From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this thorough, readable takedown of Big Oil, the most profitable industry in the world, Juhasz (The Bush Agenda) exposes the ways in which a half dozen oil companies have achieved control over American families and U.S. politics, triggering environmental and humanitarian catastrophes they have no intention of resolving. Within 10 years of Standard Oil's founding in 1870, John D. Rockefeller monopolized the refining, marketing and output of U.S. oil; ever since 1890's Sherman Antitrust Act split the company into small constituent parts, oil players have scrambled to evade regulation, regather into ever-larger corporations and regain the ability to set prices and control output. Debunking industry claims over recent oil price escalation, Juhasz exposes how Big Oil has used techniques like speculative futures markets and the "Enron Loophole"--along with massive operations opacity--to reap record profits year after year while growing their political influence; indeed, Juhasz locates the current "oiligarchy" making "the most pressing decisions of our time" from inside George W. Bush's White House, crafting policy and advocating war. Calling for a "Separation of Oil and State," this excellent, wide-ranging study of disastrous monopoly capitalism should shake up notions that major energy players are interested in any alternative to more oil, money and power.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Juhasz is a leading activist and expert on international trade and the author of The Bush Agenda (2006). Her indictment of Big Oil traces its anticompetitive roots back to the founding of Standard Oil by John D. Rockefeller in the late 1800s. Standard Oil was broken up by the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, and the majority of the today’s well-known oil companies are its descendants, which have merged into giants once again. Juhasz shows how these corporate interests wield power in Washington, influence the energy-futures markets, deny global climate change, and obstruct the development of alternative fuels. George W. Bush received more financial support from the oil and gas industry than any candidate in history and named more than 30 energy-industry executives to key positions in his administration. As a result, the oil companies have received access to national lands to drill for oil, billions in corporate welfare, and the easing of environmental regulations. Juhasz advocates a course to reduce Big Oil’s stranglehold on our government and create an energy policy that would reduce consumption of fossil fuels and promote greener alternatives. --David Siegfried