Here in Los Angeles, gas is running about $4.15 a gallon cash price, and as fuel prices rise, so does the costs of food and everything else. In GasHole, using interviews and witty archival footage, directors Scott D. Roberts and Jeremy Wagener, take us on a rollicking and insightful ride through the history of oil prices and the manipulations involved to keep prices high and profits flowing.
Along with exploring Standard Oil’s monopoly and subsequent break up, the OPEC crisis of 1973 (gas lines!), and the effect of Katrina on oil prices, GasHole also takes a fascinating look at the squelching of alternative combustion engines. A witness claims to have seen the water based engine, the patent for which was allegedly bought by Shell and has never seen the light of day. There’s the research by the oil companies themselves which showed that engines could be built to get 150 miles per gallon. And then there’s the disturbing story of Tom Ogle, a gearhead who built an engine that could get 100 miles per gallon. He ended up dead of an overdose in the desert, while a man who had followed Ogle’s efforts and tried to build a similar engine claims he was intimidated and followed by thugs.
It’s clear that oil companies have a huge stake in keeping gas prices high. And thus in war.
Please welcome tonight’s guests, Scott D. Roberts and Jeremy Wagener.