Obama's energy incoherence
...Obama is obsessed with oil and gas. He is a prisoner of the left-wing environmental groups. And really, he’s extending his leftist class-warfare attack from rich people to successful oil and gas producers.
What seems to have Obama especially steamed is the fact that the conventional-energy companies are profitable. Especially the five largest. So he wants to tax them. He then wants to redistribute their income to his favorite green-energy firms. Sound familiar? I don’t know which is more important to the president -- the fact that he hates fossil fuel or the fact that he hates success. Or that he wants an energy-entitlement state.
But here’s what I do know, factually.
Oil companies have an effective corporate tax rate well above 40 percent. And they operate within one of the highest-taxed industries in America. According to the Tax Foundation, for more than 25 years, oil and gas companies have sent more tax dollars to Washington and state capitals than they earned in profits. That’s a fact.
Single-handedly, oil and gas companies finance over 10 percent of non-defense discretionary spending within the U.S. budget. According to The Wall Street Journal, ExxonMobil, the world’s largest energy firm, paid out $59 billion in total U.S. taxes over the five years prior to 2010 while earning only $40.5 billion in domestic profits.
And Obama wants to raise taxes on conventional-energy firms by somewhere between $40 billion and $80 billion? Whatever happened to the supply-side principle that if you tax something more, you get less of it?
But with gasoline prices headed towards $5 a gallon, and with oil prices over $100 a barrel, virtually the whole country outside of the White House wants more oil, more retail gas for the pump and more energy supplies everywhere in order to bring prices down. Raising taxes won’t do it.
Make no mistake about it: Fossil fuel is going to drive the American economy for decades to come. Green energy is not.
Obama’s other line of attack is that oil companies shouldn’t get any subsidies. They made too much money for that. Well, I’m against oil subsidies. There’s about $90 billion worth in the federal budget. Better to end them, slash corporate tax rates across the board and let the free market decide energy policy and production.
But on the subject of subsidies, so-called renewable-energy subsidies (think Solyndra) are 49-times greater than fossil-fuel subsidies, according to studies by the Congressional Research Service. And the Congressional Budget Office says renewable green energy received 68 percent of energy-related tax preferences in fiscal year 2011, while fossil fuels got only 15 percent. Additionally, oil, natural gas and coal received 64 cents per megawatt hour in subsidies, while wind power alone received $56.29 per megawatt hour. That’s nearly 100-times what fossil fuels got.
By the way, the so-called subsidies that Obama is talking about are really depreciation write-offs for investment. Oil companies get a 6 percent deduction from income. Most manufacturing industries get 9 percent. And every company in the economy is eligible for faster investment write-offs....Obama's green dreams have turned into a nightmare. He was promising millions of new jobs in that sector, but has instead invested in failure. Green energy is not producing jobs or much in the way of energy. Lashing out at oil and gas companies that are actually making money is not going to lead to lower gas prices which is what voters want. The subsidies we are wasting on the green energy companies are an economic sinkhole.