|Received:||5/3/2008 11:11:02 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Prohibitions On Market Manipulation and False Information in Subtitle B of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007|
Comments:BIG OIL controls gasoline prices thru the refineries which stand BETWEEN primary fuel supplies [including biofuel] and consumers. BIG OIL uses politicans and gov't regs to stop (1) more refineries from being built (2) new methods of distribution that would permit biofuel makers to bypass the refineries and gain direct regional access to the consumer [such as mix-at-the-pump technology] (3) existing antitrust laws from being consistently and vigorously applied [aka simple trust busting ala Teddy Roosevelt]. These methods of manipulation permit gasoline supplies [and thus prices] to be controlled LONG TERM ... which then permits BIG OIL to blame SHORT TERM gyrations on supply-and-demand which has become the mantra of approval for every major corporate exploitation of the consuming public over the history of the US. As a result, BIG OIL just gets bigger ... buys more politicians to do its bidding via gov't regs ... strengthens it control via existing refineries ... and gleefully drains the lifeblood of the worker. The cycle can only be stopped at the root ... prevent BIG OIL from exercising de facto CONTROL at the refineries ... and DEMAND solutions. If you restore free trade between primary fuel producers and the consuming public, prices will adjust to appropriatee and sustainable levels. As it is the refineries are strangling the consumer even as they constrain the supply of fuels [both petroleum and biofuels]. The FTC's desire to search for antitrust conspiracies is admirable ... but will be fruitless or much too slow to help. What will work quickly is (1) understanding the fuel supply chain (2) publicly announcing a policy of sustained and vigorous efforts to remove BIG OIL from their middleman monopoly maintained via their choke-hold on the refineries and (3) bringing [bio]fuel suppliers and consumers TOGETHER to put FEAR of loss of customers back in the mix for BIG OIL. Our government seems to be able to create a BUBBLE for just about every economic good ... except fuel. It can be done for fuel as well and this will bring BIG OIL back to a levelled playing field.