THE MUGGLEBEE FILES : The T-Rex partnership and the industry that may face extinction

Rex

^ Rex Tillerson as T-Rex

—- —- —-

Donald Trump has now signed an executive order to rollback Obama’s Climate Change initiatives. This was no surprise to anyone; it’s another sign of his siding with big business interests and, as he puts it, “make America wealthy again”.

For a change, he’s telling the truth. He’s just not very good at doing — by which I mean, succeeding at what he tries. This is important, because as many do not know, a major industry faces potential extinction, and Trump is trying to save it : an industry that has been very wealthy for a very long time. The apex predator on the planet.

Things have begun to change, along with the planet. CO2 emissions are have risen beyond safe levels; weather changes have wreaked economic havoc as these global forces adjust to mankind’s efforts to profit by fossil fuels; and certain interests have begun to combat the problem, giving rise to a new and progressive move toward sustainable energy.

Donald Trump’s election has brought this fight directly to the people of this planet. Yes, his substantial failures in the first 60 days foretell an incapacity to be an actual president. But in he did make one substantial choice that needs much more attention: Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

Tillerson was the CEO of Exxon Mobile. He personally oversaw infrastructure investment and development in countless countries around the globe, making Exxon the single biggest company in the world. His exit from Exxon was a significant shift, but not without precedent; George W Bush was an oil man (though not a successful one). Nevertheless Big Oil had major influence in putting Bush into the White House in 2000. Big Oil has always played a role in politics, thanks to its enormity. It’s a serious business; its interests topple countries, empires, and despots.

One thing we learned during the Iraq War was how big oil took us to war, literally. War is expensive, and everything in war is not only based on oil but made of it — and runs on it. When an Administration decides to go to war, it needs the help and coordination of Big Oil.

In 2003, the launch of the Iraq War required the oil industry’s collusion. OPEC had to increase the flow of oil, so that its price could cheapen — thus reducing the war’s initial cost. How did they do that? They enlisted the Saudis, our allies.

Note this, however; Big Oil is American-based companies like Shell, Chevron, and Exxon Mobile. As for Middle Eastern oil, and the nations referred to as OPEC, it’s chiefly the Saudis. Big Oil works with the Saudis, who in 2003 controlled about 20-25 percent of the world’s oil supply. The scratch-our-back-we’ll-scratch-yours relationship meant that the Saudis agreed to turn up oil flow —  temporarily — making it cheaper. But in exchange for what? War. We shaped the Middle East in their favor and in ours. The ultimate goal, however, was to make money. So, after the United States military went all to its war budget, something remarkable happened…

The flow of oil reversed. And the price went up. As did profits. What was cheap to get in…turned expensive to get out of.

The whole equation benefits oil, across the board; what was an initial cheap investment becomes a lucrative payoff once in. The cost of doing business, they say. And guess who pays for that? Yeah, us, the tax-payer.

Since Big Oil and the Saudis are in business together, when the Saudis start profiting by The War, so does Big Oil. And who, of all the Big Oil companies made the most money off the Iraq War? Exxon Mobile.

The world is changing, undeniably — but not yet to the good. China is the biggest carbon emissions producing nation in the world; and the largest carbon emissions consumer ? Is the United States. After Saddam fell and the Iraq War ended, China began buying oil from Iraq and guess who they cut out? Exxon. This particularly angered Rex. When the 2016 election came and the unlikeliest of candidates, Donald J Trump, ran and actually won, Big Oil had a chance to save itself. Profits were down 30 percent under Obama, and Exxon, after the China debacle, had invested one billion dollars in Russian refineries in order to start pumping. But thanks to the thug culture headed by Putin, he and his Oligarchs were sanctioned. Which meant that Exxon couldn’t recoup its money. Come the Trump win — widely suspected to have been engineered in part by Putin — Exxon saw a chance. It could install someone at the top of the State Department who could make this Russia thing work. Thus Rex Tillerson.

Meanwhile, a curious coalition was forming. “Renewable energy” became a buzzword, and then a reality, as investors began to deem it possible to shift from over-dependence on oil, thereby save our planet — hopefully. This idea could even be profitable !

For Big Oil, all has not, however, gone as schemed. There’s this Russian scandal. Trump appointing Rex — whom I will now refer to as T-Rex — seemed an ever more strategic move. Yet as carbon-based fuels are more clearly viewed as something we need to discard, perhaps Big Oil has felt a pinch. Then it happened: Exxon’s shareholders filed class action suits against Exxon. Over what? Alleged evidence that Exxon knew its business had slumped and that it  defrauded its investors by saying it hadn’t. It got worse. Certain AG’s of certain states began filing class-actions. But — for something else, something far more grave. That Exxon knew the effects of climate change and were deliberately denying their knowing. Parallels to the tobacco industry were obvious. And the class-action had a new element: some AG’s were being paid, or forced, to spread the lies by punishing climate change scientists and businesses.

Yes. This is alleged.

Much of Trump’s agenda is regressive. Taking away rights, mistreating women, promoting coal mining. But I’ve heard it said that as a system nears a point of change, where it must evolve or perish, as critical point approaches, the business turns ever more dysfunctional, immedaiely prior to changing, as a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly. (Or a T-Rex becoming…what?)

T-Rex’s were the planet’s apex predator millions of years ago. No one quite knows why it didn’t survive, but some say it’s because it has such small hands (and arms). Science indicates some catastrophic change occurred, a global crisis that took that animal out and many of its contemporaries. We are facing something similar, we just don’t know it. Or maybe some of us do: yet the tobacco industry, for its intentional deception of the American people about the ills of smoking, was hit with the single largest monetary verdict in the world. It’s arguable that Big Tobacco hasn’t recovered and as the ills of smoking become ever more obvious, the industry itself is not what it once was. Like a dinosaur that used to roam the planet recklessly producing CO2 (and cancer) in its wake, tobacco may, hopefully, wane. Become extinct, maybe. Big Oil is facing a similar crisis, one in which it needs to get out in front of the wave. This now rests in the hands of one Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon, now Secretary of State, third in line to the President, the man who is the dumbest failed businessman in the history of this country.

—- Christopher Mugglebee / The Mugglebee Files for Here and Sphere

Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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