by Greg Palast for Op-Ed News
When RyanCare-TrumpCare finally ended up face-down in the
swimming pool, triumphalist Democrats whooped and partied and congratulated
themselves on defeating the Trump-Ryan monstrosity.
But deep in their counting house, counting their gold, three brothers cackled with private jubilation.
David and Charles Koch knew the day was theirs.
Joining them in the celebration was Brother Billy, William Koch, who will share in their $21 billion windfall that the President arranged for them only hours before TrumpCare crashed--when Trump announced his State Department had formally approved the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Let's start with that $21 billion.
The XL Keystone Pipeline would take the world's heaviest, filthiest crude from Canada's tar sands, and snake with it all the way down to Texas.
[Watch this clip from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
Now here's a question I never hear from our sleep-walking media: Exactly why are we sending oil all the way across the United States to Texas. I mean, doesn't Texas already have a little oil?
In fact, Texas is drowning in oil, choking in it. But the Kochs' Texas refinery can't use much local crude. The Koch Industries Flint Hills refinery on the Texas Gulf Coast was designed specifically to crack only the world's "heaviest" (i.e. filthiest) crude.
Texas crude ain't heavy enough, ain't dirty enough, for the Kochs' Gulf Coast operation, originally designed for imports for the world's major source of heavy crude: Venezuela. The price the Kochs paid for Venezuela's oil was set by its President Hugo Chavez, and now, by Chavez' chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro.
Chavez and Maduro both told me they'd squeeze the Kochs by their tankers. They have.
Enter the Mounties: Canadians sell their super-heavy crude at a $12 to $30 a barrel discount to the Venezuelan price. If the XL Pipeline is complete, the Kochs can suck down Canada's cheap cruddy crude for a minimum savings of $1.27 billion in a single year.
The Kochs pocket billions while we fry: burning the Canadian tar sands reserve will, all by itself, raise the temperature of the entire planet by 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Over the life of the XL Keystone Pipeline, the various Koch operations will put at minimum, $21 billion in Koch family pockets. Because we have to add in not only Charles' and David's gains, but Brother Billy's windfall as well"