Thursday, April 05, 2007

Energy Moguls and Deceptive Loqutions

I happened to see an article in the Standard Times written by the president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Alex Mills, and was motivated to respond to this clearly deceptive propaganda piece.

The article implied that interest in renewable energy (i.e wind, solar, etc.) is a waste of time, that any funding to this sector of the industry was a waste of tax dollars, and that we should just stick to the old tried and true standards, oil and gas. Whereas the allocation of tax revenue to corporate interests has the tendency to inspire a ceaseless chain of corrupt activity, I would argue that the government should not steal ANY money from taxpayers to maintain corporate welfare; whether it be for wind farms, for nuclear power plants owned by foreign companies, or handouts to the oil and gas industry.

Here are some of the major components of THE 2005 ENERGY BILL as it relates to the oil and gas industry:

Section 1329
Allows “geological and geophysical” costs associated with oil exploration to be written off faster than present law, costing taxpayers over $1.266 billion from 2007-2015. Record-high oil prices should provide a sufficient incentive for oil companies like ExxonMobil to drill for more oil without this huge new tax break.

Section 1323
Allows owners of oil refineries to expense 50% of the costs of equipment used to increase the refinery’s capacity by at least 5%, costing taxpayers $842 million from 2006-11 (the estimate claims the provision will actually raise $436 million from 2012-15).

Sections 1325-6
Allows natural gas companies to save $1.035 billion by depreciating their property at a much faster rate. This tax break makes no economic sense, as natural gas prices remain at record high levels, and these high prices—not tax breaks—should be all the incentive the industry needs to invest in gathering and distribution lines.

Section 342
Allows oil companies drilling on public land to pay taxpayers in oil rather than in cash.

Sections 344-345
Waives royalty payments for drilling for some natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Section 346
Waives royalty payments for drilling in offshore Alaska.

Sections 353-4
Waives royalty payments for gas hydrate extraction on the Outer Continental Shelf and public land in Alaska.

Title IX, Subtitle J
This section would provide $1.5 billion in direct payments to oil and natural gas corporations to drill in deepwater wells. This section is a pet project of Texas Republican and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. It would designate a private entity, Sugar Land-based Texas Energy Center, as the “program consortium” to dole out taxpayer money to corporations.

Also, in Texas alone, the oil and gas industry has allotted permits for around 50,000 private injection wells which allows them, by special exemption, to pump hazardous waste into the ground. Up to 1981, more than 60 billion gallons of industrial wastes were disposed of underground. This hazardous waste includes but is not limited to the following: Fumaric acid, Tolulene, Hydrochloric acid, Ethylene glycol (antifreeze), Aromatic hydrocarbons, Methanol, Benzene (highly carcinogenic), and salt, which renders ground water unusable.

This is an enormous and unseen liability of the oil and gas industry that we must start paying attention to. An oilman might argue that there are all kinds of permits required for them to do business, but what is not mentioned is that these permits are virtually NEVER denied. If you have concerns about our future water supply, PLEASE investigate further here:

So, rather than creating an illusion of a free market -the smoke and mirrors of federal subsidies-wouldn't it be best to put an end to ALL handouts to energy producers and allow the consumer and taxpayer really decide where to get their power?

If the playing field truly were leveled we would likely begin to see many consumers absolving themselves from the tyranny of the energy cartels and producing their own energy...

This is where wind and solar do become a viable option. These technologies may not be practical, or even desirable, solutions for huge commercial producers (this is the real problem for the energy corporations). Renewables work best on a small scale. But (especially in Texas) the home or business owner’s incentives are paltry compared to the competition. Get rid of the corporate subsidies and then renewable technology will become more accessible to the consumer. To read more on perverse energy subsidies, check here:

Most importantly, let’s be aware of the grand illusion is created in the media when these issues are polarized and we believe that the Democrats are going to save the earth with green technology or the Republicans are going to save humanity by wiping out the middle east and stealing their oil.

It’s high time we realize that none of these "leaders" are working for you or me - and whether it's a wind farm or an oil well, the same people are making most of the money.

Yes, Cheveron owns a whole bunch of those wind farms... When they make money on wind, the kickbacks go to the Democrats, and when they make money on oil, the kickbacks go to the Republicans!

It is clear to any attentive observer that the emergence of solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and all technologies falling under the current "green" trend is being carefully controlled in the market place. As we watch this drama unfold please be aware that solar power was invented over 5 decades ago, the original Tesla car over 70 years ago, and my great grandmother ran her ice box off an old windmill and some golf cart batteries. So, come on, why are we going backwards here? How much longer will we allow ourselves to be duped?

1 comment:

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