Carbon Tax Hallucinations

Policy adviser Paul Driessen warns that not only will carbon taxes hurt job and economic growth, but will not result in raising much in the way of tax revenues.

Average planetary temperatures haven’t budged in 16 years. Hurricanes and strong tornadoes are at or near their lowest ebb in decades. Global sea ice is back to normal, Arctic ice is nearly normal, and the Antarctic icepack continues to grow. The rate of sea level rise remains what it was in 1900. …

As the liberal lobby Think Progress put it, people “overwhelmingly” prefer a carbon tax on “big polluters” versus cuts in favorite programs “like education, Social Security, Medicare and environmental protection.” …

Employing Energy Information Administration data, a recent Heritage Foundation study by economists David Kreutzer and Nicolas Loris found that a tax starting at $25-per-ton of CO2 emitted and increasing by 5% per year would cut a family of four’s income by $1,400 annually, raise their utility bills by $500 a year, and increase gasoline fill-ups by up to 50 cents per gallon. …

Hydrocarbons provide over 83% of all the energy that powers America. A carbon tax would put a hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do. It would put the federal government in control of, not just one-sixth of our economy as under Obamacare, but 100% of our economy and lives. It would make the United States increasingly less productive, less competitive globally, less able to provide opportunities for our children.

But it gets worse, because this tax on America’s energy and productivity is not being promoted in a vacuum. It would be imposed on top of countless other job and economy strangling actions.

Exactly.

Posted February 23rd, 2013 Filed in Energy, Environment, Taxes and the IRS

Stimulus FAIL

Solar-cell maker Solyndra received over half a billion dollars in federally guaranteed loans in 2009 as part of Obama’s "stimulus" program. When they opened their second plant (which they could afford to do, having received this taxpayer funded windfall), Obama and Gov. Arnold visited the plant and made lots of flowery, very pretty speeches. Liberals swooned in ecstasy.

Today, 1,100 workers are being laid off and Solyndra is filing for Chapter 11. Which proves, yet again, that Big Government cannot create lasting, viable jobs in the free market, no matter how much money it prints.

Meanwhile, Obama is planning his big "jobs speech" to Congress next week. Which, according to this well-researched and often sadly funny article from WSJ, will be an almost exact duplicate of last year’s jobs speech.

So really, the biggest news about this year’s speech is Obama challenging, and then kowtowing to Republican leadership as to the date of the speech, as evidenced by this post from the left-wing Washington Post (emphasis in original):

By trying to big-foot the Republicans and then retreating, the president put an exclamation point on the complaints of his base. Weak. Incompetent. Unorganized. And those descriptors are from liberals. As for conservatives, they can hardly believe their good fortune. Obama has, more effectively than they could have hoped, demonstrated that the speech is largely a political stunt designed to put Republicans on the defensive rather than address our economic meltdown and fiscal woes.

Yeah, the WaPo actually wrote that.

The unfortunate thing is that the prez will no doubt be able to pull together a coalition of liberals, moderates, and turncoats that will once again spend massive amounts of money during the final campaign year that will do nothing except further bankrupt America.

UnGreen: Ethanol Increases Greenhouse Gases

The Union of Concerned Scientists says that the EPA is misrepresenting facts when it comes to the case for labeling corn-based ethanol as a “renewable resource”:

According to Jeremy Martin, a senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Clean Vehicles Program, EPA’s decision to focus on anticipated biofuel emissions as of 2022 “distorts the picture of today’s biofuels.”  By 2022, the theory goes, corn crop yields will have increased and biorefining technology will be more efficient and green than it is today.  But for now, according to Joe Fargione, a scientist with the Nature Conservancy, “in the near term, natural-gas-powered, dry-milled corn ethanol production results in an increase of greenhouse gas emissions of 12 to 33 percent compared to gasoline.”  Worse yet, EPA’s analysis recognizes this.  However, ethanol has been redesignated, despite such indicators that it does not meet the renewable fuels criteria.

