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Raymond J. Learsy Headshot

Will Chuck Hagel Be the Oil Producers' Plant in Our Government?

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Chuck Hagel needs be asked many questions but one overriding issue is Hagel's relationship to the interests of the oil producers from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and on. Questions to the formation of oil prices, and the interests generally of the oil and gas industry whose history has proven all too often at variance with the American public's interests.

The question is raised because Hagel is serving as a Board Member of one the oil industry's most aggressively international oil companies, Chevron Petroleum. Chevron has deep ties to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with its fifty percent interest in the highly productive "partitioned zone," with Chevron's five-year technology collaboration agreement with Saudi Aramco, with oil production in Venezuela, etc.

Chuck Hagel has been a board member of Chevron since 2010. On July 17, 2011 the Wall Street Journal's article "Chevron's Email 'Oops' Reveals Energy Giants Sway Over Markets" showed that Chevron traders were holding oil and product contracts of 27 million barrels in the physical and derivatives markets (an amount exceeding the total daily consumption of the United States by some 8 million barrels), taking Chevron's trading far beyond the realm of hedging into the realm of pure speculation with an insider's knowledge of the markets in play. And all this with their Board's approval?

Board members of the large oil companies know the role that oil producers such as Saudi Arabia play in keeping oil prices high through the machinations of the OPEC cartel. In a sense, their own bread and butter is aligned with the pricing policies of such as Saudi Arabia/OPEC that can push the price of oil ever higher.

Here we have the reverse of the old adage, "What's good for General Motors is good for America." Rather here we can say "What's Good for Chevron and the Oil Companies is bad for America." As a board member of Chevron, Hagel has played an important role in the fleecing of American pocketbooks. And now he is to be rewarded by being vested as our Secretary of Defense?

Watch out America!