#oilshalefail

If you’re having trouble viewing the video, watch it on our YouTube or Vimeo pages.

Update 2/15/12, 6:34 PM EST: Co-director Matt Garrington’s statement on the failure of the Polis amendment which would have struck Lamborn’s oil shale boondoggle from the highway bill: “We applaud Rep. Polis for recognizing the failure of H.R. 3408 and the fact that oil shale is not ready for prime time. Speaker Boehner and Rep. Lamborn should quit trying to sell the American public on their ‘0-0-0 plan.’ The truth is — there is zero energy, zero revenue, and zero jobs in oil shale.

Click the following links to watch Polis and Lamborn debate:
Polis 1
Polis 2
Lamborn 1
Lamborn 2

UPDATE: We’ve gotten word that Speaker Boehner is planning to group all three energy bills under the PIONEERS Act banner. He’s trying cover up the fact that oil shale creates zero energy and zero revenue. Boehner and Lamborn are trying to keep people from realizing that HR 3408 won’t fund anything, but it will give two million acres of land to oil companies, and knock down royalties if the rock ever is developed.

He’s pushed the rule vote on the PIONEERS act up to tonight. He’s trying to pass oil shale separately from the rest of the highway bill. He’s hoping nobody will remember that oil shale has been a money pit for 100 years.

Remember, CBO scored PIONEERS as having no effect on revenue, meanwhile the Speaker’s been saying it’s one of HR 7’s funding sources. He has to try and change the landscape.

Help spread our new video around, so that people can learn the facts about oil shale, and what Speaker Boehner and Rep. Lamborn are trying to sneak past us.

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Speaker of the House John Boehner is bringing his controversial highway bill (H.R. 7) to the floor this week. As you may have read in these pages (or plenty of others) the Speaker has identified Rep. Doug Lamborn’s oil shale boondoggle (H.R. 3408) as one of his funding sources.

Since oil shale doesn’t actually generate any money, we thought pointing out the truth behind Boehner’s and Lamborn’s bills was worth a new Checks and Balances Project video.

It’s bad enough that Lamborn’s bill actually creates a new subsidy for oil companies by setting “bargain basement” royalty rates for oil shale. And that it would hand over two million acres of public land to oil companies for the sake of oil shale speculation and mandate commercial leasing on 125,00 acres of public lands even though there is no commercial oil shale industry.

But now the Speaker is saying that we will pay for millions of dollars’ worth of repairs to highways and bridges with revenue from oil shale.

The problem with that plan is that oil shale creates zero revenue. And for that matter, zero energy and zero jobs.

In 100 years, oil shale has never been commercially developed in the United States despite billions in taxpayer-funded research and development handouts to industry.

In fact, Shell Oil, which is recognized as a leader in oil shale research, says the earliest that commercial oil shale technology could be available is next decade, and possibly later.

“A commercial decision would be in the middle of the next decade and possibly later depending on the sequence and outcome of research activities.” – Shell Oil website

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office reported “the legislation would not affect revenues” and projected zero revenue between 2012 and 2022.

Even Lamborn admitted to Allison Sherry at the Denver Post that oil shale “is not a real contributor to the highway transportation needs we have.”

So in addition to our video, I sent a letter to Speaker Boehner and Rep. Lamborn. In the letter I asked a very simple question:

My organization wishes to know how H.R. 3408, which will generate zero oil shale “revenue,” is intended to fund desperately needed repairs to our nation’s crumbling roads, highways, and bridges.

I’m hoping to hear back from the Speaker or Rep. Lamborn soon, but I’m not holding my breath.

The facts are clear. If America tries to fund highway repairs with oil shale revenues, we’re just looking at an increase in deficit spending. We need to spread the word, so people are educated. Watch our video. Share it with your friends.

And whenever you’re tweeting or facebooking, use the hashtag #oilshalefail. If we work together and make enough noise, maybe we can drown out the spin and rhetoric politicians are putting out there on oil shale.

Will Boehner End Oil and Gas Industry Welfare?

The price at the pump is hovering around $4/gallon, while oil and gas companies are reporting billions in first quarter profits. So wasn’t a complete shock when Speaker John Boehner said, earlier this week, that Congress should look at ending the fossil fuel industry’s multi-billion dollar tax breaks.

After all, how does Congress plan to explain to American families facing escalating energy prices that BP – responsible for the worst spill in American history – made $7.1 billion in profits in the first three months of 2011, but still needs taxpayer dollars to stay in business.

Some politicians are trying to say that ending the decade-old tax breaks will only increase the price of fuel. But without their taxpayer-funded safety net, oil and gas companies would have to compete more rigorously for consumers, which is likely to drive down prices.

The fact is that American families can’t afford to keep propping up Exxon, Chevron, Shell and other oil and gas companies. The question is whether Speaker Boehner sees that.

Watch the video of Boehner’s interview.

If Speaker Boehner agrees the time has come to end oil and gas industry welfare, it’s a drastic change in course for the House Republican conference. Representative Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget, submitted less than two weeks ago, keeps intact $40 billion in oil subsidies.

Weeks before, in early March, House Republicans voted unanimously against ending tens of billions in taxpayer subsidies to the five largest oil companies.

See what Montana Congressman Dennis Rehberg has to say.

So what’s the answer Mr. Speaker? Are you and your colleagues finally changing your minds about billion dollar tax breaks for an industry making billions in profits?

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