Standard Oil octupus
The 30 minute talk is uploaded here
This is the workshop I gave last week at the Climate Camp at Kingsnorth in Kent, at 10.30am on Monday 4th August 2008. Energy Cartels And ...all » This is the workshop I gave last week at the Climate Camp at Kingsnorth in Kent, at 10.30am on Monday 4th August 2008.
The handout I prepared is copied below.
John D Rockefeller – ‘philanthropist’ and Standard Oil
The History of the Standard Oil Company - Ida M. Tarbell – 1904
“An oil producer was discovered stealing oil from the National Transit Company. He had tapped the main line and for at least two years had run a small but steady stream of Standard oil into his private tank. Finally the thieving pipe was discovered, and the owner of it, after acknowledging his guilt, was brought to trial. The jury gave a verdict of Not Guilty!”
Underhand tactics used to gain control of nearly 90% of all oil products in US by WW I, including bribery and secretly buying up railroads & transporting Standard oil almost for free and buying up competitors, using them to spy on real competitors
Broken up in into 34 companies (Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Esso, ConocoPhillips and parts of BP & Shell) 1911 by Supreme Court – Sherman Antitrust Act. But J.D. Rockefeller retained shareholding and companies ‘worked together’.
1930 - Tram Closures in the UK
In the early 1930's the Royal Commission on Transport was investigating a number of major issues of transport policy.
Its third report, 'The Co-ordination and Development of Transport', (Chairman: Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen - Members: Marquess of Northampton, Earl of Clarendon etc.– over 50 witnesses) published in 1931 (HMSO, 1931), whilst acknowledging 'the great part played by tramways in the past' (para 365) and even some inherent advantages (less noise on well maintained track, absence of fumes, smoothness of acceleration and mechanical reliability: para 366), the Commissioners were generally unfavourably disposed towards trams. Concluded there must be no more.
Last line built in 1932 Eltham SE London – all gone by 1952 (Except Blackpool)
1936 - US Tram Closures - National City Lines
Between 1936 and 1950, National City Lines, a holding company sponsored and funded by GM, Firestone Tyre & Rubber company, Mack Truck, and Standard Oil of California, bought out more than 100 electric surface-traction systems in 45 cities (including New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, and Los Angeles) to be dismantled and replaced with GM buses... In 1949 GM and its partners were convicted in U.S. district court in Chicago of criminal conspiracy in this matter and fined $5,000.
1955 - British Railway Modernisation plan and Beeching Era
1955 ASLEF strike - Lasted from 29th May to 14th June 1955, called just days after Eden's Conservative victory at a General Election. Brought British industry to a standstill after two weeks and forced a government climb-down. British Transport Commission settled pay claim. After this UK government transport policy switched to roads. Late 1950s - Modernisation plan – 433 stations closed. 1963 - Beeching (Mediocre man - developed PIAT unreliable and ineffective anti-tank weapon in 1941 then became chairman of ICI) report – 1900 stations closed, Ernest Marples at Marples Ridgeway, “The unit of freight movement is the train”, Private travel subsidising commercial freight. Great Isle of Wight Train Robbery.
1981 - London GLC Election - Fares Fair
Labour’s Ken Livingstone and Dave Wetzel won 1981 GLC election and ousted Horace Cutler on transport issue in their manifesto – free public transport. Attacks on ‘Red Ken’ from right wing press. Challenge to legality of Fares Fair in court case - Bromley Councillor Barkway – Bird in Hand pub in Gravel Road. Bromley lost case dismissed Nov 3rd 1981, November 10th Court of Appeal overturned that decision and 17th December 1981 Lords agreed it was unlawful.
In 1982 car use in London dropped by 10%. Extra £48m fare revenue came in and tube usage went up 44%, bus usage rose by 14%. These were the greatest increases in the 52 year history of London Transport. 1983 there were an extra 6,000 serious accidents a year on London's roads. 1985 Travelcard introduced for rail travel too (previously just bus and tube). 1986 GLC abolished
Contemporary - Cartel
UK Petroleum Industry Association, Quality House, Quality Court, Chancery Lane, Oil & Gas UK, the voice of the offshore industry, 232-242 Vauxhall Bridge Road
Embarrassing 2008 Energy profits announced quarterly, Exxon Mobil - £22 billion annual equivalent, BP - £13bn annual equivalent, Shell - £16bn – annual equivalent
Citizen Ken – John Carvel, Chatto and Windus, May 1984, ISBN: 0701139307
If Voting Changed Anything They’d Abolish It – Ken Livingstone, Harper-Collins, 1987, ISBN: 0002177706
Year 501, Noam Chomsky, 1993.
Crabgrass Frontier, Kenneth T. Jackson, ISBN 0 19 504 987 7
American Ground Transport, presented to the subcommittee on Antitrust and monopoly, of the Judiciary, US Senate, 26 Feb 1974. Bradford C Snell, see pp. 27-34
Higginson, Martin; Tramway London: background to the abandonment of London's trams 1931-1952; Pub.: Light Rail Transit Association in association with Birkbeck College with assistance from London Transport Museum;1993; ISBN: 0948106166
The Great Railway Conspiracy by David Henshaw, Leading Edge Books, 1991, ISBN: 0948135301