Monday, April 9, 2012

Energy Expert’s Book Reveals Why Oil Prices Are High

Author and Blogger Raymond Learsy Interviewed About His New Book: Oil and Finance

The Great Recession and the current energy crisis have brought America to a crossroads.  Will it continue to conduct business as is or will it make dramatic changes to get the economy and the energy policy of the nation onto a healthy road toward recovery?

A new book insightfully, forcefully, and passionately condemns the oil industry, government, and Wall Street in a precision-filled attack that should enrage citizens.  Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption Continues: 2010- 2012 (Create Space, March, Trade Paperback, 240 pages, $18; ISBN: 978-1469903293) )is an eloquent and cogent call to arms by Raymond Learsy, who draws on his extensive experience in commodities trading, with expertise in the shipping of oil and liquefied natural gas cargos, to methodically identify and document the free reign given to oil companies and the transgressions of financial firms. 

Learsy regularly writes about the crude truth of oil for The Huffington Post and his writings on the international oil trade have appeared in the New York Times, Pipeline and Gas Journal, and National Review Online. His latest book, the third on the subject, provides a clear understanding of where we’ve been  -- as a nation – and where we are headed with respect to our fossil-fuel consumption, and our place on the global stage.  It uncovers the truth behind oil pricing, including its speculation and manipulation, the politics of oil and its impact on our security, oil’s influence on our domestic and foreign policies, OPEC’s unchecked power, and the menacing impact of oil on the environment.

Learsy says a barrel of oil should cost less than $30, based on historical data and key indicators.  He also believes we need to drill, baby, drill, open up nuclear power plants, investigate Wall Street’s price manipulations of oil, pass NOPEC legislation, and take advantage of the discovery of huge deposits of gas shale and engage in fracting on a wide scale.  He also calls for converting our cars and trucks to run on gas instead of oil.

His goal is to enlighten the public – to anger them – and to drive them to hold their leaders responsible.  He identifies with the Occupy Wall Street movement and believes a pervasion of misinformation clouds the public’s understanding of how oil prices are really determined.  Further, he believes willful disinformation is circulated to make consumers meekly acquiesce to a rigged, manipulated, and speculator-driven market.

“Americans have been asked to open their wallets to pay for the greed of Big Oil, the failed policies of government, and their checkered thievery of Wall Street,” says Learsy, “but now we must also open our eyes to the truth of what has fueled the current state of affairs.

“No one likes high oil prices – except for the oil industry – as inflated prices lead to higher prices not just at the pump but for almost every product or service.  It kills our economy and puts national security at risk. I hope everyone will be aware of the changes posed by the great oil conspiracy.”

Indeed, Learsy’s book reflects upon not only the causes of the problem but also provides many solutions.  Oil and Finance provides a timeline of recent history that shows how the powerful and rich have gamed a system to the detriment of the vast majority, documenting with cunning commentary and savvy wit how we’ve ended up with $4 gasoline in the United States.

This book, in chronicling the corruption of a commodity that is essential to the world’s economic well-being, should also be taken as a forewarning of -- and a wake-up call to -- what lies ahead when core commodities are subject to political maneuvers, monopoly marketing, and financial manipulation.

Below is an interview with Learsy, a client of mine at MEDIA CONNECT:
1.      Raymond, what inspired you to write your book, Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption Continues: 2010- 2012? Having spent more than a quarter of a century trading agricultural chemicals and industrial commodities including oil on a global basis I have been astounded as to how, over the last years  the formation of oil prices is being cast. Oil prices have left all anchor of supply and demand at the cost to world consumers in the trillions of dollars. That there has been no outcry nor meaningful push back to confront this distortion has angered me, and continues to anger me  to the point of trying to make people understand through my writings, how badly they are being ripped off.

2.      What do consumers need to understand when it comes to why oil is so darn expensive? Consumers have to understand that oil interests, both here and abroad depend on their ignorance of the issues at hand to perpetuate their ability to construct and continue perhaps the greatest con game in history. Consumer ignorance equals acquiescent government and its agencies, opaque trading on commodity exchanges, a department of Energy looking after the interests of the oil-gopoly and not the public, deference to the OPEC cartel, rote acceptance of oil industry banter on available supply, and an unquestioning media reduced to mouthing oil industry mantra and PR handouts, all bought and paid for by the vast wealth accumulated and accumulating by the oil-gopoly.

3.      What can be done to lower the price of oil? That all of the above be motivated into action where the consuming public’s and the national economy’s well being come first and not those of the oil barons and their cabal. There needs be a groundswell of public anger to overcome the influence of the oil interests and bring public policies in line with the public interest.

4.      How do you approach the writing process? Dealing with the issues of oil and finance there are always incidences of interest and import that occur on an almost daily basis. Since the publication of my first book, “Over a Barrel; Breaking Oil’s Grip On our Future” I have, since 2006. been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post permitting me to write about those issues current and /or in the news touching the oil industry, its interface with the financial sector, and the oil trade. Thereby real-time events form the source of much of my commentary and writing they have appeared as essays on the Huffington Post.

5.      What advice do you have or struggling writers? Believe in yourself. Once you sit down to write you will find you have much more to say than you originally imagined. Should a writing block impede your progress, go to a movie. Then come back and try again.

6.      You are publishing with Create Space. What do you make of all the changes sweeping through the book industry? Publishing with a publishing service such as Create Space gives you far greater control over your publication in terms of book design, speed of editing and all the minutiae that is part of the publishing process. Importantly for a book such as Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption Continues 2010-2012, time is of the essence. Though the issues in the book will remain both relevant and instructive the speeder they are available to readers the more effective and pertinent they will be, whereas going through the publication selection process can take months at a time.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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