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U.S. could lose billions in oil royalties

Oil rigs in Culver City, Calif.

Bob Moon: Big oil stands to make billions of dollars in windfall profits from the royalty concessions it gets from the federal government — read that “the American taxpayers.” That’s the bottom line of a report released today by the Government Accountability Office.

During the 1990’s Congress gave oil companies a pass on royalty payments in order to encourage deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and many in Congress regret it.

If you missed it, that’s Big Oil, whose had record profits quarter after quarter and year after year, weaseling out of paying what amounts to taxes on mineral rights for sucking the oil out of the ground on public lands. To put it another way, that’s YOUR oil and MY oil they’re pulling out of the ground and selling back to us.

Just so you know.

Indicted Saudi Gets $80 Million US Contract

Gaith Pharaon

The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department. The contract to supply jet fuel to American bases in Afghanistan was awarded to the Attock Refinery Ltd, a Pakistani-based refinery owned by Gaith Pharaon. Pharaon is wanted in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.

The Saudi businessman was also named in a 2002 French parliamentary report as having links to informal money transfer networks called hawala, known to be used by traders and terrorists, including Al Qaeda.

Interestingly, Pharaon was also an investor in President George W. Bush’s first business venture, Arbusto Energy.

Isn’t that … fantastic. At this rate, Pharaon has a good chance of bankrolling a decent defense should the FBI actually ever get the chance to pick him up.

It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Mobile tags leave a trail of slime


Kudos to London’s Slinkachu, who’s taking full credit for these.


June 6, 2008 · by xalieri · Posted in Everything Else  


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