Supply and demand drives what is known as a “market economy.” Market economy, a favorite Republican phrase they repeat ad nauseum is, according to their ideological bent, the only solution to any and all of America’s economic woes from creating jobs to helping millions of Americans gain access affordable healthcare insurance. In fact, it is safe to say that next to privatizing the government and giving all of America’s assets to the wealthy, Republicans believe a free market economy is crucial to humanity’s existence. However, the GOP’s favorite industry cannot, and will not, abide operating in a true market economy that does not guarantee them unrestricted wealth and perpetual record earnings.
Since America is awash in oil due to the Obama Administration’s “drill baby drill” policy helping American consumers enjoy lower fuel prices, American oil producers sought a means of driving up oil prices for American consumers. Last week, America’s oil industry efforts were buoyed by news that Islamic State (ISIS) extremists are unknowingly helping the U.S. oil industry’s crusade for higher gas prices.
Although there was welcomed news for the American oil industry last week, the news was bad for American consumers; by deliberate oil industry design. Thanks to the American oil industry’s anti-free market philosophy, crude oil prices roared back from six-year lows and “rocketed up by more than 8 percent.” Americans might wonder why, all of a sudden, crude oil prices skyrocketed when America has been the leading oil producing country in the world since November and the nation is virtually awash in oil. It is due to the American oil industry taking what they admittedly labeled “extremely drastic measures” since December to initiate a sudden and record decline in U.S. oil drilling. The drastic steps are fueled by the pursuit of profit and the industry’s opposition to, a “free market economy;” something Republicans constantly scream is patently un-American unless it benefits their favorite industry.
Oil industry and market experts say the “good news” rally is helping spur speculation that a seven-month price drop in oil is finally over because global “benchmark Brent crude suddenly shot up to more than $53 per barrel;” its highest price in more than three weeks. It is the oil industry’s biggest one-day gain since 2009, and the price surge was, according to Baker Hughes data, primarily due to American oil producers shutting down a record number of productive oil-drilling rigs (94) by 7% just last week alone. American oil producers have been on a tear to bring a halt to drilling for several months with the sole purpose of driving up the price of oil.
According to an oil industry analyst a Price Futures Group in Chicago, the American oil producers’ “drastic measures” in shutting down productive oil rigs “was a lot more beneficial than people expected and it really got the market going.” According to Houston-based oil-field services company Baker Hughes, the deliberate shutdown of oil drilling rigs was the most since it began keeping records in 1987. Since late last summer, American oil producers purposely idled over 24% of their oil drilling rigs that some traders are betting will hasten “their anticipated slowdown in U.S. oil production” and raise prices for American consumers enjoying lower fuel costs.
Still, Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors is worried that it is going to take longer for the industry to see a “respectable rise in gas prices to respond to the industry’s drastic measures” of shutting down oil drilling rigs. He said that, “This doesn’t change the fundamental outlook in oil” and bemoaned that “we are still about 2 million barrels oversupplied.” A larger supply should mean more price drops for consumers, unless the industry took drastic measures to cut back the supply by shutting down production.
In a market economy, one would think that if the industry is concerned about having too much oil, they would reduce the price at the pump even more; that is what every other industry does. However, that would mean letting the market economy correct itself and help the American people in the process. However, no-one in their right mind, or with the cognitive abilities of a two-year old, expects the oil industry to do anything to help the American people; they are, after all, conservatives and Republicans’ biggest donors.
It is noteworthy, and a very telling commentary, that the oil industry also noted, with a wink and a nod, that the fabulously good news of crude “oil price gains were aided by reports” that extremist Islamic State militants began an offensive striking at Kurdish forces just southwest of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. It is bad news for Kurdish forces, but good news for the oil industry because anything to increase the price of oil, and industry profits, is worth other people’s sacrifice and misery.
Oil producers in America have already sacrificed hundreds-of-thousands of oil industry jobs with no regard for the misery the losses are causing oil workers, or the revenue lost in oil-rich states. It was reported two weeks ago that according to an estimate by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, at least 250,000 oil industry jobs will be killed across eight oil-producing states in 2015 alone in addition to tens-of-thousands already lost since late last summer. Add to those numbers the hundreds-of-thousands of support and downstream jobs, and lost states’ revenue, and one gets an idea of just how typically “job-killing Republican” the oil industry really is.
Republicans have claimed, again, that their primary focus is helping the American people, particularly since the oil magnate Koch brothers handed them control of Congress. However, they have not said one word about their favorite industry’s deliberate job-killing shutdown of productive oil rigs located primarily in Republican-controlled states. They have, however, pushed hard to subvert the Executive branch’s purview over a construction permit for a foreign corporation’s environmentally disastrous pipeline they claim is good for Americans; likely because KeystoneXL will bring higher fuel costs for consumers.
If Republicans had any loyalty to America, or cared one iota about sustaining hundreds-of-thousands of oil-industry jobs and keeping fuel prices low for Americans, they would assail the oil producers for cutting production; especially when ISIS is helping spark an increase in oil costs that will affect Americans and the economy. But that really is the issue; Republicans and their precious oil industry have as little regard for Americans, job losses, or the economy as ISIS does and one can only imagine they are secretly cheering the Islamic extremists for helping jack up the price of oil to benefit the inherently un-American oil industry.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.