Thursday, February 28, 2008

Damn Domenici

New Mexico's Peter Domenici, the senior Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, slammed any hope of ending corporate welfare to the world's largest oil and natural gas companies.
Senate Democrats say they still hope to get it approved. But Senator Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, the senior Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has opposed any effort to end the tax incentives for domestic production of oil and gas.

“Why would you tax oil when we are having troubles, when we aren’t producing enough; we are importing it all?” Mr. Domenici said this month. “A tax on oil production in the United States? It seems kind of dumb to me.”
This coming from the guy who represents a state that has so much sun they issue sunblock at the borders. We're not producing enough because we're always using more. When in our history have we produced or bought enough oil to satiate our lifestyles? His justification is old school and only reflects his age, not experience.

Where was the money going to go instead? Solar, wind and geothermal startups. Let's flesh this out: so, Mr. Domenici wants to keep giving Exxon Mobil, a company who reported more profits last year than any other corporation in the history of American business, handouts for extracting the very same stuff that is helping to cause global warming, continue this country's addiction to oil (domestic and foreign) and furthering cancer rates in locations around the world?

And he thinks ending those handouts is dumb? Wow. Whatever bubble you're living in Pete, it must be sweet.

Revkin of the NYT, goes on to make a very good point:
The question of hidden, and not so hidden, subsidies for oil, as well as coal, keeps coming up in environmental debates. If the full cost of a barrel of oil and the environmental costs of a ton of coal were reflected in their market price, many energy and environmental experts say, that might go a long way toward shifting the balance toward renewable energy sources.

The continuing externalization of true costs on products in our marketplace is going to come back to bite us in the ass. The faster we realize this and make changes in how we define the true cost of a product, the better.