Warehouse E

The Money God

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Christians On Their Knees At Gas Pumps?

By James Donahue

Spurred on by Rocky Twyman, a Seventh-day Adventist, Christians across the nation have been joining what is called The Pray at the Pump Movement, asking God to intervene and bring down the price of oil and gasoline.

The movement began with prayer vigils at gas stations, but last week Twyman brought followers to the steps of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington, D.C., hoping to urge an increase in oil production.

The movement as we see it is an exercise in futility. From all we can determine, the Saudis are as concerned about the latest surge in oil prices as everyone else. They have stepped up oil production, as have other members of OPEC, but this has had no effect on what is happening on the commodities market.

There appears to be a glut of oil on the market, but that oil is being bought up by speculators who are controlling its distribution and forcing the price up. They are getting away with it because the big oil giants, mostly headquartered in the United States, are taking advantage of legislation passed during the Clinton years that deregulated government controls on energy.

Now known as the “Enron Loophole,” that legislation was a controversial move in its day, promoted by Enron executives, who sold Congress on the idea that deregulation of the way electric companies bought and sold power would create a more competitive market and thus bring the price of electricity down.

What happened was that clever executives at Enron used the loophole to buy power as a commodity, use their influence to shut down certain power plants on demand, and thus create artificially induced power blackouts and brownouts in the Southwest, mostly in California. This in turn forced the price of electricity up, making Ken Lay and many of the other participants in this mass public swindle very wealthy.

The Enron scheme was revealed, the key players have been sent off to prison, but the “Enron Loophole” still exists. Many believe it is now being used by speculators to force the price of oil through the ceiling. The oil giants like Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are reporting exorbitant profits while the wheels of business all across the nation are grinding to an extremely dangerous slowdown.

In the midst of all of this, Congress has failed to move to close the Enron Loophole, even though its existence, and the problem it is causing, appears to be well known. Democratic Presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama recently called for legislation that would close the loophole, and outlined a four-point plan for curbing soaring fuel prices that included a clamp on speculative oil buying.

That the religious fanatics are on their knees, praying to the gasoline pumps, is somewhat symbolic of just how far off course Americans have become. Oil suddenly has become a valuable commodity, thus oil equals money. And money, for this materialistic society, is the real god.