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Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 2,894
Loc: Earth
Bush warns 'oil overcharge' firm
    #2174918 - 12/13/03 04:36 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)



US President George W Bush says he expects an oil company once run by his vice-president to return money if it has overcharged for services in Iraq.
Dick Cheney used to head Halliburton, which is under contract to deliver fuel to the US military in Iraq.

A Pentagon audit confirmed that a Halliburton subsidiary - Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) - overcharged the department for some of its deliveries.

KBR insists it has acted in accordance with its contractual responsibilities.

If there is an overcharge, like we think there is, we expect that money to be repaid
President Bush
Pentagon officials will not divulge the amount of money involved, but correspondents say the figure is around $61m.
They also said the firm had been planning to charge $67m too much for another contract to supply cafeteria services.

The officials said KBR was not suspected of having profited improperly but may have failed to monitor the performance of its subcontractors.

The Pentagon was working with KBR to resolve the fuel-pricing issue, they added.

Stupid mistakes?

The BBC's Nick Childs in the Pentagon says the controversy comes at a difficult time for the Bush administration, which is under fire for limiting bids on a new round of Iraq contracts to countries which supported the US-led war there.

George W Bush is preventing entire nations from bidding on contracts in Iraq so his campaign contributors can continue to overcharge the American taxpayers
Democrat Howard Dean
"If there is an overcharge, like we think there is, we expect that money to be repaid," President Bush said.
But Democrat opponents have been quick to renew their charges that the administration is guilty of favouring corporate interests close to the Republican Party.

"George W Bush is preventing entire nations from bidding on contracts in Iraq so his campaign contributors can continue to overcharge the American taxpayers," said presidential hopeful Howard Dean while campaigning in the state of Iowa.

However, one defence official was quoted as saying there was no reason to believe the problems were anything other than "stupid mistakes" by the firm.

Reacting to the accusations of overcharging, Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said she was confident the company would be able to stand up to any audit of its work in Iraq.

"KBR has acted in full accordance with its fiduciary and contractual responsibilities under the contract," she told Reuters news agency.

No-bid contract

Halliburton says that the dangers of transporting oil to Iraq make it necessary to charge high prices.

Ms Hall said more than 20 of the company's trucks had been damaged or stolen and that nine drivers had been injured and one killed bringing fuel into Iraq.

Halliburton was awarded a contract - for which it did not have to compete against other firms - to rebuild Iraq's oil industry.

The company has received $2bn in work since it was given the contract in March, the Reuters news agency reports.

Some of the fuel payments to Halliburton come out of the Development Fund for Iraq which is meant to pay for humanitarian efforts in the country.

Iraq has one of the world's largest oil reserves but must import fuel because its infrastructure was seriously damaged by more than a decade of sanctions and war.

And for those of you who don't like the BBC:

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Registered: 06/02/02
Posts: 1,462
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Re: Bush warns 'oil overcharge' firm [Re: daussaulit]
    #2175042 - 12/13/03 05:25 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

It's nice to know that Bush has the average American taxpayer's interests at heart.

:sleepingcow:  :penguinmonkey: :blah:


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Registered: 11/05/03
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Re: Bush warns 'oil overcharge' firm [Re: MetaShroom]
    #2175318 - 12/13/03 08:17 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

I'm glad that bush warned HAlliburton. I think that the possibility of price-gouging should be looked into. However, I do agree with H's assertion that they should make a bit more money hauling oil into a place where Americans are attacked and killed daily, rather than to a gas station in Nebraska.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

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Two inch dick..but it spins!?

Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,239
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Bush warns 'oil overcharge' firm [Re: daussaulit]
    #2208066 - 12/29/03 05:38 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

So much for another attempt to smear both Bush and Cheney.

Monday Dec. 29, 2003; 4:13 p.m. EST
NY Times: No Evidence of Halliburton Profiteering

A comprehensive investigation into Halliburton's multibillion-dollar contract to restore Iraq's oil infrastructure shows "no evidence of profiteering" by the Houston-based oil services company.

That's the verdict by the New York Times, which assigned its Whitewater sleuth Jeff Gerth and investigative ace Don Van Atta to lay bare all the tawdry details of how Vice President Dick Cheney's former company was reaping big-bucks profits from sweetheart deals imagined by Democrats.

One problem: Gerth and Van Atta found almost nothing for Dems to hang their hats on. In fact, not only couldn't the Times find any evidence that Halliburton was stuffing its pockets under-the-table - even the aboveboard revenue collected by the company hasn't been much to write home about.

"So far this year, Halliburton's profits from Iraq have been minimal," the Times admitted. "The company's latest report to the Securities and Exchange Commission shows $1.3 billion in revenues from work in Iraq and $46 million in pretax profits for the first nine months of 2003."

That's a slender 3.5 percent margin, hardly enough to make any self-respecting war profiteer look twice. No wonder this story hasn't been leading TV and radio news reports all day.

Too be sure, Times editors did their best to make it sound as if something fishy was going on. The report's front-page headline - "Halliburton Contracts in Iraq: The Struggle to Manage Costs" - gave no clue to the exoneration that followed.

And subheadlines like "Little Public Disclosure" and "An Absence of Competition" hinted darkly of shady deals where Cheney's friends were lining their pockets with blood money.

But even the Times had to admit that Halliburton's original Iraq contract was won "in a bidding process in December 2001."

What about that widely cited report last month claiming the company had overpaid by as much as 100 percent for Kuwaiti gasoline? Turns out that news is pretty much a political bust, too.

Company spokeswoman Wendy Hall explained that the Army Corps of Engineers needed the fuel imported to Iraq within 24-hours - not much time to launch a competitive bidding process.

"There's a premium for getting it done fast," explained Gordon Adams, a military procurement expert at George Washington University.

Anyone who disagrees ought to try sending all their mail by next-day-air and see what happens to their postage budget.

Another factor that sent job cost estimates through the roof: sabotage by terrorists.

"As the war wound down, more work came [Halliburton subsidiary] KBR's way, mostly because of acts of sabotage on pipelines and Iraq's oil facilities," the Times noted. "When security problems made the production of fuel inside Iraq even more difficult -- leading to shortages -- the government asked Halliburton to import fuel."

If the Times' report on Cheney's old company is the best the Democrats can do, it's time for Terry McAuliffe to begin searching for a new campaign boogeyman ASAP.

Cry in your beers libbies.

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers

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