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Steering Away from a Car-Centric Society

by Mai Nguyen

Two lanes of car traffic in a city street.

Our car-centric society is in a jam. (CC BY 2.0, Oran Viriyincy)

Learning to drive scared me as a teenager. There was something terrifying about controlling a two-ton hunk of metal, and my drivers’ education teacher didn’t help by showing a graphic slideshow of injuries we could expect from a brutal car accident. This didn’t bother me much once I moved to the city; with buses, the metro, and bike or scooter shares, there are plenty of other ways to get around. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find these same options outside the city.

Cars are ubiquitous in the USA, with 286.9 million registered vehicles on the streets in 2020. That’s almost 300 million gas tanks to fill. The EPA reported that the transportation sector accounted for 29 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Now, coming out (we hope) of the COVID pandemic, we’re seeing more traffic again with attendant emissions.

Some people are eagerly replacing their gas-powered cars with new, “green” electric vehicles. The intentions are a good sign, but we can’t “get sustainable” simply by exchanging some of the energy we consume.

How Bad Are Cars?

Cars are massive machines that require heaps of resources, from building the vehicles to fueling them for the road. The average vehicle requires 900kg of steel and 39 different plastics and polymers. A single tire requires about seven gallons of oil for its production. The aluminum content per vehicle is also steadily increasing, projected to reach 505 lbs in 2025.

Manufacturing is also immensely energy-intensive and complex. Stages of car manufacturing include extracting ores, transporting raw materials and components from around the world, and assembling the vehicle. Though each of these steps emit plenty of CO2, it can be difficult to put an exact figure on car-production emissions. Carbon footprint researcher Mike Berners-Lee breaks it down in How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything, finding that the carbon footprint of manufacturing a car ranges from 6–35 metric tons.

And the environmental cost doesn’t stop there. It’s no secret that fuel consumption contributes to air pollution, but a 2018 study found that, globally, passenger road travel accounted for 45.1 percent of global CO2 emissions, or nearly six times as much as passenger air travel (8.1 percent). Americans used a grand total of 123 billion gallons of motor gasoline in 2020, corresponding with 56 percent of transportation sector emissions.

It’s Electric!

The ubiquity of gas-guzzling personal vehicles can’t be a part of a sustainable future. For some, the solution seems obvious: electrify vehicles to remove the problems that come from gas-power. Tesla kicked off its precedent-setting electric vehicle (EV) line in 2008, and today car companies like General Motors and Honda are edging into the competition. (Ironically, GM could’ve led the EV revolution as early as the 90s with their wildly popular EV1 if they hadn’t killed the model for profiting less than their gas-guzzling counterparts.)

Image of a fancy electric vehicle parked in a spot that reads "Electric Vehicles Only."

Are EVs driving us to a sustainable future, or are they another guise for green growth? (CC BY 2.0, marcoverch)

EV innovations do, in fact, look promising. Though not exactly carbon-neutral, EVs emit significantly less emissions than gas-powered cars, and they can handle just as much daily travel. EVs don’t run on empty, though. Depending on how your local power is generated, charging EVs can produce carbon emissions, and a worldwide shift to EVs would only exacerbate the global power demand. While it is generally accepted that emissions over the lifetime of an EV may be lower than a gas-powered car, the construction of EVs emits substantially more than the construction of traditional internal combustion vehicles. Specifically, a 2017 study found that the manufacturing of parts and assembly of EVs resulted in approximately 37 percent more emissions per vehicle than that of combustion vehicles.

Even though EV sales are picking up fast, we can’t bank on them and other “green” alternatives to solve limits to growth without a plan to fully transition away from fossil fuels and reduce consumption. Take the trendy plant-based alternatives filling shelves at grocery stores, for instance. Despite its massive carbon footprint, the U.S. meat market still dominates its plant-based competitors by almost $160 billion, and we’re simply “gifted” with more choices when we shop. The development of eBooks was similarly predicted to overhaul the publishing industry, but print books still outsell eBooks four-to-one.

Even if we all switched to EVs, we’d be exploiting yet another fuel source: lithium, the rechargeable battery’s key material. In 2021, global extraction of lithium was about 100,000 metric tons, about a 20 percent jump from 2020 levels. A worldwide switch to EVs would entail a 500-fold expansion of EV-battery manufacturing capacity. With the new mining boom, lithium and precious metal mining will simply replace (some) oil extraction.

