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Saturday, August 4, 2007

U.S. House passes Renewable Energy Standards for Publicly traded utilties - oil company tax cut rollback is up next

Good news so far.......the House approved a measure for a federal mandate that all publicly traded utility companies produce at least 15% of their electricity from renewable sources. This is a big win indeed. Although some states, such as California, are already ahead of the federal government on this requirement, this is still a big deal because it sets the floor at 15% instead of allowing some states to set very low thresholds while overruling the states which do not even have a standard.

Next up - Congress must pass a measure that will roll back $16 billion in tax cuts to the oil companies. Some of the funds from these tax cuts, if rolled back, would go towards incentives for renewables and cleantech development. The oil industry lobbyists, and the slimy congressman who are in bed with the oil companies, are fighting the tax cut roll back intensely, saying it will hurt our domestic oil production.

"We have been down in the trenches fighting (this) proposal tooth and nail," said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association for the investor-owned utility companies. Lobbying powerhouses such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufactures also have fought the proposal.
In the trenches.......that is laughable. Are these individuals, the congressman, the utility companies, and the supporters of big coal and oil, so out of touch with public opinion? I am against an "excise" profits tax, something some of the Democrats have argued for as companies like Exxon are raking in record profits. That is just too anti-capitalist to me. I am all for taking away their tax cuts and using them as subsidies for green energy initiatives . These corporations are in existence today, and making the billions of profits today, because you and I, as consumers, have supported them over the years with our hard earned dollar. The oil enterprise does not exist just to please shareholders - it has to give something back to society. Letting go of tax breaks and investing in renewable fuels is a fair deal.

Here is a suggestion for those that are threatened by the green movement. It is time the oil companies do what great companies do and have done over time - adapt, evolve, and re-invent. The green energy train has already left the building. The oil companies realize their monopoly on fueling our vehicles is waning. They are fighting tooth and nail to hang on to what they have, but if they continue to try to fight it they are only going to aggravate you and I even more, and we will continue to put more emphasis on electing officials who look out for our interests before theirs. If these companies got on board and started investing more seriously in renewable fuels, rather than just spend a few million on BS marketing, we might be able to get somewhere on this issue.

1 comment:

James Edward Dillard said...

i couldn't agree more - it seems as if, both in this post and in the pa post, it would make most sense to try to be ahead of the curve with respect to energy than just trying to seem relevant. i know people are out to make money, but seriously, what gives? by investing that money in renewable energy technology (even if they did it themselves), they'd be able to profit forever, not just until the oil runs out.