The Invisible Hurricane

July 23rd, 2007

You might have been on vacation. You might have been up in the woods. Camping with your family or munching happy food at Disney World while your kids got sick on the rides.

I missed it, and I’ll bet you did too. I never read anything about it in the newspaper. And I never saw a report about it on CNN. Maybe it’s just one of those magical Harry Potter things that happen but nobody wants to mention because it sounds just too loopy.

But we all missed it, except for a few bonus boys in high back leather chairs tracking the storm in their corporate boardroom. The rest of us are now experiencing the damage left behind in the aftermath of what oil companies are calling “The Invisible Hurricane.” And we’re helping in the rebuilding efforts by opening up our wallets and sliding our credit cards into the “pay at the pump” slots of gas stations nationwide.

The Invisible Hurricane hit oil refineries throughout the country. Lightening strikes stifled oil production by igniting refinery holding tanks. Heavy rains made it impossible to truck petroleum to fueling stations. And winds from thunderstorms ransacked refinery infrastructure, raising the price per gallon due to the slowdown in production capacity.

The real hurricane season hasn’t delivered the goods the oil companies counted on to raise the prices at the pump and increase their already bloated profit margins. So they now claim an Invisible Hurricane has struck refinieries throughout the country, shutting down the process, making it impossible to meet the demands of vacationing commuters. Oil executives love this Invisible Hurricane (another term for the unrepaired infrastructure at refineries all over America) and say it’s what’s at the heart of the current rise in prices… and profits.

Tell your boss that you can’t make it into work today because you haven’t had your car fixed. As soon as you get it repaired, you’ll be back on the job. If your boss asks when that will be… tell him you don’t know. Fixing your car could take days, weeks, months, even years. In real life, you’d be fired. In the storybook world of privately owned oil production, the American people suck it up, shelling out billions, grateful for whatever the oil oligarchs are charging us for gas.

We could’ve had plenty of refined gasoline ready for us at the pumps if the oil companies had turned profits back into repair instead of rewarding its CEOs with billions in bonuses. And until the Federal Government takes over the operation of these refineries and the operation of the oil giants who giggle in board rooms over how easy this scam is, the American People will continue to be suckered into a system that rivals the criminal conspiracies that made bootlegging a billion dollar frolic 70 years ago.

Al Capone was born too soon. Had he waited until now, he’d see an empire worthy of his criminal genius. And he wouldn’t have to worry about the Feds. Because in the age of business and government coziness, the Feds have granted organized oil crime the right to fleece the rest of us without the fear of prosecution.

The Invisible Hurricane. The perfect weather needed to cover up the visible conspiracy of oil and politics to leave the average American bank account as ruptured as the levees that devastated New Orleans. Only this storm wasn’t natural. This storm was intentional.


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