Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bush's Energy Monstrosity Is Alive and Getting Uglier

The Times reports that the monstrosity known as the energy bill, which went nowhere for four years, is alive and getting uglier by the day:
The final version of the energy plan is certain to come under attack by some lawmakers and conservation groups who consider it too heavily skewed in favor of traditional oil and gas companies, which it showers with billions of dollars of aid and tax breaks at a time when high oil prices are producing huge profits.
As the nine-hour negotiating session was nearing an end, Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, failed in an effort to eliminate some of the relief from drilling royalties that the industry would receive through the bill, arguing that it was wrong to let oil companies escape fees for drilling on public land. "We might as well be giving tax breaks to Donald Trump and Warren Buffett here tonight,'' said Mr. Markey. The Republican-led House majority on the conference committee quickly rejected his proposal.
What the plan won't do is actually reduce oil demand:

In a disappointment for environmental advocates, House members on Monday rejected an effort to incorporate a plan passed by the Senate to require utilities to use more renewable energy like wind and solar power to generate electricity. They also defeated a bid to direct the president to find ways to cut the nation's appetite for oil by one million barrels a day within 10 years.
Backers of the initiative to identify the oil savings said it was an alternative to the politically difficult approach of increasing automotive gas mileage standards and would demonstrate that Congress was serious about cutting the nation's dependence on oil imports.
Energy companies have been waiting four years for this grab-bag of goodies, and they've managed just fine. Why we need to pay them to sell us gas at $2.40 a gallon escapes me.

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