Keegan Cassady

Theatre Professional

Who Would New Energy Hurt?


As I watch the Olympics, I see ads running by that advocate Big Oil. One of the ads that ran by was ‘Energy Tomorrow,’ an online resource.

Now, given the title, I think I’m going to hear about Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Biofuel, the big ‘energy’ words.  Instead, I find a website dedicated to promoting the benefits of Natural Gas and Oil.  These are ‘proven technologies’ (or incumbent tech) with new advances being made to access more of those resources at home.  What’s more, they have jobs: they hire people, they have a growing industry.  That’s the other side of coin.  As demand goes up around the globe, the market solution is to feed it.  More demand, more business, more jobs, more employment.  Big Oil is a friend to the people, and they make sure you know it – both in their televised ads and on their website.  They also want you to know that they’ve spent $188 Billion in research on alternative fuel sources, which for them, includes natural gas.  So why the advertisement push?

Right now, the big danger to Oil are new taxes being proposed by the president.  If there’s one thing that’s historically un-American, it’s taxes.  It’s what made us go to war to make this country.  It’s the reason the government runs the oft-reviled IRS.  From a government standpoint, it’s what funds the government and one more way for the government to control the populous.

I looked into the Energy Tax link, and I didn’t find what was being taxed, or how, but I did find the following:

  • New taxes kill jobs. …new taxes could hurt workers by depressing job creation…

My response:  Granted, this will naturally happen, but the big companies are saying that if we tax them, they’ll let the little guy go.  We’re not saving the environment, we’re hurting the working man.  Okay.

  • New taxes hurt consumers and businesses. Historically, higher taxes result in less domestic energy, and […] higher energy costs for consumers […] stifle a recovery […] leave Americans more dependent on foreign oil and natural gas […] fewer jobs for workers […] less oil and natural gas for consumers and businesses.

So, if we tax big oil, they’ll get more outside oil.  Or we will?  Again, we’re hurting workers.  But!  There will be less oil and natural gas consumed.  Okay.

  • The U.S. oil and natural gas industry is one of the success stories of the American economy, supporting 9.2 million workers in good jobs that offer good wages and benefits. Additional taxes […] drive these jobs overseas…

Ah, here’s the problem:  everyone works for the oil industry.  If they can’t employ good Americans, they’ll employ good Arabians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Africans, or anybody else who will work for the benefits of exchange rates and lower property rates.  And again, if taxes hit them, then Big Oil will hit American workers.

  • Millions of Americans have seen their retirement savings shrink. Billions in new taxes […] will hurt millions of Americans whose retirements depend on mutual funds, pension and retirement plans that own oil company shares.

Not just any Americans, but old Americans.  Grandma and Grandpa will starve thanks to oil taxes.  If big oil gets hurt, so will grandma and grandpa.

  • Plans to strengthen America’s energy security would be undermined since higher taxes would lead to less—not more—domestic oil and natural gas production. All reputable forecasts show that oil and natural gas will be required to meet the majority of America’s energy needs for decades to come. As the economy recovers, America will need all the energy we can produce. Higher taxes would rob the industry of the capital it needs to invest in alternatives and reduce supplies of the oil and natural gas needed as a bridge to the future.

We have to spend more oil.  We have to.  It needs to be consumed.  I mean, look at it.  Just sitting there.  Oil.  Man,  remember back when we first found it and everyone was like ‘hurray!’  Yeah, well, let’s keep on doing that.  Also, we’ll need more energy and apparently, going electric, which (by the by) uses gas, coal, and oil anyway, isn’t the right thing to do: it’s all about buying more oil for higher and higher rates.  These new ‘renewables’ can’t account for the kind of energy that oil accounts for… unless we pay to research it, or make a competing industry.  But with this tax, we won’t be able to have alternatives, we won’t have the oil and gas we need to have… more gas… and… more… oil?

  • Current tax policies do not provide taxpayer subsidies to the oil and natural gas industry.

I didn’t include this paragraph because all it does is use angry adjectives to call the tax policy ridiculous.  It’s all emotional appeal without reason.  That being said, the above is true.

  • There is a better way than saddling a troubled economy with new taxes that hurt American families.

American families.  Again, we’re not hurting executives, we’re hurting the poor, the overpopulated, undereducated, the obese and the malnourished of America.  But we’re also hurting the wealthy, the secure, the dysfunctional, the fit, and the emotionally underdeveloped.  Higher taxes hurt the Rich… and the poor.

The problem is, I am biased: I want to see change.  I don’t see how electricity, wind, solar, and bio are so bad.  I do see how they are new and threaten the current business which is incredibly able to influence policy, and has been for the past eight years.  I do see the ‘families’ argument.  Taking down Big Oil a peg or two means hurting the common man, because Joe Worker works for the Company Store.  He can’t work elsewhere, they’ve got the best benefits.  They’ve got the most money, the most people.  So if you take away that money, you put Joe on the street. And what did Joe ever do to you?

So how do you counter Big Oil?  What do you if you support the taxes?  So, what are these taxes about?

From Paul Davidson’s article in USA Today, 2/27/2009, located here:

The proposal would raise the following over ten years:

• $5.3 billion by imposing a new 13% excise tax on offshore oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico to close loopholes that gave companies relief from certain royalty payments.

•$1.2 billion by charging a fee on companies that don’t produce on their Gulf leases.

•As much as $10 billion by reinstating taxes to clean up hazardous waste sites.

•$11.5 billion by barring companies from writing off drilling costs, such as labor, and by limiting their ability to write off lease payments.

•$13.3 billion by scrapping a 6% tax deduction that benefits all U.S. manufacturers.

Industry profits in the U.S. totaled $125 billion in 2007, according to the Energy Department.

So, if we look at this, the costs are $42.3 Billion over the next ten years.  If the Industry continues to make (we’ll measure on the weak side) $120 Billion a year over the next 10 years, then they’ll garner $1200 billion in profits.  This means that these taxes will cost the industry 3.4%.  Take that to an ‘unemployed populous’ and that  makes 312,800 old American workers with families that Big Oil is putting in front of the ‘gun’ of new taxes.   The answer for them should be in a growing Renewable Energy industry, or even in the oil-reliant Electricity Industry (which is oil… just used more efficiently).

If you’re one of the 312,800 outed by the big companies, odds are you’ll be in a renewable energy research job.  Big Oil may have spent $188 Billion on ‘new energy,’ but they won’t want to be totally replaced. Their findings will probably be dubious, at best. The best way to get around this is through educational research and small company competition.

Make a small company that forwards alternative energy:  America is founded on the spirit of the small company.  Through labor, hard work, forward thinking, and diversity, the American economy can expand, even in the field of energy.      One small competitor in oil can be quashed, but one that works with unrelated industries can find a way around large competitors who rely on foreign products, heavy traffic, grease, smog, and capsizing ships.

For the voting public, support the new tax.  If you like monopolies, never mind.  If you like clean air, increased efficiency, and a diverse job market, vote for the tax.

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