Monday, January 22, 2007

Could be a positive step

If this is not passed over in the Senate or vetoed by the President, this would be a positive development in energy policy.

House Repeals Tax Break for Big Oil

The measure passed yesterday would repeal a tax break oil and gas firms received in 2004 that effectively lowered their corporate tax rates. It would also bar oil companies from bidding on new federal leases unless they pay a fee on or renegotiated improperly drafted leases from 1998 and 1999 that did not require royalty payments on Gulf of Mexico production. And the bill would take the estimated $13 billion to $15 billion in revenues over a five-year period and set the money aside for tax breaks and appropriations that would go to renewable energy sources.

I don't mind the oil companies making money. I do mind the US addiction to oil.

Fact is- gas prices in the US are not high enough yet. So long as people are still buying SUVs- especially the Pilgrim-despised Hummers- then the pain in the pocketbook over gas prices is just not severe enough yet.

A wise environmental policy in the US would create incentives to switch to more earth-friendly fuel sources. Some incentives may be tax-credits for green behaviors. Some could be tax penalties for wasteful/destructive behaviors. A tax on oil companies will be passed along to consumers, which could result in behavior change- especially if positive incentives to move people to 'greener pastures' are included in a comprehensive policy.

Eliminating tax breaks to oil companies is a good place to start.


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