More "Progress" from the Progressives

The Democrat-controlled Congress today voted, at the end of last week, to pass an energy bill which punishes domestic oil companies while passing over CITGO and Hugo Chavez. While it was summed up nicely by Jeff Emanuel of, I’ll do my best to sum up the summary.

HR 5351 (Emanuel’s piece wrongly had the bill as HR 5321) will pull $18 billion in tax credits from five major domestic oil producers — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell. These tax credits were given to foster further exploration and research. CITGO, which gets all of its oil from the Chavez-led Venezuelan state, was exempt from what amounted to a tax hike. In short, the democrats disfavored American companies, while assisting a sworn enemy of the United States of America.

So, as we work toward energy independence, as we strive for new technologies and new alternative fuels, as we hope to create new American jobs on American soil, the democrats have passed an energy bill which countermands everything done to move toward those goals so far.

Forget, for a moment, that Hugo Chavez is a man who dreams of the destruction of the United States. Forget, for a moment, that the democrats came to the aid of a socialist dictator while forcing American capitalist companies to pay the price. Forget, even, that the junk science of Global Warming championed by so many of the left have caused food prices to skyrocket because farmers are growing corn for ethanol, a gallon of which requires 2/3 of a gallon of gasoline to make. Forget all that. Let’s just take a quick look at how, once again, the democrats are working against national security.

The safety of Americans and security of America in this increasingly turbulent global climate depends in part upon us working toward energy independence, finding a way to kick the cancerous habit that is foreign oil.

Nuclear power has proven to be safe, reliable, clean and effective–it powers something like 75 percent of France–but has continued to be deemed dangerous by folks on the left.

Oil refining capacity is much too low for America’s needs and, despite the demand for more and more fuel, a new refinery hasn’t been built since 1976 when a facility opened in Garyville, Louisiana. According to the folks on the left, however, refineries are a scar on the face of Mother Earth (or something like that).

Some estimates claim that there is enough oil under the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to replace 30 years of imports from Saudi Arabia. The development of ANWR would create between 235,000 and 735,000 jobs, and because of advances in technology, it can be done without harming wildlife. The folks at say that 75 percent of Alaskans favor exploration and production, and even the area Eskimos are on board. Job creation, minimal [if any] environmental impact, and 30 years of freedom from Saudi oil so we have time to look for alternative sources of energy? Sounds great … but the democrats say no.

So, according to the folks on the left, nuclear power is dangerous, oil refineries are dirty, drilling ANWR will freak out the caribou and, now, those big American oil companies don’t need that tax break to find alternative sources of energy … but Hugo Chavez, socialist dictator and sworn, mortal enemy of America, can still have his.

The whole thing makes me want to jump out the nearest open window. Democrats get irritated when people question their patriotism — more and more, I’ve decided that there is no question.



  1. Aaron says:

    Blah blah blah, It’s Bush’s fault

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s good that we are ending the tax credits for oil companies. But it’s disappointing that we didn’t end ALL of them. I don’t buy into your BS about Chavez wanting the destruction of America and stuff, that’s just far-right lunatic fearmongering. That’s not productive.

    But I don’t like that we are supporting ANY corporations with tax credits. I want to see all this stuff go away, whether they’re foreign or domestic. You complain about Chavez being a socialist, but when you’re giving $18 billion worth of tax credits to an industry like this for 22 years how can you say that’s not just another form of welfare?

    Hopefully we’ll soon have all the oil industry tax credits cut. Very soon we the moderates will add our voice to yours, the far-right lunatics. Except our question will be “why are you giving ANYONE tax credits?”

    You think it’ll raise the cost of gas at the pump? I say who cares. We’ve been paying that all along in the form of taxes anyway.

  3. Jeff Schreiber says:

    I agree with you in that the tax burden should be equal across the board. Either do it or don’t do it. The same goes for taxing the classes. It’s popular among liberals to vilify “tax cuts for the wealthy” when it is, in fact, the wealthy that invest in business, create business, and create jobs.

    My issue with the oil industry, and the energy problem as a whole, is that the free market should reign. Sooner or later, these companies will figure out that there is much money to be made in hydrogen, in solar, in wind, in harnessing the Gulf Stream or what have you, and they will pour their money into such projects. The government should not have to foster such research and development.

