Our weekly update to unravel the industry and political spin around the energy debate
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
WHITE HOUSE CONTINUES PUSH FOR BIG OIL TO PAY FAIR SHARE
On Monday, the White House unveiled the “President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction” which included cutting billions in wasteful taxpayer-funded subsidies to the oil and gas industry. The proposal also included measures for responsible energy development such as a fee on non-producing oil and gas leases as well as permanent funding for oil and gas permitting. The measures would help ensure companies develop existing leases and greater certainty for future oil and gas production.
REP. GRIJALVA AND SEN. UDALL REQUEST GAO INVESTIGATION
Rep. Raul Grijalva and Sen. Tom Udall sent a letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodar asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether or not Americans are receiving fair returns on the oil, gas, and hardrock minerals extracted from public lands. With a $14 trillion dollar deficit, it makes no sense to continue billions in taxpayer subsidies – including public lands giveaways through below-market royalty rates or even royalty-free development. If oil and gas companies are making money on land owned by taxpayers, those taxpayers should get a fair return.
SENS. JOHNSON AND VITTER’S ‘SHOCK DOCTRINE’
A classic example of a shock doctrine, DeSmogBlog reported Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and David Vitter (R-LA) co-sponsored the Federal Accounting of Renewable Energy Act of 2011 (FARE) in an attempt to weaponize Congressional audit power with the intent to, “to hold the renewable industry to a far different standard than that of the fossil fuel industry.”
EIGHT ISN’T ENOUGH TO STOP TIPTON
Rep. Scott Tipton, who holds hundreds of thousands of dollars in oil stock, held a field hearing last Monday to talk about oil and gas regulations. Not surprisingly, there were a number of facts that were not entered into the record. The Checks and Balances Project compiled “Eight facts about oil and gas development and why it should matter to Rep. Scott Tipton.”
THOSE WHO DON’T LEARN FROM HISTORY… YOU KNOW THE REST
Over 60 people died when a pipeline exploded as Kenya Pipeline Company workers failed to contain a leak in the densely populated city of Nairobi. There is concern in the U.S. that this sort of disaster could become commonplace if TransCanada’s Keystone XL expansion is put into place. The Checks and Balances Project outlines four lessons Americans should learn before the pipeline moves forward.
DID YOU KNOW?
CLEAN AIR, CLEAN WATER, OPEN SPACES CREATE JOBS
Recreation and tourism account for 388,000 jobs nationwide, 247,000 of them at national parks. This according to a report titled The Jobs Case for Conservation that the Center for American Progress released last week. The report lays out fifteen sustainable policies to boost conservation job creation, jobs that will be around long after oil and gas booms and then busts.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN
Congress has to vote on another Continuing Resolution this week in order to keep American government funded. In what’s become a familiar story, Democrats and Republicans are both pushing their own philosophy for getting our deficit under control. The White House continues to call for ending billions in special tax breaks to the oil and gas industry, but nobody in House leadership seems to be talking much about making sure oil and gas pays its fair share. Let’s see if Congress thinks an industry that made $67.4 billion in the first six months of 2011 can’t afford to do their part to grow the economy.
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