize their profits, so that a few executives with stock-option grants can also maximize their annual bonuses by gouging us (the consumers).

We will NEVER be "energy dependent" in the way that corporate America wants us to believe. They will sell their souls and pimp their grandmothers to make a few extra dollars.

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