Texas Oilman's Energy Bill

A message board I post to and read every so often has had an interesting thread about the new energy policy. For the most part these folks are libertarian / Republican with a few liberals sprinkled in here and there. What fascinates me is how clearly they see that this energy bill is a total scam. I'll quote a few comments below, but if that's all too boring, click here to discover why the media isn't really talking about this too much. (the link is to a SNL TV Funhouse skit that was banned, explanation here). OK, here are their thoughts (each is of the following is from a different post):

"Airbus just invested $14Billion in their new airplane, the A380. Bush says he'll invest $1.2B (over 5 years) to create an entire hydrogen infrastructure alternative to oil."

"By the way, isn't it about time to borrow another $80 billion from your kids and grandkids in order to pay for more infrastructure building in Iraq? Not 10 cents for energy efficiency. A national energy policy that is consumption oriented. Exactly the opposite of what our country really needs. Yet, we can borrow billions to pay for Mickey Mouse stuff in a country where they hate us."

"the first thing we restored after we "conquered" iraq was their national health care system.......free to all, yet we that paid for it are told 'oh you can't pay...then die!'"

"Truth is Bubble Head just this past week sent in a request for 81B more in aid to Iraq to rebuild the infrastructure, sending the total bill to well over 300 Billion. Remember when Kerry said in october that the tab for Iraq would soon be over 200 Billion and Bush said that it was 125 Billion and 'that was it' (basically calling Kerry a liar)."

"Galling to see a new push for nuclear plants, solidification of central power generation and fantastic subsidies in the form of initial government development, newly proposed development insurance and--WOW--enormous liability relief in the event of an 'incident'. All from folks who claim the market should be the judge of what tech. is to be."

"Just remove the subsidies that big oil and coal get, and wind will be competetive. Get rid of the choke hold that utilities have on DG, and DG will be competetive. As far as your assertion that building refineries on old military bases is needed. The reason we are in this trouble is that the US has allowed big oil to consolidate down to an oligopoly. There are a few big players and they control local markets. They have closed existing refineries to improve their margins. Shell tried to do this in California and the state told them they could not shut the refinery. They have strategic shut down and maintenance periods in order to drive up profits. This is similar to what Enron did in California. They create the foundation for a shortage and then shut down a refinery or two and drive up prices. Finally oil prices have also been rising and building refineries will not decrease the price of oil. Only conservation will accomplish this task and the GOP has made little effort at promoting conservation."

"I was falling for the shortage of refineries argument all week until this morning. On CNBC they mentioned the recent mergers/acquisitions of the oil giants, and how this allowed them to close refineries and drive price of gasoline up. The profit margin before this frenzy was 4c/gal and now it is 12c/gal. Now our president tells us the energy plan is to relax environmental controls so that we can build new refineries (and nukes) to meet demand; because we haven't built any in 30 years. And yet the consolidation allowed closure of refineries -and I assume the layoff of their workforce. This cynicism and greed is worse than I imagined. I tried to give this administration the benefit of the doubt at the beginning but it just gets worse and worse. Bush may not be stupid after all, he may be a conspiritor."

"I think the real problem with the energy bill, aside form the fact that AE is under funded is the fact that it gives masssive amounts of money to the oil industry at a time when they are raking in record profits. I don't want to use my taxes to build these new refineries and LNG terminals only to be gouged at the gaspump, the oil companies are laughing all the way to the bank, and Bush and Cheney are in the backseat along for the ride. If Bush was really serious about saving energy he would have increased (or at least extended) the tax break for hybrid cars. Instead he gives the carmakers 1.7 billion to develope fuel cell cars, which are a pie in the sky idea which is at least 20 years down the road. BTW - the US taxpayer paid for the developement of hybrid technology in the form of R&D money to the automakers. I think the Big 3 like the R&D money because it goes to their bottom line but when it come time to invest the money to actually build the cars they say it isn't practicle. Just wait, billions will be spent on fuel cells and they will say the same thing in 20 years."

I could not have said any of this better myself, hence the direct quotes.