The environment around South American deposits would be hit especially hard, bringing perils like wind drift of toxic chemical residue from the mines. This not only endangers the ecosystems along the Andes mountains—where the continent’s largest deposit is located—but threatens the livelihoods of farmers.

Chasing Us off the Streets

The problem with cars extends beyond their immediate environmental impact. We must examine why we find it so difficult to rid ourselves of them. Today’s suburban sprawl and congested highways didn’t come as a result of innovation for the masses; it’s more like the aftermath of an auto-industry takeover. Roads were once public spaces made for the people. Pedestrians freely crossed roadways without designated walkways and children played in the open space, while streetcars and railways catered to commuters and travelers.

Robert S. Kretshmar, Executive Secretary of AAA's Massachusetts Division; Commissioner Thomas F. Carty, Boston Traffic Department; and Mayor John F. Collins celebrate jaywalking legislation by Boston City Archives

Robert S. Kretshmar (Executive Secretary of AAA’s Massachusetts Division), Commissioner Thomas F. Carty (Boston Traffic Department), and Mayor John F. Collins celebrate jaywalking legislation. (CC BY 2.0, Boston City Archives)

It all changed with the mass production of cars in the 1910s. Over the next two decades the public was outraged at the rise of car-related fatalities, most of which involved children. A battle for the roads ensued between the masses and the auto industry. Unfortunately for the masses, car companies held sway.

A 1923 Cincinnati ordinance was proposed to limit auto speeds to 25 mph, but car companies killed the proposal—despite the 42,000 petitioners backing the plan—with a racist ad campaign mocking the city and rousing car owners. Other methods to overpower pedestrians included a slew of anti-pedestrian laws, indoctrinating children to stay out of the streets, and shaming jaywalkers.

The campaign for cars cuffed another rival, too: urban railways. Public transit has always been a key connector between low-income communities and thriving cities. It remains a major aspect of social mobility. But in the 1920s, car drivers were allowed over streetcar tracks, disrupting routes and making it nearly impossible for efficient streetcar operations. This drove transit passengers to purchase personal vehicles, further crowding the roads.

GM and other auto and fossil fuel companies bought up railways spanning 46 transit networks, only to dismantle them immediately. And while this isn’t the only reason why trolleys have fallen from grace in the USA, trolley companies were convicted of monopoly in 1949.

With the road cleared of obstacles, the auto industry set out to sell more cars. With the help of designer Norman Bel Geddes, GM debuted Futurama, a diorama portraying a car-centric future dreamed up by the company, at the New York World’s Fair in 1939 and introduced millions of visitors to something closely resembling today’s America. GM proposed a future centered around the convenience of the personal vehicle, complete with a massive interstate freeway system, suburban sprawl, and the extinction of public transportation.

The masses were sold on a car-centric America, and in 1956 President Eisenhower, with the help of Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson (who also happened to be GM’s president), leveled entire city neighborhoods to make room for highways. Minorities and low-income families comprised an overwhelming cohort of these communities, and they’ve been hit hardest by the environmental effects of “urban renewal” and the widened divide from their wealthy suburban counterparts.

Our Future Without a Map

Transportation in a car-centric society is far from sustainable or equitable. Gas-powered cars have a history of ravaging communities, and the growth of EVs won’t take us the distance. But we still need to get around, so what can we do?

Auto and fossil fuel industries fought hard in the past for political influence, but we can still take back our future. We are not fated to bumper-to-bumper traffic for the rest of our lives, and we can recenter our cities and towns around the people.

Image of several bikers riding through carless streets, with three women standing nearby a store as they pass.

In a steady state economy, communities are walkable, bikeable, and personable. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, UrbanGrammar)

One thing we can do is improve public transit. Access to public transportation is the key to an equitable future, but the system is in constant danger of underfunding. U.S. rail systems are far behind places like Japan, where trains are so convenient that car ownership is on the decline. Japan’s car ownership hit a low of 0.96 vehicles per household this year, while U.S. numbers have been creeping past three per household.

