Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Thanks, Congress, for Failing to Lower Gas Prices...

The New York Times reports today that Senate and House negotiators have reached an agreement on broad energy legislation that is expected to be up for votes in the House Wednesday and the Senate Thursday.

Unfortunately, as Americans head off on their summer vacations, the bill, which covers everything from hybrid cars to off-shore drilling, does almost nothing to immediately lowering staggering gas prices. I suppose it doesn't bother many Congressional leaders that gas is $2.50 a gallon at the pump when they're jetting off on lobbyist-funded junkets.

To add insult to injury, the bill gives billions of dollars in aid and tax breaks to traditional oil companies. After the Republican-led House majority on the conference committee rejected his bid to cut oil-industry tax breaks, Rep Ed Markey (D-MA) said: "We might as well be giving tax breaks to Donald Trump and Warren Buffett here tonight."

That same Republican majority also rejected: an effort to incorporate a plan passed by the Senate to require utilities to use more renewable energy and a bid directing President Bush to cut the country's oil consumption by one million barrels a day within 10 years.

The good news is that some Republican leaders in the house seem to be losing a bit of clout. In order to reach an agreement, lawmakers abandoned a 2003 plan, spearheaded by embattled Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), which would have given legal immunity to producers and distributors of the environmentally harmful gasoline additive MTBE. Senators also rejected a House proposal to relax clean air standards.


  • just got back from london-they can't believe it is under $4

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:20 PM  

  • This needs to be verified and publicized far and wide -
    Whatever the worst example of abuse of power is on Capitol Hill, Tom Delay just trumped it, by inserting a pork provision for favored corporations in his district AFTER the Conference Committee on the bill had closed, so NO ONE ELSE would have any opportunity to do anything
    about it.  Here is what Henry Waxman has to say about it :

    "Tom DeLay thinks the federal treasury is his personal piggy bank.
    DeLay slipped "a $1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas" into the energy bill.
    But this isn't a normal case of government pork. DeLay has completely dispensed with the democratic process. From a letter Rep. Henry Waxman just sent Speaker Dennis Hastert:
    The provision was inserted into the energy legislation after the conference was closed, so members of the conference committee had no opportunity to consider or reject this measure.
    The $1.5 billion won't be administered by the government [but] by a private consortium in DeLay's district:
    The subtitle appears to steer the administration of 75% of the $1.5 billion fund to a private consortium located in the district of Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Ordinarily, a large fund like this would be administered directly by the government.
    Hastert and DeLay need to explain themselves immediately. No member of Congress who takes taxpayer dollars seriously should vote for the energy bill until this matter is resolved. "

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:29 AM  

  • How come no one in Congress is calling for an excess profits tax on the oil companies who are gouging us at the pumps? Exxon Mobil made more money than ever and the oil companies just got more corporate welfare from the energy bill.

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    By Blogger alena, at 12:51 PM  

  • We dont live in London do we?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:01 PM  

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