WASHINGTON, April 27 ‚ÄĒ Senate Republicans tried on Thursday to get the upper hand in the escalating political battle over high gasoline prices by proposing a $100 rebate for taxpayers and by suggesting that they might increase taxes on oil-industry profits.
The Republican proposal also called for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil production, a provision sure to draw opposition from many Democrats and even some Republicans.
"The American consumer is the one that needs the break today, and we need to be taking steps to make sure that they aren't emptying their wallet every time they fill their tank," said Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, as the leadership unveiled its legislative response to an issue quickly taking over the Congressional agenda.
The Republican plan includes a provision that could levy a significant tax on oil company profits, a provision that...
The silliness of those who buy fuel-guzzlers does not excuse or lessen the greed of those who price fuels arbitrarily, basing such pricing on what could happen in the future. Though there may be no other way for companies to minimize risk but to decide on what circumstances may exist in the future, one can readily find what must be labeled greed by looking at what actually happens with prices.
If the anticipated scenario fails to develop, price does not decrease to previous levels, and new scenarios of future 'problems' are promoted. Prices at the pump instantaneously increase at every rumor of 'concern.' This in spite of the fact that all the costs of the gasoline in the local pump tanks were established months before, and have nothing to do with future events.
"Different means for alternative energy sources will not come about until you have politicians who are not in bed with big companies in general and big oil companies in particular."
You got that right. Fellowship with the oil companies should be severed 100%. Cleaner renewable sources abound. Let the oil companies complain....their demise is inevitable anyway since they are based on a non-renewable resource. However, they could profit possibly from getting involved in processing renewable fuels--natural gas and other chemicals made from renewable sources.
The Euros & Japanese aren't also under the thumb of American oil companies, are they? They have every incentive to reduce petroleum dependence, and they have in many ways, but even they have no magic bullets here.
Further, I haven't seen any "push" among Americans to cease purchasing fuel-guzzling vehicles (let alone alternative technologies which are admittedly problematic). As usual, it's easier to blame someone else, just as with sin in general.
Different means for alternative energy sources will not come about until you have politicians who are not in bed with big companies in general and big oil companies in particular. I haven't seen any major push for different and cheaper sources of energy since 9/11. Just a few words tossed into the air to be blown away.
Christians should always keep their eye on the goal, however.
A sober & edifying post, Matthew; much needed these days. Given that profit is a %-age, it is simple mathematics to see that oil companies will make more money when retail prices are high, but they also get hit bad when prices are low.
Biofuels are an alternative (they have relatively minor engineering problems). Also people will end up blaming agribusiness instead of oil companies when prices are high!
Oil companies only earn about 10 cents in profit per gallon of fuel.
The government earns on average 45 cents in taxes per gallon of fuel. This is the national average, California is over 50 cents, Nevada and Hawaii are even higher.
What is the GOP's response? More taxes? If they'd de-regulate the oil industries and lower those 45 cents per gallon in taxes, our prices would be much cheaper. Instead they plan to tax the oil company profits, as if Exxon wasn't smart enough to pass that cost on to the consumers, us!
The oil companies are just pricing in different markets in accordance with the various "economic models".
That's the excuse we have suffered in Rip-off-Britain for international price discrimination on all sorts of goods compared to US prices. You even see PR spokesmen saying it with a straight face - I think they have to practice for that.
"WASHINGTON, April 27 ‚ÄĒ Senate Republicans tried on Thursday to get the upper hand in the escalating political battle over high gasoline prices by proposing a $100 rebate for taxpayers and by suggesting that they might increase taxes on oil-industry profits."
Yes, Wimpublicans, bribe us with our own money to keep us quiet and keep our votes.
Why aren't they asking what the supply and demand justification is for a 56 cent increase per gallon in 4 weeks? Oh, that's right, there is no supply and demand justification. In fact crude oil inventories in the US are 6 percent above a year ago. Demand hasn't increased. Winter in the coldest States was one of the warmest on record. Could it be speculation driven? From another article about world crude:
NEW YORK, April 20 (newratings.com) ‚Äď Analysts at ING Financial Markets say that the supply of crude oil is likely to outpace demand in 2006."
"Even with record inventory levels, oil prices are likely to continue to be supported by bullishness about the demand for oil, Iran-related tensions and expectations of supply outages, ING Financial Markets adds."
Sounds like "bullishness" to me. Iran related tensions? What happened to Nigeria? Must have worn that excuse out.