Although it sounds like something straight out of a movie, it’s real… when the oil giants like Chevron or Exxon-Mobil want to move in on a new oil reserve in places like the Middle East, Asia, or Africa, the first call they usually make isn’t to the government office putting it up for sale, it’s to an elite group of “fixers.”
Fixers are the shady powerful billionaire contacts oil companies use to get things done. They get a flat fee for doing whatever it takes to get the oil rights for an oil company. What they are capable of is unimaginable but quite real.
Unlike in the US, the oil rights in developing nations are mostly held by the, so getting those means having major connections with the right officials – and having enough money to lure the rights away.
Ken Silverstein details this sleazy world in his new book The Secret World of Oil.
So, why does this matter? Why should we care? It doesn’t involve us, does it? Actually, it does. This degree of illegal activity exposed only demonstrates how corrupt the oil and gas companies are and how much power they have to dictate the paradigm. Keeping the world dependent on fossil fuel and then controlling that supply very tightly makes it very difficult for change to occur.
In fact, the 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? Demonstrated the power that the automobile manufacturers, the US government, and the oil industry had to keep the electric car from being a reality two decades ago and how the role of renewable energy and sustainable living has been an uphill battle because it interferes with the profits of some of the most lucrative industries in the world.
Many of us bash the oil and gas companies, most often when we are at the gas pump, but too often we shrug our shoulders and consider them a necessary evil. But are they?