Critics point out that support for ethanol is more politically motivated than arising out of any concern for the environment:

EPA, meanwhile, has been under sustained pressure from pro-ethanol groups such as Growth Energy to approve an increase in the fuel blend ceiling from 10 percent ethanol to 15 percent ethanol—a move that observers say would constitute a massive giveaway to the ethanol industry that could prove helpful in shoring up support for the President and endangered Democrats in ethanol-producing “swing” areas, such as some Midwestern districts and states.

Focusing on turning corn into fuel has driven up the price of everything from milk to tequila. Yet once again, politicians use junk science to protect their jobs.

And Congress wonders why people don’t trust them.

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Posted April 23rd, 2010 Filed in Energy, Global Warming, Scandals

Energy Concerns Trump Environmentalism

According to a Gallup poll, Americans prioritize energy over the environment for the first time “in this question’s 10-year history.”

If you want to quit talking about eliminating our dependence on oil-producing, terrorist training countries then energy is your issue. Drill here, drill now. Build nuclear power plants. Create jobs by rebuilding America’s power distribution system (but not through government contracts, but through tax breaks for private firms).

As for anyone who points to The Chosen One Fallen One blessing the vision of nuclear power, let me say this: saying we should build nuclear power plants is a far, far cry from creating the legislation and (de)regulation that will make it actually happen.

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Posted April 6th, 2010 Filed in Energy, Environment

"Obscene" Profits

ABC anchor Charles Gibson attempted to represent the common man when he grilled Exxon-Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson. With profits close to $22 billion for the first half of the year alone, many feel "Big Oil" is gouging consumers.

But here are some numbers that put things in perspective:

  • $1,400 profits per second
  • $4,000 taxes paid per second

So, who is getting rich here? Stockholders like the little old ladies in Florida? Or the recipients of "Big Government’s" largesse?

Another way of looking at things that’s been discussed around the net for a few weeks now:

  • Exxon-Mobile had an 8.5% net profit margin for the first half of the year
  • Disney has a 9% net profit margin over the past five years, 13.2% last year, and a 13.9% net profit margin last quarter (anyone see a trend here? That’s right, Disney is raping the consumer!)
  • Eli Lilly posted a 15.9% net profit margin over the last five years, and an 18.6% net profit margin last quarter
  • Apple posted a 14.6% net profit margin last year
  • Bank of America has posted a stunning 51.5% net profit margin over the last five years

Chuck Gibson and the common man need to understand that large corporations mean large numbers, even in profit. 8.5% net profit isn’t all that much, but because sales are in the region of $400 billion the profit numbers seem excessive to the average Joe that thinks in terms of thousands of dollars per year when he runs his household. But Chucky should know better.

Now let’s get to the scary stuff. Why did the world’s biggest oil company fail to meet the second-quarter numbers that analysts predicted?

"They are not growing,” said Philip Weiss, an analyst at Argus Research in New York who rates Exxon Mobil shares ‘buy” and owns none. "Production is becoming more and more of a concern. For these guys, access to reserves is a very big issue.”

Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson, 56, is spending $52 million a day to search for new fields after reserves fell in 2007 by the most in at least a decade. . . .

"If oil prices are going up $20 and $30 a barrel a quarter like they have been, it hides a lot of flaws,” said Brian Gibbons, an analyst at New York-based CreditSights Inc. "The question on everyone’s mind is, how do these guys expect to grow production given the restrictions on access to reserves?

Tillerson, who succeeded Lee Raymond as CEO in January 2006, is facing increasing barriers to oil and gas exploration in Russia, Alaska and the South China Sea as governments limit access or raise the costs of tapping natural resources.

Price Impact

New York oil futures, which had never traded as high as $112 before the second quarter, surged to a record $143.67 in June.

Drill here. Drill now. Reduce prices now. Believe it.