    I agree with you there.

    In terms of Chavez, you need only look at many of the speeches made–many of which were on American soil–to know how he feels about this country. Perhaps, soon, I can highlight some of these.

    In the meantime, please remember that there are people who wake up each and every morning seething with hatred toward America and everything for which she stands (many of those people are here IN America, too). If we cannot identify good and evil in the world, we are truly lost.

  4. Anonymous says:

    (same person who posted the previous anonymous message here.. sorry, I don’t have a Blogger ID).

    I understand where you’re coming from on your Chavez position. But I don’t see Chavez as anti-American. At least, not in the sense that he’s against American citizens. I understand that he’s against the American government, and to be honest I kind of think he has a reason to be.

    Contrary to what popular opinion amongst the right-wing talk shows says, Chavez is not a dictator. He has an extremely high approval rating in his country overall. Sure, some don’t like him but those tend to be the ultra-rich. He has vastly more popular support than any American president in recent memory.

    In the US, Chavez is disliked because he’s very liberal, because he’s a socialist. The US has a pretty long history of crushing countries that try to become socialist if they do too well at it, and this is why Chavez has a good reason to fear the US. One of the best examples, certain from Chavez’s perspective, has got to be Nicaragua when the Sandinistas were in power in the 1980s. But also the way the US has maintained an extremely harsh and unjust embargo against Cuba, essentially because we don’t approve of the way their government runs the country. Yet we’re very supportive of extremely harsh governments like Saudi Arabia. Some people like to say we’re still maintaining the embargo against Cuba because of some human rights type issues, because Castro is a brutal dictator. But that’s not at all true, as you can see by looking at brutal dictatorships in other parts of the world that the US is very happy to support.

    Another point I want to mention is a relatively new thing, and might actually be directly relevant to HR 5351 (although I honestly don’t know if it is, I’m only proposing a speculative theory here). When the US Congress asked the oil industry, a couple years ago I think, to reduce the cost of heating oil for certain areas of the country in the the northern states every single oil company refused except for Citgo. Well, not only did they refuse but I believe they wouldn’t even dignify the Congress with a response. And Citgo has continued to offer this each year since then, while the others have not (at least, I have not heard anywhere that they changed their position on this). So here we have Citgo, behind which sits this super anti-American Chavez, that is the only one willing to do what seems to be a very pro-American thing. This makes me wonder if maybe this is the reason the Congress decided to not strike the tax credits to Citgo, but as I said that’s pure speculation.

    So, again, I really think it’s not that Chavez is anti-American. He’s not against the people in any way. But the US government has a history of crushing completely non-threatening countries if they are too leftist, and I think Chavez has a good reason to fear the US government and to assume they will eventually attack him.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Going back to taxes again, we could cut taxes for both the wealthy and the non-wealthy if we would just do some spring cleaning and reduce our federal spending dramatically.

    A good first step I think would be the “War on Drugs”. It doesn’t accomplish anything except increase crime rates in this country and in others. If all drugs were legalized and regulated similar to tobacco and alcohol, then we could eventually put hefty taxes on them. In a very short time we could dramatically reduce crime in this country, perhaps improve the bottom-line quality of life, reduce crime in OTHER countries. Our southern border would be more secure. And rather than spending billions of dollars a year on a losing battle, we could be MAKING money that we could invest back into the poorest areas of our cities.

    I would also like to see us bring a lot of our military back from around the world. Some people would argue that we are still needed in places like Saudi Arabia (although my feeling is that our being there is the thing that is inflaming hatred of us in that region of the world). But certainly we don’t need to be maintaining military bases in Germany, Poland, Japan, Korea, and in the dozens of other countries we’re occupying in some capacity or another. We should bring those soldiers back here and let them spend their paychecks in OUR country, let them defend our southern border if Americans are worried that it needs defending. Germany doesn’t need us to occupy their country, Japan doesn’t need us there. This could save us billions of dollars a year. Let’s spend that money on ourselves, not on other countries.

