Uncle Sam's Crude Solution

Our answer to the war has been the $1.3 billion Plan Colombia, a program that got another $98 million early this year for protection of the Occidental works.

The Occidental pipeline made the news during the Clinton administration because Al Gore's family had been a longtime holder of Occidental stock and the company contributed to Gore's political campaigns, including his run for president.

CANADA AND MEXICO Buoyed by the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. is steadily implementing a "continental policy" of draining more and more petroleum products from the huge storage bin in the Canadian north while increasing our take from Mexico. In both places, big international oil companies call the shots.

When it comes to energy, Canada is a U.S. satrapy. American investment replaced British rule at the turn of the 20th century. By the 1970s, American companies controlled two-thirds of the fuel industry, including a good three-quarters of the petroleum-refining sector. A Standard Oil affiliate led the way. Americans owned the key long-distance oil pipeline, although the Canadian government at that time controlled the flow of natural gas.

Today, U.S. companies look forward to exploiting the oil-rich Mackenzie Delta, Arctic land encompassing parts of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, as well as harnessing Canada's substantial hydroelectric resources for New York and other East Coast cities. What's more, the industry is again considering a scheme to build a natural-gas pipeline from Alaska through Canada down toward Chicago, costing billions of dollars. Ripping up the Arctic means wholesale invasion of Inuit and other native people's lands.

What we don't get out of Canada's privatized oil industry, we will suck out of Mexico. There, the industry is controlled by a corrupt state company, but much of the oil and gas reserves are in the hands of American lessees. The idea is to gradually build up a network of pipelines leading into the southwestern U.S.

Additional research by Rebecca Winsor, Gabrielle Jackson and Waris Rashaad Banks.
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