The cost of refining a barrel of crude oil is actually pretty small -- about $2. However there is the cost of meeting government regulations with these endless additives that makes gasoline prices twice what it should be.
And then there's the ethanol scam. This was an attempt to shift corn farmers away from government subsidies and force people wearing their hats as purchasers of fuel to pick up that subsidy. But that is a typical response from government.
In other words, THE people are still paying for it. It's just that they are not paying for it wearing their hats as taxpayers anymore; now theyâre paying for it wearing their hats as consumers.
Some people consider it to be corporate welfare for agribusiness giants like Cargill and Archer Daniels, but corn is not a big enough piece of any one corporation's business. It is simply a politically convenient mandate.
Both Republicans and Democrats complain about the cost, which is about $30-40 billion per annum, to the American taxpayer of maintaining agricultural subsidies.
So one way to reduce that subsidy is to shift the burden of the subsidy off the American people's backs, wearing their hats as taxpayers, and then put it back on their backs, wearing their hats as consumers because they don't realize that they're still paying to accomplish the same goal.
This event in California is just a short term event. California's Governor Jerry Brown just capitalized on it and it gave him a little political fodder. He said that they could bring in the winter blend early which would knock about 70 cents a gallon out of the price. However that isn't going to have any long term impact.
Oil is the planet's biggest business. That's why nobody politically will attack it. They will get around the edges of it with this supposed alternative energy packages and loans, but that's just feel-good pabulum to the political left and the "environmentally-conscious." It's actually meaningless because the percentage of alternative energy consumed in the United States as a percentage of total consumption hasn't increased. Certainly not in this century. Because you can't touch the oil business. Everyone has a vested interest in it. That's something the governments don't like to tell the people, but it's the truth.
If governments wanted to make a serious effort at producing alternative energy, they could build more thermonuclear power plants based on thorium, which is what the Japanese wanted to do, but even that doesn't sell well to the public because of the word "thermonuclear." Therefore they come up with all sorts of unworkable energy like solar and wind.
So what about the cold fusion technology? It has been officially suppressed because it would be the greatest challenge to hydro-carbon energy ever. Cold fusion is a technology that must be suppressed. Here's why...
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* AL MARTIN, author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider," is an Independent Political-Economic Analyst with 25 years of experience as a trader on NYMEX, CME, CBOT and CFTC. He is also currently trading the commodity futures market day and night and has a teleconferencing service to facilitate transactions in the markets. This is a service for independent market-experienced traders.
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