Tuesday, August 08, 2006

BP = Broken Pipeline

After my recent "Are You being screwed?" post, an acquaintance asked if I ever got tired about bitching about the price of gas. You must be kidding!! I drive between 80 and 100 miles a day, the price of gasoline is important. Actually the price doesn't inflame me nearly as much as the reasons behind the high prices. Among other things, the federal government has allowed the market to be controlled by a handful of companies through acquisitions and mergers. Gasoline prices go up, so they allow mergers. Computer prices go down, so they sue Microsoft, go figure! But I digress.

BP's announcement about shutting down their Alaskan pipeline makes complete sense. Here's a company posting record profits, but they don't maintain their equipment. Someone wakes up one day and realizes that they haven't inspected their pipeline in sixteen years. In the real world, those boys would be filing for unemployment. In the oil business they will probably be promoted. " Hey Biff!! I know a great way to raise gas prices ten per cent!" The pipeline maintenance chief was probably promoted to vice president today. He's looking for another pipeline to shut down tonight.

On the news tonight, some bureaucrat was claiming that government pipeline inspectors will decide when the pipeline will reopen. Hey! Where were these inspectors the last sixteen years?

In other oil news, Shell has started a new advertising campaign. " Shell takes the pain out of filling up! Free Astroglide with 8 gallon purchase!" (Google Astroglide if you didn't get this one)


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