Saturday, May 8, 2010

A war with the neighbor is awful but less bad than a civil war

I just read a post in a blog that seemed to imply that Ghana and the Ivory Coast might fight over some border oil. No matter how sad that sounds it is nonetheless a thousand times better than the internal low intensity civil or uncivil wars for the oil revenues that will occur within the countries themselves… unless they can find an expedite and just way to distribute the oil revenues directly to the citizens.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A partial objection to the S. 2971 ‘Energy Security Through Transparency Act' currently being discussed in the US senate:

The Act reads: "SEC. 408. SENSE OF CONGRESS RELATING TO TRANSPARENCY FOR EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES: (2) the United States Government should commit to global leadership of transparency in extractive industries by supporting-- (A) multilateral pro-transparency efforts, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, in revenue collection, budgeting, expenditure, and wealth management"
Now the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has, as it 2nd Principle, “We affirm that management of natural resource wealth for the benefit of a country’s citizens is in the domain of sovereign governments to be exercised in the interests of their national development.”
Given that the oil in the US was and is exploited mainly by the private sector we do not understand how the US could lend support to such a principle.
And many of us oil-cursed citizens, though we certainly support and are appreciative of some of the initiatives of EITI, we do hope that the US will not support anything that has as a stated principle that oiligarchs, petrocrats or vulgar oil-thugs, and who feel themselves independently wealthy and consider most often us citizens as a nuisance, have to manage the natural resources in our interest.

EITI and Natural Resource Charter, I dare you to do a Full Monty on oil revenue transparency!

You, oil consumers of Europe wanting to solve our oil-curse with more transparency, why do you not dare to be real transparent about it and confess that you at your gas pumps are capturing much more of its value than what is received by the country who sacrifices its natural resource for ever… often only to end up depositing those lesser funds in the consuming countries banks.

You tell me… NGOs from Europe, why should I trust you good hearted oil curse fighters from consumer nations? Have you ever spoken out against your governments capturing too much of the value of the gasoline/petrol we give up for ever at your pumps?

What might be lost to corruption in the transaction between oil companies and the petrocrats, oligarchs or simple oil thugs of our governments, is but a fraction of what you collect in gasoline/petrol consumptions taxes at your pumps… often pouring salt in the injury arguing it is because you want to protect the environment, while at the same time subsidizing your dirty coal behind our backs.