Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rescinding Oil Driller's Tax Breaks

The problem is that world oil supplies have peaked or are peaking and US drillers are all private capitalist enterprises. They will go where the profit and government subsidies are highest. Only socialised drilling companies operating on the basis of public interest rather than capitalist imperatives can ultimately help solve the problem.
Anyway given the BUsh connection's to big oil this bill is bound for certain death. Will its demise be given top story headlines at FOX news? We need humour early Sunday mornings.



Rising From Their Knees: New Bill Strikes Blow at Oil Barons
Written by Chris Floyd
Friday, 19 January 2007
House Votes to Rescind Oil Drillers’ Tax Breaks (NYT)

Excerpts: House Democrats easily passed legislation on Thursday that would rescind $14 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for oil drillers and reserve the money to develop alternative energy projects and conservation technologies.

The measure passed 264 to 163, with many Republicans joining a bloc of Democrats...The bill will rescind $7.6 billion in tax breaks for oil drillers that Congress passed in 2004 and 2005 and will add $6.3 billion in royalties from companies that pump oil and gas in publicly owned waters of the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska...

“Big Oil is hitting the taxpayer not once, not twice, but three times,” Representative Nick J. Rahall II, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said. “They are hitting them at the pump. They are hitting them at the Treasury through the tax code. And they are hitting them with royalty holidays.”


This is good news, although it faces a certain Bush veto -- if, that is, it gets by the Senate in any strong form, as it's easier for Big Oil to pick off a few "moderates" in the smaller body than a passel of pols in the House. Still, the real importance of such bills lies in the fact that they force Republicans and "moderate" Democrats to take a public stand for their corporate paymasters. It smokes them out and puts them on record as voting for big tax breaks for oil companies who are now making not just record profits but world-historical rakeoffs unseen since the loot of the Caesars. We fight wars for these people -- we die by the thousands and we kill by the hundreds of thousands; they can at least pay a little more chump change (for that's all the amounts involved are to the oil barons) for the blood and treasure we've given them.

With the thin Democratic majorities in both houses -- majorities that are riddled with spineless timeservers, bagmen and Bush-coddlers -- it is not likely that any strong legislation proposed by Democrats to rectify some of the monstrous imbalances and perversities of the Bush years will pass. Very few, if any, such bills will command enough support to be veto-proof. But again, the Democrats should be relentless in sending this kind of legislation (and even stronger bills) to the White House, over and over and over. Force Bush to veto every week some bill that would benefit the vast majority of Americans. Force him to veto a bill that would strip away some of the overwhelming bias toward the richest and most powerful that now distorts and corrupts the Republic. Make sure that all those -- Republican or Democrat -- who stand with Bush in perpetuating this immoral bias are put on the record as doing so. And then hang this record around their necks at election time.

Enough already of this bullshit bowing and scraping to the rich. Let's take the country back.
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