Rolling Back Oil Subsidies

By  | 

The House passed the legislation, and now it’s going to the Senate.

The details

The House rolled back billions of dollars in oil industry subsidies Thursday in what supporters hailed as a new direction in energy policy toward more renewable fuels. Critics said the action would reduce domestic oil production and increase reliance on imports. […]

The legislation would impose a “conservation fee” on oil and gas taken from deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico; scrap nearly $6 billion worth of oil industry tax breaks enacted by Congress in recent years; and seek to recoup royalties lost to the government because of an Interior Department error in leases issued in the late 1990s.

Democrats said the legislation could produce as much as $15 billion in revenue. Most of that money would pay to promote renewable fuels such as solar and wind power, alternative fuels including ethanol and biodiesel and incentives for conservation.

The Republicans are calling this a tax increase and…communist.

“We do not need a tax on domestic energy production and development,” said Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., the former House speaker. “Increasing taxes on our nation’s energy industry means one thing more reliance on foreign oil and gasoline.”

Added Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska: “If you want to do things right, let’s tax foreign oil.”

Young, who had on a bright red shirt, made reference to it when he said, “It’s the color of this bill we’re debating Communist red.” The legislation “amounts to a taking of private property” by forcing oil companies to renegotiate leases they view as valid contracts, he said.

And what does the White House think?

The White House said it strongly opposes the new production fees and future lease bans. Those steps could reduce domestic production, according to the administration. It views the repeal of the tax break for oil companies as unfairly singling out an industry.

Here’s my question, if we’re unfairly singling out an industry, where else is the money going to come from besides getting rid of subsidies for the very companies who are posting historic profits?

I leave the question to you…