First, there was Vulture Capitalism and now there is Darkside and the Oil industry socking it to the consumer

Ok, everybody may not see it the same way I do about the first part of this title. However, this is my take on this latest “disaster” and it is based on facts as detailed in the several links at the bottom of the article.

However, let’s start with vulture capitalism. Vulture capitalism is in essence the opposite of the real idea of industry and innovation. It is basically the deconstruction of a business. Investors swoop in and basically destroy the business as a whole and sell off its parts, doing away with any remaining viability of the original enterprise. Probably legal, but it has always struck me as being at least questionable ethically.

But now, the “business world” has gone a step or three further into abuse and we have Darkside (logo above). Let’s look at what Darkside did this past week or so.

First of all, Darkside didn’t steal a single ounce of oil. All the oil in the Colonial Pipeline is still there. What they stole were the digital records pertaining to how much oil there was and so forth. In other words, they stole the intellectual property….the numbers and stats. Repeat, the oil is still in the pipeline and will be available for sale to the American people.

The way the oil company “lost” was that Darkside, in essence, is like the mobsters in a crime movie that sells protection. They went to the oil company and said we have all this data on what is in the pipes, and unless you pay us 5 million dollars, we will publish it and make things hard for you.

Now, the oil company paid up. They bought the protection policy. Remember, it was 5 million dollars. However, they also decided to hold that oil, and somehow allowed the information to be published which lead to the consumers panicking. What happens when people panic? They start hoarding the product, in this case, gas. We have all seen the headlines of people filling every available container, including plastic bags. What happens when demand goes up and pumps start running out? The price goes up.

So what has actually happened is that Darkside and the way the oil companies reacted to that, publicly and privately led to the prices going up at the gas stations. If the thought was that the oil companies deserved to win back their 5 million dollars, it is my contention that has already happened.

However, I am not at all convinced that gas prices are going to go back down based on that simple fact. The oil companies like making money and I do not for one moment trust them to simply recover their 5 million and go back to normal. They have always shown a willingness to gouge the consumer at the gas pumps whenever able to get away with it, with any kind of justification at all.

Since, as I have said in a previous post, the gas companies have a virtual monopoly in this country because of all the lobbyists they have, and the money they invest in our political process, they have an unfair advantage in the marketplace. We really are currently over a barrel, pun intended.

Let it be said, Darkside is illegal. What they are doing is illegal. Their assurances of dealing fairly with customers (ie their victims) is suspect at least. However, the oil industry is also culpable as far as the increase in price is concerned. They are continuing to show their greed at every opportunity. Yes, they were blackmailed. Yes, they paid out 5 million for what amounts to “protection”. However, they are also using the situation to get more money out of the consumer.

I will be watching, and trying to buy as little gas as possible until the prices go back down to what they were before this disruption. I advise others to do the same. The FBI has investigated and there will be legal consequences for Darkside. However we have the ability to curb the greed of the gas industry at the gas pumps via 1. not buying any more gas than we have to at the high prices and 2. moving, as suggested in the previous article, to move to clean and renewable energy as a replacement for dependence on the ecology destroying gutting of natural resources that leads to pollution and horrible chemicals that damage water, air, our health, and finally the environment and wildlife as well.

We have an opportunity to actually do something about what is being done to us if we have the will.

66 and retired, and living my dream free, knowing that only by working with a union am I fortunate enough to be able to be where I am.