Thursday, June 21, 2007

 

Selling out to Big Oil

A headline designed to p*** you off:

Big Oil Companies Spared Tax Hikes

Leading Democrats wanted to stick it to Big Oil but predictably:

“Republicans blocked a proposal Thursday to tax the oil industry an additional $29 billion…”

This did not please a certain someone:

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., chastised Republicans for caving into pressure from oil companies in blocking the tax provisions…”

Some details:

“It would have rescinded a tax break given to oil companies in 2004 that was primarily aimed at helping domestic manufacturing; increased taxes paid under an oil spill liability law; and eliminated existing tax credits involving foreign oil production.”

That 2004 tax break won Senate approval 69-17…but it would have been only 68-18 if one Harry Reid hadn’t apparently caved “into pressure from oil companies” by voting for it. U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote

“Another measure also would have imposed a new excise tax on oil produced from the Gulf of Mexico to recoup $10.7 billion in royalties the government has been unable to retrieve because of flawed oil leasing contracts issued in 1998-99.”

A little civics lesson here – lease and royalty agreements in the Gulf of Mexico are negotiated and signed for by our very own Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior is part of the Executive branch and the Secretary is a Cabinet member. In 1998 and 1999, that Secretary was Bruce Babbit, a Democrat, appointed by then-President Bill Clinton, another Democrat.

But it’s those damn Republicans caving into Big Oil…

Side Note: “The tax package was aimed at channeling billions of dollars to subsidize windmills, hybrid cars and other alternative energy resources.”

Well, we already know where we can’t put the windmills, the hybrids seem to be primarily self-congratulatory tax breaks for the wealthy who can afford the foreign-produced, non-union made units and the catchall “alternative energy sources” presumably doesn’t include nuclear or drilling at ANWR. (sigh) Isn’t it just better the oil companies keep the money rather than we fritter it away based on another pathetic attempt by the federal government to out guess the market.

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