Fortunately, U.S. cities like Los Angeles and Indianapolis are upgrading their public transportation. Los Angeles has spent five years and $80 million on infrastructural changes to put the first electric metro bus line on the road. Meanwhile, Indianapolis is being transformed by the expansive Red Line electric bus system. These cities have shown us that commuters will jump at the chance to use public transit over personal vehicles.

Not only do our communities need access to better public transportation, but we need to foster pedestrian and cyclist lifestyles. Since 2016, Barcelona saw a 25 percent drop in pollution around the Sant Antoni market after experimenting with “superblocks,” nine-block grids of cyclist and pedestrian-first zones. Children there have room to play now, and walking and biking has increased.

In the Horta neighborhood superblock, 60 percent of survey respondents said they had become more comfortable walking on the streets and that accessibility had improved. People within the Poblenou superblock reported that the reduction in noise pollution resulted in more tranquility, improved sleep, increased social interaction, and overall improved mental wellbeing. One study estimated that widespread execution of superblocks could prevent almost 700 deaths annually.

Taking the roads back from auto and fossil fuel industries will be difficult. We‘ll have to re-envision the world around us; a world without the destructive congestion of cars. Our spaces need to be just that, our spaces, instead of streets and parking lots, dealerships, gas stations, auto parts stores, and repair shops. These profound structural and sociological changes will occur not by incentivizing the “greener” electric alternative, but by disincentivizing car culture altogether.

Widely-adopted free public transportation would be a huge step in connecting communities and promoting social mobility. We need to demand of our governments sustainable transportation for the people; that is, the expansion of our electric public transportation webs. Cars should be increasingly marginalized.

A carless society is one that is walkable, bikeable, and accessible for people with disabilities. Urban planners should prioritize the safety and mobility of the people, not cater to the automotive and oil industries. They should help us achieve a kinder, carless culture.

Mai Nguyen, editorial intern for Spring 2022 at CASSE.Mai Nguyen is the spring 2022 editorial intern at CASSE, and a junior at George Washington University.

The post Steering Away from a Car-Centric Society appeared first on Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

How We Stand Up to Putin and Stop Climate CatastropheHow do we...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/04/2022 - 6:30am in

How We Stand Up to Putin and Stop Climate Catastrophe
How do we stand up to Putin and avert a climate catastrophe at the same time?

Quitting our addiction to fossil fuels. Here’s how we get there.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West has snapped a series of sanctions into place.

Russia is the world’s second largest crude oil exporter and the primary source of global natural gas. Regardless of the short-term effects on our pocketbooks, over the longer term we need to transition to renewable energies if we have any hope of keeping the earth habitable, and freeing our economy from the influence of geopolitical foes.

This is where carbon dividends come in. 

******

Btw, if you’d like my daily analyses, commentary, and drawings, please subscribe to my free newsletter: robertreich.substack.com

******

It works like this. We put a hard cap on the amount of carbon we allow into the economy. Permits up to this cap would be issued, and energy companies could buy them in quarterly auctions. At every mine, refinery, and port of entry, these companies would have to use a permit for every ton of carbon dioxide that would be released into the atmosphere once that fuel is burned. 

When they run out of permits, they cannot extract or import any more carbon-polluting fuel. 

To keep the climate from rising 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels – the goal of the Paris Climate Accord – we need to slash emissions by roughly 90%. Accomplishing this by 2050 would demand reductions of 7.5% per year.
Currently we’re decreasing at a rate of 1.2% per year

With a carbon cap, in order to ensure we meet our goals, we could simply decrease the amount of permits issued by 7.5% every year. 

But how would we do that without Americans getting clobbered by higher prices at the gas pump? That’s where the carbon dividends come in. The revenue from selling the permits will be distributed back to the public as direct payments, no strings attached. 

For the majority of middle class and poorer Americans, the dividend will more than cover any increase in fuel prices, and they’ll come out ahead. The people who produce the most carbon emissions are by and large wealthy, and can afford the hike in prices. 

The earth’s capacity to absorb carbon is a natural resource, one we should share equally, instead of giving the wealthy and oil profiteers free reign.
Plus, everyone benefits from a cleaner planet. 

One study found that a quarter million premature deaths would be prevented over the next 20 years in the United States with a carbon fee and dividend program.

