Synopses & Reviews
Why are oil and gas prices so high?
Who's really controlling those prices?
How much oil is left?
How far will Big Oil go to get it?
And at what cost to the environment, human rights, the economy, worker safety, public health, and democracy?
The answers aren't what you think. They're much worse. But there's also plenty that we can do about it.
As oil prices and public outrage skyrocket, Antonia Juhasz, a leading industry critic and expert on corporations and globalization, gives us the hardest-hitting expose of the oil industry in decades. In The Tyranny of Oil she investigates the true state of the U.S. oil industry uncovering its virtually unparalleled global power, influence over our elected officials, and lack of regulatory oversight, as well as the truth behind $150-a-barrel oil, $4.50-a-gallon gasoline, and the highest profit in corporate history. Exposing an industry that thrives on secrecy, Juhasz shows how Big Oil manages to hide its business dealings from policy makers, legislators, and, most of all, consumers. She reveals exactly how Big Oil gets what it wants through money, influence, and lies.
The Tyranny of Oil offers both a new take on problems and a new set of solutions as Juhasz puts forward an immediate call to action a formula for reining in the industry, its governmental lobbying power, environmental destruction, and violence while reducing global dependence on oil. Her thought-provoking answers to the most pressing energy questions speak directly to readers concerned about oil and gas prices, global warming, wars for oil, and America's place in the world. With the major players in the world's most powerful industry charged with collusion, price-gouging, anticompetitive behavior, and unabashed greed, Juhasz calls boldly for the breakup of Big Oil.
Drawing on considerable historical research, Juhasz explores the parallels between today's companies and Standard Oil, the most powerful corporation of the early twentieth century, whose stranglehold on the economy and government was broken only by the vision and persistence of activists and like-minded politicians. We are in a similar position today, she argues, with powerful opportunities available for ordinary Americans to come together, reclaim their voices, and shore up our nation's crumbling democratic foundation.
A tool for meaningful change that blends history, original investigative research and reporting, candid interviews with key insiders, and a unique focus on activism, The Tyranny of Oil is required reading for every concerned global citizen.
"In this thorough, readable takedown of Big Oil, the most profitable industry in the world, Juhasz (The Bush Agenda) exposes the ways in which a half dozen oil companies have achieved control over American families and U.S. politics, triggering environmental and humanitarian catastrophes they have no intention of resolving. Within 10 years of Standard Oil's founding in 1870, John D. Rockefeller monopolized the refining, marketing and output of U.S. oil; ever since 1890's Sherman Antitrust Act split the company into small constituent parts, oil players have scrambled to evade regulation, regather into ever-larger corporations and regain the ability to set prices and control output. Debunking industry claims over recent oil price escalation, Juhasz exposes how Big Oil has used techniques like speculative futures markets and the 'Enron Loophole'?along with massive operations opacity?to reap record profits year after year while growing their political influence; indeed, Juhasz locates the current 'oiligarchy' making 'the most pressing decisions of our time' from inside George W. Bush's White House, crafting policy and advocating war. Calling for a 'Separation of Oil and State,' this excellent, wide-ranging study of disastrous monopoly capitalism should shake up notions that major energy players are interested in any alternative to more oil, money and power." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[T]his white-hot polemic explores many of the industry's complex and secret practices, including zone pricing, which sets wholesale and company-owned gas-station prices according to geographic zones." Kirkus Reviews
“Juhasz bravely and expertly exposes the inner workings of an industry and a government riddled with secrets, lies, and deception.”
—Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers
In the tradition of the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Antonia Juhaszs The Tyranny of Oil offers a chilling exposé of the modern American oil industry and its dire abuse of power. A leading international trade and finance policy expert and the author of The Bush Agenda, Juhasz presents eye-opening truths about a potentially catastrophic global energy crisis that only promises to get much worse in the coming years—and provides possible solutions for meaningful change. Terry Tamminen, former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, calls The Tyranny of Oil “a bold blueprint for ending the madness,” and the Christian Science Monitor tells us, “a good first step toward true energy independence is to read this insightful book.”
About the Author
Antonia Juhasz is a leading oil industry, international trade, and finance policy expert and the author of The Bush Agenda. A fellow with Oil Change International and the Institute for Policy Studies, she has served as an aide to two members of Congress and holds a master's degree in public policy from Georgetown University. Juhasz is an award-winning writer and frequent media commentator and her work has been featured in dozens of publications, including the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Petroleum Review Magazine, as well as Alternet.org. She has appeared on Kudlow & Company, National Public Radio's Diane Rehm Show and Marketplace, Washington Journal, Hannity & Colmes, and Democracy Now!, among many other shows. She lives in San Francisco, California.