Posted August 16th, 2008 Filed in Energy

Scorn and Derision for Energy Bill

Here’s a five-minute clip from C-Span of a speech by Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) on the “energy bill”. You wouldn’t think that a man could heap this much scorn and derision on Congress in that short of time, but he does. It becomes evident in just in the first few seconds of his speech:

Congress passed an energy bill which should have been called the anti-American non-energy bill because it punishes Americans for using energy rather than finding new sources of affordable energy. But the bill does one thing, Madam Speaker, it controls the type of light bulbs that all Americans must use throughout our fruited plains.

He goes on to question the constitutional authority of Congress telling Americans what type of light bulb to use, he pulls out actual EPA regulations on the procedures to follow if a CFL bulb is broken (3 pages, single spaced) because they contain mercury, and even points out that all CFL bulbs are made in China.

Give Rep. Poe a listen, and then thank God for good old southern boys that will go to Washington and tell it like it is. If only there were more of them.

Posted June 30th, 2008 Filed in Energy

Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring gasoline prices

Posted June 16th, 2008 Filed in Energy

Let Them Eat Ethanol

Congressional subsidies for ethanol production have driven up the cost of baked goods, from cakes to apple turnovers.

This, of course, is on top of driving up the price of Tequila, cost of milk, price (and availability) of beef, hogs, eggs (23% in a year!), chickens, beer, turkeys — the list goes on and on.

In spite of the fact that ethanol blends lose every cost benefit analysis, and in spite of the fact that ethanol pollution rivals that of gasoline to the point that it will actually kill more people, Congress has shown no signs of reducing government subsidies for ethanol production, which is why prices continue the upward trend.

10 Year History of Ethanol Prices
10 Year History of Ethanol Prices
Source and full-sized graph:
California Energy Commission

Today’s ethanol quote comes from Cornell University scientist David Pimental:

We’re actually importing more oil to produce ethanol. It’s not making us oil-independent, and it’s costing us one hell of a lot of money.

In the future, ethanol will be made from wheat. What do you think this will do to the cost of living? And do you really think it will be any more cost effective than drilling the ANWR and creating jobs?

Posted March 26th, 2008 Filed in Energy

Hybrid Tax Credits Harder to Find

The government loves to give our tax dollars to a variety of people, but under arcane IRS rules only the first 60,000 hybrid cars from any given manufacturer are eligible for "full" tax credits for the buyers. Toyota hit that number a long time ago and Honda did so in January.

According to these complex rules, consumers can still qualify for 50% of the tax credit from Honda hybrids from January through June 30. Then it gets cut in half again until January of 2009, at which time it disappears altogether.

So if you want the full credit, buy a Ford (which is projected to hit the cap later this year) or you can go GM. Remember, a GMC Yukon hybrid gets 20 city/21 highway and a hybrid Chevy Tahoe gets a whopping 21 city/22 highway!

Oh wait, it turns out that the dollar amount for tax credits also changes "based on the fuel economy and weight of the model." Maybe those won’t result in a big payoff after all.

Someone remind me, why don’t we just drill in the ANWR and off the coast of Florida while we build a couple of nuclear power plants and abolish the IRS? Life would certainly end up simpler.

Source: US News

Posted February 29th, 2008 Filed in Energy

Oil Prices Still Significantly Lower than Carter Years

As oil prices spike upwards again, it is important to remember just how bad things got under the watchful eye of the president that Castro loves: Jimmy "the Peanut" Carter.

This chart is from the Chart of the Day, which notes:

One point of interest is that oil is trading near 26-year highs but still below the inflation-adjusted highs of 1980. It is also interesting to note that most oil price spikes were a result of Middle East crises and often preceded or coincided with a US recession.

Cop holding missle launcher

 

Remember this next month when Carter comes out and endorses Edwards for president. Or will it be Hillary? No one can really predict what nonsense will next issue forth from Carter’s mouth.

Posted September 28th, 2007 Filed in Energy