Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Boyda votes to end subsidies for Big Oil

We want American businesses to make a profit. But we have a pair of words for it when a company jacks up prices for consumers just to line the pockets of their executives: price gouging.

The big five oil companies recently reported record profits for 2007, with ExxonMobil earning $40.6 billion - the largest corporate profit in American history. That’s earnings of more than $111 million a day or $77 thousand dollars a minute! While oil company profits have quadrupled, high energy prices continue to squeeze American families – gas prices have skyrocketed and home heating oil has jumped along with other household costs.
Record profits tied to the rhetoric of "We have to increase prices because of lack of supply" is ludicrous. Big Oil is taking us for a ride- and at $3 a gallon, it's a ride that's too expensive for a big chunk of Americans.

Sad thing? Even as they gouge us to the point of record profit, we, the American people, are giving them subsidies- yes, we've been giving them our tax dollars.

In a historic vote in late February, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda joined with a bi-partisan majority to end tax subsidies to Big Oil and reinvest the money into renewable energy.

'Course, the bill didn't just do the commonsense thing that is ending tax breaks to companies seeing HUGE profits, it also directly infused money into the Kansas economy.
Boyda said, "Renewable energy offers tremendous promise for our state's economy. Kansas has the soil to grow crops to be converted to biofuels, the skies to harvest wind energy, and the research base to nurture new technology. Now all we need is a national commitment to energy independence. That's what today's bill is all about. It should be called the ‘Kansas Economic Development Act’ – that's how important it is to our businesses and communities."

[...]

“I can understand why someone from New Jersey did not vote for this bill, but I cannot fathom why anyone from Kansas would vote against our own best economic interests. It’s really disappointing.” said Boyda. “I have spoken with hundreds of people during 40 Congress on Your Corners throughout the Second District of Kansas. I have yet to hear even one person say they believe their hard-earned tax dollars should go toward helping ExxonMobil, or any of the big oil companies, earn record profits.”
Of course, you haven't, Nancy- because no sensible person thinks our hard-earned tax dollars should be given to businesses that obviously don't need them.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

i'm just waiting for one of those radical crazy kinds of capitalists to come in here screaming about this.

i'm with you nancy...keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Interesting because biofuels have run up the cost of corn ..... now biofuel plants are not being built and food prices are increasing. Also because of increases in grain prices ranchers are selling off their cattle for slaughter early ..... by mid-summer many are predicting that the cattle population will drop significantly and prices of meat will rise rapidly.

AllyK said...

biofuels don't always have to be made with corn. You can make your own biodiesel out of your own household garbage.

see here:
http://www.biodieselathome.net/

Anonymous said...

This is complete bullshit. She votes to end subsidies for oil companies but not to end them for ethanol producers?!? That's absolutely ignorant, and I'm disappointed in Congresswoman Boyda. If she thinks that ethanol is a good thing then she is obviously out of touch with the average Kansan. Ethanol production is causing world-wide food shortages, and the amount of corn needed to fill the gas tank of an SUV could feed a person for an entire year. If Congresswoman Boyda has any sense she'll change her position on the boondoogle that is corn-based ethanol.

Biodiesel, on the other hand, is something that should get more government money.

Anonymous said...

most of what you're saying about ethanol is crazy...for lots of reasons.

the price of food hasn't increased because of ethanol...and kansas farmers can produce more grain in a year than could ever be used for feed.

ethanol based on corn is a stop-gap..and certainly not the future. it's good for kansas now with corn..and will be in the future with whatever comes next

Anonymous said...

If grain is so plentiful why is the price rising so fast?

Why have they stopped the planned building of additional ethanol plants in Kansas because the cost of corn makes it no longer profitable.

Where is all of this excess corn for cattle?

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing that most people miss...basic Econ.

PROFITS are at record levels, and the gas companies explain it by saying prices went up. If prices truly were the cause of increased revenues, PROFIT would stay the same or even decline.

The economics don't fit the rhetoric

Anonymous said...

it's speculation on corn tied to bad farm policies at the federal level...there could indeed be a surplus of corn

Anonymous said...

"most of what you're saying about ethanol is crazy...for lots of reasons."

You obviously don't know what you're talking about. Everything that I said about corn-based ethanol is true, and if you knew anything about the subject you would realize that. Here are some facts about your precious ethanol:

-Each day, 820 million people in the developing world do not have enough food to eat.

-Food prices around the world are shooting up, sparking food riots from Mexico to Morocco.

-So much land is being cleared to grow them, most biofuels today are causing more global warming emissions than they prevent, even as they push the price of corn, wheat, and other foods out of reach for millions of people.

-And yes, filling the tank of an SUV with ethanol requires enough corn to feed a person for a year.
http://www.economist.com/opinion/
displaystory.cfm?story_id=10252015
(link was split so it wouldn't get cut-off)

Anonymous said...

Taking away the subsidies isn't a bad idea. They were put into place when the oil companies were struggling. Remember when Amaco, Standard, Phillips 66, Texaco and a host of others were around? Well they aren't anymore (I know, Phillips NAME is, but the company went belly up) because they all were struggling so bad they had to sell.

HOWEVER, if you really want to do something about gas prices the Dem's need to also allow more refineries to be built. There is plenty of oil to be refined, just no where to refine it. That is what is causing the supply/demand issues. And yes it is a company's right to expand their profit margin when demand is greater than supply. It protects the current supply.

And the price of oil right now is directly tied to the strength of the dollar, a concept that most can't fit into most small minds. If the dollar was trading where it was in 2000 (.97 Euros to 1 USD) the price of oil right now would be $68.75 a barrel. Instead the dollar is trading at 1.55 Euros to 1 USD artificially inflating the price. But I don't expect the american public, and least of all congress, to understand that.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Serious policy debate something the other blogs have yet to figure our how to do.

Anonymous said...

you know, i honestly appreciate this...because the commenter is right- honest policy debate doesn't happen on blog.

I support nixing the subsidies...they aren't needed- period. I, also, am certain they won't change the price of a tank of gas...we differ on the point of refineries, because you could build one today if you wanted to. The complaint is that they're too expensive, because of the environmental regulations placed on them. That's another question, and another awesome policy debate i'd love to have.

finally...on corn-based ethanol. it isn't perfect, but we have to keep working on the technology. Honestly, this bill won't fund corn-based ethanol very long, because corn-based ethanol is a poor alternative to other better alternatives, like cellulosic ethanol.

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This blog is not affiliated in any way with the Kansas Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, or the campaign to re-elected Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. All commentary herein not directly attributed must be considered the opinion of the authors of this blog and not of any other individual, including Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.