THE GREAT ENERGY SCAM: Private Billions vs. Public Good by Fred J. Cook

THE GREAT ENERGY SCAM: Private Billions vs. Public Good

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Still another exposÉ of Big Oil--strident and, at this date, superfluous. The energy crises of the 1970s were in fact nonexistent, crusading journalist Cook proclaims, since supplies of crude oil were plentiful. But refineries cut output, tanker transit times were doubled, loading and unloading were delayed, ships full of refined oil were diverted to the lucrative European spot market. The purpose of all this Big Oil manipulation: to force Congress to decontrol oil prices; to squeeze out the independent oil companies; to jack up prices to a level where uncompetitive synthetic fuels would pose an attractive alternative; and, finally, to lay the blame on OPEC. Big Oil profits were ""mind-boggling,"" while oil price rises exacerbated already developing recessions. Big Oil got away with it, Cook maintains, by having the Energy Department in its pocket and with the (unwitting?) connivance of Jimmy Carter. Also on the docket: the Daisy Chain--by which price-controlled ""old"" oil was laundered into world-market-priced ""new"" oil; natural gas and the similar drive for decontrol (domestic reserves are vastly greater than Big Oil will admit); the Alaskan gas pipeline (a boondoggle); and synthetic fuels (uneconomic until the price of oil reaches $78 a barrel). A mix of clichÉs, slogans, and righteous ire with real abuses--which, however, have been expertly scrutinized from Christopher Rand's 1975 Making Democracy Safe for Oil onward.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Macmillan