June 20, 2008

A mighty howl of protest - I


Thats my "mighty howl" of protest on reading this:
Renewable Energy Tax Credit Extension Vote Fails in U.S. Senate
Like a NYT Op-ed piece said a couple days back:

The Republicans say they believe in fiscal responsibility; this bill responsibly exchanges one set of tax breaks for another. They say they believe in technological innovation, which this bill encourages. They say they believe in creating new jobs, which a robust wind and solar industry would do. If they believe all that, they should stop being stubborn and approve the House bill.

To provide some background, an excerpt earlier in the op-ed piece:

Congress has been playing legislative Ping-Pong with these credits for months. The House approves them, the Senate rejects them. The sticking point is the bill’s revenue-raising measures, known as offsets, which the House rightly insists on as part of its pay-as-you-go rules.

In earlier incarnations, the House bill would have paid for the credits by rescinding tax breaks granted to the oil companies in the 2005 energy bill. The oil companies — which never needed the breaks and certainly don’t need them now — set up a mighty howl, President Bush lofted veto threats, and the Senate caved.

The House’s latest version leaves the oil companies their credits, and instead seeks to raise the necessary offsets partly by closing offshore tax loopholes that benefit hedge fund managers. Yet some Senate Republicans and the White House — ever captive to big money — are rejecting even that.

Oh well! Wish better sense had prevailed! So did the oil companies and hedge fund managers howl louder than I (and people of my ilk, supporting these renewable energy tax credits) did? That's a rhetorical question - after all, Bush continues to pander to big oil by asking "Congress to end the federal ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along much of America’s continental shelf," or as Gail Collins wrote in the NYT: "you name it, he’s ready to drill" (there).
The O.C.S. was only one part of a four-point recipe for producing tons and tons of American-bred gasoline in the future. Bush wants to search for oil offshore, out West, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the basement, beneath the Washington Monument — you name it, he’s ready to drill.
And this against the background of oil companies rubbing their collective bloody hands in glee at the prospects of getting their hands on Iraq's oil.
Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields.
The war was not about oil, you say? Anyways...that's a whole other blog post.

The enemy is ourselves and the attitudes and patterns that we have fallen into.
- John Geesman, former California Energy Commissioner and of the
Green Energy War blog, in an interview, which is towards the very end of this podcast.

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