Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Revengeful Producers

I'm still totally fascinated by The History of Standard Oil written in 1904. I think I'll probably be reading this for a good week at least -- Get this:

At one mass-meeting the following resolution was actually passed by a body of revengeful producers:

Resolved, that to give a wider market throughout the world to petroleum, to enhance its price and to protect producers from unjust combinations of home refiners, a committee be appointed to ask the representatives of foreign governments at Washington to request their respective governments to put a proper tariff on refined oil and to admit crude oil free into the ports of their respective governments.

Toward the end of October Captain Hasson presented the scheme which he and the committee had prepared. It proposed that there should be established what was called a Petroleum Producers' Agency.* This agency was really an incorporated company with a capital of one million dollars, the stock of which was to be subscribed to only by the producers or their friends. This agency was to purchase all the oil of the members of the association at at least five dollars a barrel. If stocks could be kept down so that the market took all of the oil at once, the full price was to be paid at once in cash; if not, the agency was to store the oil in tanks it was to build, and a portion of the price was to be paid in tank certificates. By thus controlling all the oil, the agency expected to protect the weakest as well as the strongest producer, to equalise the interest of different localities, to prevent refiners and exporters from accumulating stocks, and to prevent gambling in oil.

I even love the way some of the spelling is different... so long ago. Not the politics! Not the path.

Here it is, the opening of the borders and the beginning of the global market.

Just last week, the US stopped their policy of purchasing oil reserves in order to allow for more oil on the general market -- also Saudi Arabia agreed to boost production.

The difference now is that -- well, we are not in the same time at all -- if we ever needed an illustration of peak oil, it's just looking at the past and the way we used to think about it all.

Despite all of Bush's efforts oil prices continue to rise this week...

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