I know what you’re thinking right about now. Sounds nice, Bob. But it’ll never happen. Don’t be so sure! The idea is notably popular across the political spectrum. 

Carbon dividends were first proposed in 2009 in a bipartisan bill, and subsequent plans have come from both Republicans and Democrats

And there’s already precedent for parts of this program. Since 2009, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has capped and sold carbon permits to power companies in 11 Northeastern states. It is boosting their economies and has proven politically resilient. 

And in Alaska, every resident receives between $1,000 and $2,000 annually from the Alaska Permanent Fund, which invests the state’s oil royalties. Over 80% of Alaskans say it improves their quality of life. 

We treat gas prices as something out of our control, giving dangerous amounts of power to petro-states like Russia – with alarming consequences. By weaning ourselves from gas dependence, we’d gain relief from dirty air that kills millions globally; relief from the constant hemorrhage of government subsidies for fossil fuels and from wars for oil; and, above all, relief from the ongoing destruction of the earth’s climate. 

None of this is impossible. 

The best way to contain Russia, and build a sustainable future, is with a carbon dividend.

New manufacturers orders, vehicle sales, unemployment claims, rents, oil prices

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/04/2022 - 6:32am in

This component is going nowhere:

Still trying to catch up from the oil capex collapse of 2016 and covid collapse:

Not good:

This is an all time low as people scramble to get extra jobs to deal with higher prices,
like paying rent, for example:

Oil prices taking a breather with the announcements of releases from strategic petroleum reserves.

Price direction, however, is instead set by Saudi OSP premiums to benchmarks which were just raised for the 3rd month and this time to record highs.

This puts a relentless upward bias to prices until Saudi pricing changes, and will propel what’s call inflation as well. And the higher prices can also trigger a sharp recession:

The Commodities Feed: Saudi OSP raised to record highs

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The post New manufacturers orders, vehicle sales, unemployment claims, rents, oil prices appeared first on Mosler Economics / Modern Monetary Theory.

Steven Donziger: A corporate criminal prosecution, orchestrated by Chevron

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 04/04/2022 - 2:57am in

On October 1, 2021, human rights lawyer, Steven Donziger, was given a 6 month sentence — punishment for winning a $9 billion judgment against Chevron for poisoning the Amazon. On the day of his sentencing, I spoke extensively with Donziger about his extraordinary case. When he began his sentence at the federal prison in Danbury, CT, we began posting clips from this interview each week to keep his plight in the public eye. As Donziger approaches the end ... READ MORE

Saudi price hike, private payrolls, new hires, corporate profits

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 31/03/2022 - 7:18am in

Tags 

Inflation, oil, Russia

This could easily drive oil up past $200/barrel and trigger a serious recession.

This survey/forecast is higher than precovid. The full employment report comes out Friday:

Gross new hires have been trending lower:

Corporate profits jumped after the covid dip and have recently flattened:

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The post Saudi price hike, private payrolls, new hires, corporate profits appeared first on Mosler Economics / Modern Monetary Theory.

Pending home sales, Durable goods orders, oil rigs and production

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 29/03/2022 - 1:04am in

Tags 

Housing, oil

Recovered to trend but only because this chart isn’t adjusted for inflation:

Nor does the narrative that consumers have gone crazy buying goods seem to be holding up:

Not a lot of growth here:

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The post Pending home sales, Durable goods orders, oil rigs and production appeared first on Mosler Economics / Modern Monetary Theory.

Yemen Retaliates Against Deadly Fuel Blockade by Targeting Saudi Oil

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/03/2022 - 2:37am in

YEMEN-SAUDI BORDER – Under the scorching midday sun, Hakem Matari Yahya al-Buttaini’s brother was on the cusp of finally being able to purchase the 40 liters of diesel fuel for which he had been waiting in line for seven days, when he got the call. Hakem had been executed by Saudi Arabia and the news had just spread through local media. Hakem was among seven Yemenis executed by Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

As much of the world’s attention remained focused on Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Saudi regime carried out a mass execution, killing 81 people in a single day, including the seven Yemenis and civilians from the Kingdom’s eastern provinces. According to Saudi state media, the condemned were accused of various crimes, including terrorism, kidnapping, rape, and traveling to a regional conflict zone. According to the families of Hakem and Haider Ali Haider al-Shawhan, another man executed in Saturday’s mass execution, both Hakem and Haider were prisoners of war captured at the Yemen-Saudi border in 2018 while fighting to thwart the advance of Saudi fighters towards Yemen. Members of the al-Shawhan and al-Buttaini families agreed to speak to MintPress News on the condition of anonymity.

