Monday, April 30, 2012

"Big Oil" tries a little responsibilty deflection...

Recently I was hit with a number of promotional tweets for Who Owns Big Oil, a marketing site that tells us that Big Oil is not owned primarily by executives and individual investors, but more by us regular Joes and Janes through pension plans, 401Ks etc. A little deflection going on here don’t you think? It’s no secret that many pension plans and other mutual funds invest in energy companies and they have a right to say so if they want. And any business has the right to promote itself. But what the marketers are doing is trying the implant in your mind that since you “own” oil companies through your pension plan, then any criticism against them and anything that limits their profits (such as taxes and subsidy rollbacks) is an attack on you personally and a threat to your retirement. It’s pretty disingenuous too to call you an owner, after all how much say in their operations do you think you have if you have if you’re one of these plans? And if you own a piece, why can’t you have a say through regulations passed by elected representatives? And do their lobbyists take your concerns into account when schmoozing our so-called elected reps?  Look, there’s a certain pizza place we frequent that has good food and service, that doesn’t mean I would demand that the township look the other way if they were dumping their garbage in the local park.

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