Thursday, April 21, 2005

House approves Oil Corp welfare bill

Not satisfied with the windfall profits the major oil companies are currently receiving from the latest boost in oil profits, the Republican House approved an $8.1 billion energy bill including both in tax breaks for fuel producers and immunity for MTBE producers.

And though House Republicans claim that the recent rise in gas prices is a motivation, even President Bush has admitted the bill will do nothing in the nera term:

"An energy bill wouldn't change the price at the pump today. I know that and you know that," Bush said in a speech Wednesday.
Screamingly absent from the bill, and virtually all media discussion is that production incentives for traditional energy sources will never have more than a marginal effect on either prices, or, much more importantly, our continued dependence on fossil fuels.

And, as I've argued before, the best near term solution for that dependence is conservation. Unfortunately, the most simple way to encourage significant conservation doesn't involve reducing gas prices. It requires raising them.

Unfortunately, few voices in power on the right or left are willing to level with us. And until that happens US energy policy will never be more than corporate welfare.

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