Yemen’s National Committee for Prisoners Affairs said that two of the executed Yemeni prisoners were on a list of people slated to be released in an UN-brokered prisoner exchange, adding “the Saudi crime is a dangerous precedent that threatens serious consequences which cannot be tolerated.”

Despite the shocking news, Hakem’s brother did not leave the fuel line. “We’re in desperate need of diesel to run our water pump. If I leave my place, we won’t only stay in darkness, but our women and children won’t be able to drink,” he said. In many of Yemen’s northern cities, obtaining fuel can be the difference between life and death. Unlike in Ukraine, where power has not yet been cut, power outages in northern Yemen have been fatal. Even in the Saudi-controlled southern provinces, an hour and a half of power followed by eight-hour blackouts are the norm.

This reality, which has been largely ignored by the same Western organizations spurred into action by Russia’s wanton violence in Ukraine, has been a conspicuous feature of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. In the past two weeks alone, hundreds of Yemenis, many of them hospital patients relying on life-saving medical devices, have died as a direct result of the lack of fuel needed to power generators, according to the government in Sana’a. Starving Yemen of petroleum products has been a tactic employed by the Saudi government since the onset of its now seven-year-long war on the country. However, its most recent blockade is significantly more extensive than previous ones, largely thanks to U.S. policies.

Since November 2020, U.S. Navy ships in the Red and Arabian seas have not allowed oil tankers to enter Yemen unless approved by the U.S. Treasury, even if those oil tankers are checked and issued permits by both the Saudi-led Coalition and the United Nations, a representative of the Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC) told MintPress. The blockade has been carried out under the pretext of “preventing Iranian oil from reaching Houthis,” with oil imports limited to the Saudi-controlled Port of Aden. Since February 24, when Russian forces began their wide-ranging assault on Ukraine, Saudi Arabia has been preventing fuel trucks from entering northern Yemen under the same pretext. In the rare case when a tanker is allowed to enter, the price per liter of petrol is nearly double.

Dozens of hospitals, water pumping stations, bakeries, power stations, gas stations, even cleaning trucks, have already stopped operating owing to fuel shortages. In the north, the lack of fuel has reached a critical point. Panic has spread and essential services responsible for the care of over 15 million Yemenis – such as the Water and Sanitation Corporation, Ministry of Transportation, and the General Electricity Corporation – are barely functioning.

On Monday, the UN said that Yemen’s already dire hunger crisis is “teetering on the edge of outright catastrophe,” adding:

Today, more than 17.4 million Yemenis are food insecure; an additional 1.6 million are expected to fall into emergency levels of hunger in coming months, taking the total of those with emergency needs to 7.3 million by the end of the year.

Yemen’s fuel crisis has no doubt contributed greatly to the famine.

 

“Break The Siege”

Yemen’s army, loyal to Ansar Allah, has responded to the dire humanitarian situation by announcing a new operation dubbed “Break The Siege,” against Saudi oil facilities. On Saturday, nine drones targeted a Saudi Aramco refinery in the Kingdom’s capital, Riyadh. Another six drones targeted Saudi state-run Aramco facilities in southwestern Saudi Arabia, as well as other related targets in the oil-rich Kingdom, which acknowledged the attacks and promised reprisal.

The attack on Aramco facilities, the backbone of the Saudi oil economy, comes as oil prices are rising at record rates and are predicted to break the $200 per barrel barrier as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine heats up – a fact that Ansar Allah is likely hoping to exploit by targeting Saudi oil infrastructure and driving up the price of crude oil in a bid to punish the United States for its support of the Saudi-led war.

Abdulmalik al-Houthi, the leader of Ansar Allah, said during a meeting with tribesmen on Monday that “the [Saudi] aggression has caused great suffering to our people in obtaining oil derivatives [and] we will not stand idly by.” According to high-ranking Anar Allah military sources that spoke to MintPress on the condition of anonymity, Ansar Allah hopes to capitalize on rising oil prices by continuing to target Saudi oil infrastructure until the United States halts its support for the Saudi blockade.

