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TrumpCare dies, XL flies
and the Secret Winner is…

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast for OpedNews

Koch Brothers celebrate their victory (from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy)

When RyanCare-TrumpCare finally ended up face-down in the swimming pool, triumphalist Democrats whooped and partied and congratulated themselves on defeating the Trump-Ryan monstrosity.

But deep in their counting house, counting their gold, three brothers cackled with private jubilation.

David and Charles Koch knew the day was theirs.

Joining them in the celebration was Brother Billy, William Koch, who will share in their $21 billion windfall that the President arranged for them only hours before TrumpCare crashed””when Trump announced his State Department had formally approved the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Let’s start with that $21 billion.

The XL Keystone Pipeline would take the world’s heaviest, filthiest crude from Canada’s tar sands, and snake with it all the way down to Texas.

From Greg Palast’s film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits
Now here’s a question I never hear from our sleep-walking media: Exactly why are we sending oil all the way across the United States to Texas. I mean, doesn’t Texas already have a little oil?

In fact, Texas is drowning in oil, choking in it. But the Kochs’ Texas refinery can’t use much local crude. The Koch Industries Flint Hills refinery on the Texas Gulf Coast was designed specifically to crack only the world’s “heaviest” (i.e. filthiest) crude.

Texas crude ain’t heavy enough, ain’t dirty enough, for the Kochs’ Gulf Coast operation, originally designed for imports for the world’s major source of heavy crude: Venezuela. The price the Kochs paid for Venezuela’s oil was set by its President Hugo Chavez, and now, by Chavez’ chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro.

Chavez and Maduro both told me they’d squeeze the Kochs by their tankers. They have.

Enter the Mounties: Canadians sell their super-heavy crude at a $12 to $30 a barrel discount to the Venezuelan price. If the XL Pipeline is complete, the Kochs can suck down Canada’s cheap cruddy crude for a minimum savings of $1.27 billion in a single year.

The Kochs pocket billions while we fry: burning the Canadian tar sands reserve will, all by itself, raise the temperature of the entire planet by 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Over the life of the XL Keystone Pipeline, the various Koch operations will put at minimum …more

War Paint and Lawyers:
Rainforest Indians versus Big Oil

Greg Palast 

Greg Palast investigates for BBC Newsnight –
Chevron: “Nobody has proved that crude causes cancer.”

Wednesday, November 27 – Available on Democracy Now!

Greg getting in Canoe

BBC Television Newsnight has been able to get close-in film of a new Cofan Indian ritual deep in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest. Known as “The Filing of the Law Suit,” natives of Ecuador’s jungle, decked in feathers and war paint and heavily armed with lawyers, are filmed presenting a new complaint in their litigation seeking $12 billion from Chevron Inc., the international oil goliath.

It would all be a poignant joke – except that the indigenous tribe is suddenly the odds-on favorite to defeat the oil company known for naming its largest tanker, “Condoleezza,” after former Chevron director, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Cofan Leader CriolloRice.

For Newsnight, reporter Greg Palast, steps (somewhat inelegantly) into a dug-out log canoe to seek out the Cofan in their rainforest village to investigate their allegations. Palast discovers stinking pits of old oil drilling residue leaking into drinking water – and meets farmers whose limbs are covered in pustules.

The Cofan’s leader, Emergildo Criollo, tells Palast that when Texaco Oil, now part of Chevron, came to the village in 1972, it obtained permission to drill by offering the Indians candy and cheese. The indigenous folk threw the funny-selling cheese into the jungle.

Criollo says his three-year son died from oil contamination after, “He went swimming, then began vomiting blood.”

Flying out of the rainforest, past the Andes volcanoes, Palast gets the other side of the story in Ecuador’s capitol, Quito. “It’s the largest fraud in history!” asserts Chevron …more

Blood in Beirut: $75.05 a Barrel

Greg Palast 

mideastmapThe failure to stop the bloodletting in the Middle East, Exxon’s record second-quarter profits and Iran’s nuclear cat-and-mouse game have something in common — it’s the oil.

The Guardian

I can’t tell you how it started — this is a war that’s been fought since the Levites clashed with the Philistines — but I can tell you why the current mayhem has not been stopped. It’s the oil. …more