Public Utilities scandal coming full circle as we get “Taken For a Ride” again

If you haven’t watched the movie “Taken For a Ride”, let me get you up to speed. I believe we are in the midst of yet another public utilities scandal. In 1922 only one American in 10 owned an auto. Rail was the method of transportation. There were efficient, quiet and electric.  Alfred P. Sloan (General Motors President) wanted more automobile market share, so he planned to have the buses replace the space where the trolleys ran.

Once that trolley space was gone, folks would then prefer cars over buses, so he bought the largest bus operating company in the country AND he bought the largest bus-production company. Then GM moved to Manhattan. GM acquired interests in NY railways and destroyed the rails between 1926-1936.

GM placed ads showing motorization as the wave of the future (kinda like all the darn natural gas ads you see today). In the mid 1930’s, the GM ads portrayed a trend away from rail when that was NOT the trend (like how the tobacco industry lied about cigarettes being safe). The Yellow Coach buses, a GM subsidiary, replaced the street cars city by city.

A front company for GM was formed called “National City Lines”. Along with GM was Standard Oil of Calif, Mack Truck, Philips Petroleum, and Firestone Tires. Together they financially provided backing for this front company. Roy Fitzgerald was groomed to be president of this company and he was portrayed as a poor farm boy rising through the ranks.

In first killing off the street cars (that USED to be efficient and profitable), they manipulated the street cars so that they were slower and provide less service stops so that they no longer were profitable. The buses then became a growing business and by 1946, the buses controlled public transportation in over 83 cities.

The Justice Dept. investigated the dethroned electric street car system in the huge, public utilities scandal. Due to the lack of anti-trust laws on the books saying “thou shall not destroy street car systems”, they were only able to fine each company $5,000 on a criminal antitrust conspiracy judgement for monopolizing the local transportation field.

I see how today a handful of corporate (big oil and gas) interests try to derail sustainable energy choices (with fracking) and that we (our politicians) have not learned to protect the fate of the majority (our clean air and water) from influential corporate interests. I bet we wouldn’t have all the vehicle pollution problems of today if those rails had flourished and kept expanding!


About Kim Triolo Feil

Since TX Statute 253.005 forbids drilling in heavily settled municipalities, I unsuccessfully ran for City Council Seat to try to enforce this. Since Urban Drilling, our drinking water has almost tripled for TTHM's. Before moving to Arlington in 1990, I lived in Norco’s “cancer alley”, a refinery town. It was only after Urban Drilling in Arlington did I start having health effects. After our drill site was established closest to my home, the chronic nosebleeds started. I know there are more canaries here in Arlington having reactions to our industrialized airshed (we have 55-60 padsites of gas wells). Come forward and report to me those having health issues especially if you live to the north/northwest of a drill site so I can map your health effects on this blog. My youtube account is KimFeilGood. FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. MATERIAL FROM DIVERSE AND SOMETIMES TEMPORARY SOURCES IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE IN A PERMANENT UNIFIED MANNER, AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH EMINENT DOMAIN AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE (AMONG OTHER THINGS). IT IS BELIEVED THAT THIS IS A 'FAIR USE' OF THE INFORMATION AS ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 USC SECTION 107, THE SITE IS MAINTAINED WITHOUT PROFIT FOR THOSE WHO ACCESS IT FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/ TO USE MATERIAL REPRODUCED ON THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES THAT GO BEYOND 'FAIR USE', PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER INDICATED WITH A NAME AND INTERNET LINK AT THE END OF EACH ITEM. (NOTE: THE TEXT OF THIS NOTICE WAS ALSO LIFTED FROM CORRIDORNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM)
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1 Response to Public Utilities scandal coming full circle as we get “Taken For a Ride” again

  1. agelbert writes…….
    “I am reposting this from a post I made at the Doomstead Diner to underscore the point I made about the distortion of the prudent use and production of energy to transform it into an income stream fro the 1% at the expense of most people and the environment. Energy doesn’t have anything to do with it and greed has everything to do with it.

    I always get strange looks when I talk about two different, seemingly unrelated, historically important events going on in exactly the same time period. It’s as if the propagandists writing the history books and the news have blunted people’s ability to think. Never mind critical thinking. That’s even more nearly impossible now.

    Some things people do not want to think about:
    1) During the Great Depression the U.S. government spent massive amounts of money to develop the bomb while people were literally starving. This went on for several years. During the 1930s the knowledge of the photoelectric effect was old hat (Einstein described it right after the turn of the century!) but somehow it was only developed when it was needed in space.

    2) During the 1970s the incredibly efficient heat deflecting tiles on the space shuttle were perfected. This technology would have wiped out 70% of heating and cooling costs in the USA if it had been released to the public during the oil shocks of the 70s. From refrigerator/freezer insulation to house insulation to keep heat in or hot weather out, we would have been well on the road to energy independence. I even asked a NASA rep at their public presentation at Cape Kennedy in 1980 before the first shuttle flight (the speaker would torch a six inch tile he was holding which would get red hot inches from his fingers and just as quickly dissipate before reaching them. The part of the ceramic foam tile he held remained cool while he kept the blow torch inches away on the red hot section for at least 5 minutes) why this wasn’t available to the public for energy saving. :-[ You guessed it; the old “national security” trick. It was more like the old “big oil runs the USA” trick. :evil4:

    3) How about those nifty ski lifts and gondolas that have been around forever? The cabling strength needed was old hat towards the end of the 19th century as was the ability to power the gondola from a fixed point with pulleys. Consider how ridiculously easy it would have been to string these things across cities and neighborhoods joining shopping and work areas. Consider the difference in energy use of moving just the people and a gondola versus a 4,000 pound car or public buses that weigh much more; the oil pigs at work again, I suspect.

    4) Since the 1980s the technology to have computer controlled automactic sails providing over 50% of the power for ships has been available. The Japanese even made a sail assisted oil tanker. Now why do you suppose a proven technology like sails married to computers isn’t common?

    Frankly, when you start looking at the USA as an oil oligarchy type dictatorship since around 1913, all foreign policy and most of the technology that has been allowed domestically becomes quite understandable. The pieces begin to fall into place. Those are the dots the media propagandists work overtime to prevent anyone from connecting. That also explains the theft of the elections. The fossil fuel pigs just will not let go of the oil piggery (even if it kills us). Although the blue team is almost as corrupt as the red team, it’s the red team that fields the most BUSHwhackers for oil so that explains the Republican wins.

    And here we are with peak oil and what does NASA do to help convince us to switch to renewables? Whatever big oil tells them to.
    NASA scientists on the mars robot teams acted all surprised when the solar panels lasted several years instead of the “projected six months”. Of course they knew they would last but it wouldn’t look good to celebrate solar panel technology in a harsh martian environment, now would it. So, they claim it’s a fluke. Liars for oil goons is what they are.

    All of this came together for me whe I read ‘The Tyranny of Oil’ by Antonia Juhas”

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