British Petroleum Sued for Price Gouging and Market Manipulation
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Presses Forward With Boycott
CHICAGO, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The following press release is being issued by Rainbow/PUSH Coalition: In a stunning development, federal investigators from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged British Petroleum (BP) with price manipulation. BP's alleged price manipulation conspiracy allowed it to corner the U.S. propane market in the winter of 2004 and drive up heating costs and enhance their profit margin by some $20 million. Already, several BP traders have pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulate the market or are facing charges. "This is yet another example of BP's pattern of Enron-like greed, gouging and price manipulation. It strengthens our case to target BP with direct action until the price of gas and energy come down," said Reverend Jesse L. Jackson. "BP is a key multi-national player in the global energy market," said Janice Mathis, vice president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. "There is tremendous speculation in oil futures that is going unchecked. Congress must act to regular the future trading market of gas and energy to prevent BP and Big Oil for manipulating supply and demand to gouge consumers and hike profits," indicated Janice Mathis, the vice president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Rainbow/PUSH, clergy and other organizations have launched a boycott campaign against BP, citing: 1. Gouging and Greed: BP is a leader in Enron-like price gouging and market manipulation -- in addition to the latest charges, it has been fined in New Jersey and was hit with market manipulation along with Enron during the California energy crisis in 2001-02. The oil industry made nearly $100 billion in profits in 2005. BP made windfall profits of $5.3 billion in the first quarter of this year. It gave its CEO $20 million in compensation last year, while consumers suffer at the pump. 2. Safety and Environmental Violations: BP has one of the worst health, safety and environmental records; it received a record $21.7 million fine for its Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 and injured dozens. BP suffered a previous explosion at this refinery killing two, and was cited in Toledo, Ohio for similar violations. It is under investigation for spilling in the Alaska oil pipeline and for spewing benzene (a carcinogen) from its Texas City refinery. It may face possible criminal charges in the Texas City explosion. "Don't buy gas at BP. It's bad for your health," concluded Rev. Jackson. 3. Race Discrimination: BP has the largest share of the African American market, yet demonstrates a pattern of race discrimination: of a total of 800, BP has ZERO African American distributors; does less than 1/3 of 1% procurement with minority businesses. It has few to ZERO people of color in its senior executive ranks. 4. Political Corruption: Big Oil has made huge political contributions -- $190 million since 1990, 75% to Republicans -- to insure that Big Oil's interest are placed above the public's interest: VP Cheney's secret meetings with Enron and other oil executives to set energy policy, last year's energy bill that gave Big Oil $2.6 billion in tax breaks, and blocking efforts to place a tax on their $60 billion windfall profits, Big Oil exerts undue influenced over Congress. "We must break Big Oil's control over our Congress, and develop a strategy and commitment to energy independence, research and development of alternative, sustainable sources of energy," commented Rev. Jackson. Reverend Jackson concluded, "We are going to engage in direct action against BP to change their behavior: BP should be indicted for criminal negligence; government regulations and a cap must be instated to stop price gouging and market manipulation, and oil companies must pay a windfall tax on their super-profits. BP must stop discriminating against potential minority distributors and businesses. We must break the political influence of Big Oil on Congress and our elected officials -- independently, we will stand up for consumers and businesses being hurt by these oil companies and their profit machine." The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization that seeks to protect civil rights, even the economic and educational playing fields in all aspects of American life and bring peace to the world. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago, please see www.rainbowpush.org, or telephone (773) 373-3366. To interview Rev. Jackson on this topic, please call one of the numbers listed above. Contact Butch Wing at 510-701-8955 email@example.com Jerry Thomas at 773-256-2714 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
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