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National One-Day Oil Boycott
MEMORIAL DAY 2008

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FACT SHEET: Connecting the Dots
   ABOUT BIG OIL, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION & THE WAR IN IRAQ:

  • OIL SPECULATION:  Crude oil joined the speculative futures trade on the NY Mercantile Exchange in 1983 and has been the most heavily traded commodity since. 
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  • IRAQI OIL:  After Saudi Arabia, Iraq has the 2nd largest oil reserves on the planet.  In addition, the Iraq oil reserves are reported to be among the lightest and sweetest crude oil available.
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  • THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION & IRAQ:  Long before 9/11, in secret meetings of an Energy Task Force run by VP Dick Cheney in March 2001, detailed plans about oil contracts and maps of Iraqi oil fields were literally on the table ... and promises of an Iraq invasion were made even before the Bush administration officially took office in January 2001.
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  • THE IRAQ WAR:  Despite what our troops and the American public were told, it's obviously about the oil.  ...  As of 28 April 2008, more than 4,050 U.S. servicemen & women have died, and nearly 30,000 have been wounded.  Tens to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died, and millions have been displaced.  ... In addition, the Iraq War has already cost U.S. taxpayers more than $500 billion.
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  • CORPORATE OIL MERGERS:  Nearly 100 years ago, the federal government stepped in to break up monopolies in the oil industry.  Recent history, however, has seen a progressive return to the kind of consolidation the oil business used to enjoy, in the hands of a relatively few key players.  A GAO report noted that, since 1990, there have been 2,600 mergers and acquisitions among players in the corporate oil industry.  Below is a chart of some of the major mergers:
     

    Major Oil Companies after Anti-Trust Breakup of Standard Oil Name Changes, Mergers & Acquisitions
    Standard Oil of New Jersey {Esso} Exxon ExxonMobil
    Standard Oil of New York {Socony} Mobil
    Standard Oil of California {Socal} Chevron ChevronTexaco Chevron
    Gulf Oil
    Texas Fuel Co. Texaco
    Standard Oil of Indiana {Stanolind} Amoco BPAmoco BP
    Anglo-Persian {Iranian} Oil Co. British Petroleum
    Standard Oil of Ohio {Sohio}
    Continental Oil Co. {Conoco} ConocoPhillips
    Phillips Petroleum Co.
    The Ohio Oil Company Marathon Oil Co. Marathon-Ashland Petroleum LLC
    Ashland Refining Co. Ashland, Inc.
    Royal Dutch Petroleum Co Royal Dutch Shell
    Shell Transport & Trading Co.

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  • OIL PRICES:  The week before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, world crude oil prices were at $31.68/barrel; one week after the war began, crude oil averaged $24.21/barrel.  ...  As of 28 April 2008 -- just over 5 years since the war began -- the average world price for crude is $107.28/barrel [^ 339%].
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  • PROFITEERING:  While our troops have been deployed and re-deployed time & again, and while thousands have died and tens of thousands have been wounded to secure Iraq, the oil companies, and companies that specialize in oil field equipment, construction, and operations, have been raking in record profits. 
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    • Before the end of March 2003, Kellogg, Brown & Root [KBR], which provides oil field construction and operations support -- and which, until April 2007, was a subsidiary of Vice President Cheney's former company, Halliburton -- received the first of a number of no-bid, cost-plus contracts for Iraq reconstruction, the terms of which guarantee that the more money they spend, the more they will make. 
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    • KBR was awarded additional no-bid, cost-plus contracts totaling more than $16 billion dollars,  making it the largest known single entity receiving Iraq-related contracts.  They also charged U.S. taxpayers as much as 55% for "administrative overhead" on some projects.
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    • Over the course of the war, while the stock market and the economy in general have see-sawed, the profits of the major oil corporations have been setting all-time records:  
       

      OIL COMPANY GROSS PROFITS: 2005-2007
      in Billions $US
      Company 2005 2006 2007 TOTAL
      Exxon Mobil Corp. $157.68 $164.38 $171.70 $493.76
      Chevron/Texaco $57.30 $65.98 $86.27 $209.55
      BP/Amoco $57.17 $59.17 $83.60 $199.95
      Royal Dutch Shell $54.11 $55.86 $59.09 $169.05
      Conoco/Phillips $49.22 $58.38 $59.38 $166.97
      Marathon Oil $13.02 $17.06 $9.97 $40.05
      Occidental Petroleum $10.39 $11.56 $12.96 $34.91
      Hess Corporation $4.81 $7.01 $7.49 $19.31
      Sunoco $3.16 $3.01 $3.13 $9.30

       Totals:

      $388.49 $420.83 $470.01 $1,342.85

      .Between the start of the war on March 20th, 2003, and April 28th, 2008, their stock prices have more than doubled:
       

      OIL COMPANY STOCK PRICES PER SHARE
      Company 20-Mar-03 28-Apr-08 % CHANGE
      Hess Corporation $13.89 $109.98 791.79%
      Occidental Petroleum $13.73 $86.97 633.43%
      Marathon Oil $10.41 $46.40 445.73%
      Conoco/Phillips $23.14 $83.57 361.15%
      Chevron/Texaco $28.02 $92.69 330.80%
      Sunoco $17.49 $50.87 290.85%
      Exxon Mobil Corp. $32.05 $92.46 288.49%
      Royal Dutch Shell $33.51 $76.80 229.19%
      BP/Amoco $33.01 $69.18 209.57%

      It's not simply the rising price of crude oil that accounts for higher gas prices.  The following chart shows the change in refinery profit margins on each barrel of oil between 1997 and April of 2007.  Note that the average price for a barrel of oil in 1997 was about $18.50; in other words, an entire barrel of oil back then cost less than the profit margin refiners now make on every barrel of crude they process.

       

      • Meanwhile, the pump price for a gallon of gas has gone from $1.86 to $3.65 [^ 196%]


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    • Over the course of the Iraq War, Halliburton stock has climbed almost 500% -- from about $10/share in early 2003 to nearly $50/share today.  In 2006, Halliburton declared record profits of $2.3 billion.  An investigation into contract over-charges estimated that Halliburton/KBR had bilked the government for about $2.7 billion in bogus charges. 
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    • While the President was publicly urging that Iraq oil revenues should benefit all Iraqis, and that Iraqis should work together on agreements for oil contracts, one of the largest Texas contributors to the campaigns of both the current President Bush and his father -- Hunt Oil -- was negotiating private contracts with the Iraqi Kurds, increasing tensions between the various factions in Iraq's evolving civil war.
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  • CRIMINAL FRAUD & EVASION:  Halliburton/KBR came under investigation for abuse of contracts in Iraq and the Balkans.
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    • When KBR came under investigation for fraudulent over-charges, the President vowed he would make any violators reimburse the American people.  Instead, KBR, which had worked under the Halliburton umbrella for more than 40 years, was quietly cut loose by Halliburton.
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    • Then, Halliburton, which had been operating out of the US, moved its corporate headquarters to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which has no extradition treaty with the U.S., and which makes it next to impossible for the investigation to proceed.

    These are just a few of the facts that add up to a criminal and moral sham perpetrated on the American people, and on our troops.  It's time to bring it to an end.  ...  Support our troops, and send the Big Oil, he Administration & Congress a clear message:

    JOIN IN THE NATIONAL ONE-DAY OIL BOYCOTT
    MEMORIAL DAY 2008

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