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Re: Petrol rip off (OT)

Subject: Re: Petrol rip off (OT)
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 23:11:23 EDT
At the risk of ranting here, this is one of my pet peeves - delete now if
you object to off topic stuff.....
RIGHTEOUS! - They make those scummy tobacco companies look honest - 
Apart from the obvious whereby it takes one nanosecond for them to raise
the price as soon as some sheik hiccups but it takes 4 months for any
price reduction to filter through the system; there are other less
publicised practices that are equally scurrilous  and for the most part
sanctioned, if not sponsored by the U.S. Govt due to the constant
intervention of high priced lobbyists - heres a good example
In an attempt to appear enviromentally friendly after EXXON VALDEZ, the
oil majors endorsed a horribly underdeveloped plan by some legislative
idiot whereby oil tankers entering the U.S. have to have "double hulls"
i.e. they have two skins of metal between the oil and the sea - up to
five years ago, very few ships had this sort of confguration but the oil
majors said that they would gladly pay extra freight to new vessels and
would ensure that their own tankers were only replaced with such units - 
Ships like this cost close to usd100 million at the time and based on
normal ship life, running costs etc require over usd40,000 per day in
earnings to break even. Many were built since the U.S. market is so huge
but rather than honour the "promise" the oil majors continued to charter
only the cheapest single hull ships obtaining variances to the law for as
long as possible - the upshot being that the ships built for this
legislation now earn about 11,000 per day IF they can find cargoes. As
for their own fleets of ships the oil majors coped with that by either
seeling them lock stock and barrel to non liable offshore companies or
only trading them to countries other than the U.S.
Another example - the final "product" from oil refining is a solid waste
called petroleum coke. it has a fairly high calorific value and is a good
source of energy however it cannot be used in most of the U.S. since it
is more pollutive than the standards permit. It is sold to various
places, usually where there is little enviromental control but since it
is a solid waste has a very low value. The oil majors, in league with the
govt developed a system whereby industrial complexes (refineries, power
stations, steel mills,factories etc) are allocated pollution "units" -
i.e. they are allowed to pollute a certain amount each year - the oil cos
buy up such "units" from low polluting industries so they can use the
petcoke to power the refineries- what this leads to is that the
industries that sell them pollute just as much as they would have done
anyway but the refineries spew out huge amounts - legally - whilst
telling the world that they "care"

As i said - sorry for the rant but i'm almost as much of an old hippy as

mike robson
3 polluting cars

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