Saudi officials reached out to Ansar Allah on Tuesday to negotiate a halt on attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The offer came despite Riyadh, the UAE, and the U.S.’s designation of Ansar Allah as a terrorist organization. A source inside Ansar Allah told MintPress that the offer will likely be rejected, as the group does not trust the Saudi regime to act in good faith.

Referring to the Biden administration’s support for the Saudi-led war, a military official stated:

At a time when the Biden administration banned the import of oil from Russia, they [the Saudi-led Coalition] are preventing the entry of fuel into [Yemen] despite the [humanitarian] disaster. We will respond by bombing Saudi oil fields and refineries and share our hard times with the world – particularly the Americans and Europeans, thanks to Biden`s policy.

 

Fear that US will trade more support for Saudi oil

Some Yemenis who spoke to MintPress fear that President Joe Biden will increase support to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in exchange for an increase in their oil output to counterbalance disruptions in the global market sparked by sanctions on Russia. Some even went as far to say that if the United States continues to support the blockade on Yemen and provide support to the two oil-rich countries, they will not only support the targeting of Gulf oil facilities but will volunteer to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine, especially if Yemen receives fuel aid from Russia.

This comes as unconfirmed reports are surfacing in Yemen that militants are being recruited to fight alongside Ukrainian forces, including from groups with ties to extremist organizations, such as the controversial Islah Party. Hussein al-Izi, a high-ranking Ansar Allah official and deputy minister of foreign affairs, recently accused Islah of using oil to pay recruits to fight in Ukraine in exchange for the removal of Islah from Western lists of terrorist organizations. MintPress was not able to independently confirm these reports.

Feature photo | Cars line up at a petrol station amid fuel shortages in Sanaa, Yemen, Jun. 15, 2020. Hani Mohammed | AP

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist based in Sana’a. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

The post Yemen Retaliates Against Deadly Fuel Blockade by Targeting Saudi Oil appeared first on MintPress News.

Oil and gasoline prices move together

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 16/03/2022 - 6:21am in

I keep seeing people on social media saying things like, “Well oil prices are down but gasoline prices are still high.” Look, the last thing I want to do is defend the fossil fuel industry. It should be put out of business as soon as possible because it’s a threat to civilization and maybe human life itself. But on this point, the social media pundits are wrong.

For example, in August 2013, crude oil (as measured by West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark) was $107 a barrel and the average gasoline price was $3.66. Two years later, oil was $43 and gas was $2.75. Aha!, you might say—oil fell by 60% and gas by only 25%. But it works the same in the other direction too. In June 2006, oil was $71 and gas was $2.96. Two years later, oil was $134, up 89%, and gas was $4.12, up 39%.

The graph below makes the point visually. Oil and gas prices move almost exactly together, with gas moving less than oil. A simple regression on these stats shows that for every 10% change in the price of oil over the course of a year, the price of gas moves by about 4.5%. The relationship hold in both directions. That 45% ratio almost exactly matches the percentage changes in the previous paragraph. And the relationship holds if you take the analysis back to 1975 instead of beginning in 2000.

Again, this is not to defend the oil industry, which should be put out of business ASAP. But people who think gas prices won’t come down if oil prices come down are going to look silly if oil prices ever come down again—assuming the world isn’t blown to bits before they get a chance to.

How Billionaires Picked Putin as “Russia’s Pinochet”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 16/03/2022 - 5:09am in

Vladimir Putin did not arrive from outer space on an abalone shell. He went from the virtually unknown Deputy Mayor of Saint Petersburg to Russia’s President and potentate by winning a weird competition organized by Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky who sought a “Russian Pinochet” to succeed ... READ MORE

How to Stop Putin’s War Windfall by Ending Our Embargo of Venezuelan Oil

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/03/2022 - 11:33pm in

The mayhem in Ukraine is a profit center for Putin. 43% of the federal Russian budget was provided by oil and gas revenues and royalties. Russia lives and dies, literally, on its oil revenues, and this ... READ MORE

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