  6. Jeff Schreiber says:

    As for the name thing, click on “Name/URL” and I think you can enter a name from there.

    I still disagree with you 100 percent on Chavez. Look at the stranglehold he has on the media, and you will see some of the reasoning behind the [empty] approval ratings. Remember, if you will, that many Soviets loved their Party — one reason for which would be the “media” coverage of Party leadership.

    Furthermore, CITGO’s generosity in the United States with regard to heating oil is admirable, but I truly believe that it is up to Americans to help Americans. If the oil companies want to establish programs like those established by the drug companies to help those of limited means, that is a decision for the respective boards and shareholders of those companies, not for the government. Remember, we need less government interference in lives and business, not more.

    On taxes, you are right in part. You are correct in that spending has gone absolutely out of control, and you are correct in saying that certain programs need to be cut or eliminated. While I would entertain the legalization of marijuana simply on the grounds that it may be less harmful than cigarettes, legalizing other drugs would have disastrous effects upon our healthcare costs.

    I would, however, whole-heartedly support the elimination of the Department of Education. There is no need for anything but a true federalist approach to education, and everyone would benefit. As I’ve said many times before, what works in New York might not work in Arkansas, and states can look at educational programs and such in other states to see which programs and systems to adopt and which to avoid.

    As for our military — given the recent uppity-ness of the Russians, I cannot see removing our troops from Eastern Europe as being a wise move any time soon. The same goes for Korea. Forces in Japan are handy, too, to keep an eye on the Chinese and their relationship with Taiwan.

    In terms of our presence in the Middle East, you know how I feel.

    You did mention the relationship between the US and Cuba, contrasted with the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia. Very interesting point. There is a reason for the Cuban embargo, and until those people are truly free from the clutches of their government, I hope it stays. I also hope that the next administration can take a good, long, hard look at the relationship we have with the Saudis. As you know, I do not approve of the rule of law over there, and I was quite dismayed to see some of the recent photos of our president with their leadership.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Eh, I’m still not convinced by arguments that Chavez has a stranglehold on the media. There was really only one incident that I know of between Chavez and Venezuelan media, and that was when he decided not to renew a license to RCTV.

    But the full story of that was not really reported very well in the US. In 2002 RCTV helped support and fund a failed coup against Chavez’s government. If that had happened under the Soviets, what do you think their response would be? Do you think they would immediately shut down the TV? What about if it were to happen today in the US. Say it’s not Fox or CNN, say it’s a really small broadcaster that tries to incite a coup against the US government. Would the US government ignore it?

    But the fascinating thing is that after the coup failed, Chavez did NOT immediately shut them down. He waited 5 years and simply refused to renew their license. That’s the most passive form of punishment I can even think of.

    RCTV is not the only one that is anti-Chavez. I think you’re very wrong that he has a stranglehold on the media there. There were four major television channels there: RCTV, Televen, GlobovisiĆ³n, and VenevisiĆ³n. They have about 90% of the market. And they’re all anti-Chavez. Why? Because they’re all owned by rich corporations who don’t benefit from a socialist government.

    I would venture to say that the stranglehold you described exists more in the US than it does in Venezuela, except that the situation is reversed. You said that in Venezuela the government has a stranglehold on the media, which I think is incorrect as I’ve described above, but I think in the US it’s the media that has a stranglehold on the government. The media completely decides who our choices are going to be for president. For quite a long time now all the media companies have been telling us that Ron Paul has dropped out of the election, and that’s a completely false statement. (No, I’m not one of the so-called Paulbots.. I’m just pointing this out as a fact). During all the early debates, you could clearly see who the media designated as “front-runner” candidates. Rudy Giuliani was frequently called a front-runner, and they gave him quite a bit of time to talk. McCain, Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Romney, Huckabee. They were all given, to varying degrees, plenty of time to talk in the debates. Gravel, Kucinich, and Paul were especially ignored. I don’t think the media ever even talked about Gravel really, and when they did talk about Paul or Kucinich in any news or talk shows they would start laughing like it was a big joke. This obviously sets the stage for Americans to not take them seriously, no matter how much they actually like some of their ideas. I know a lot of Democrats who said that they like what Kucinich says more than anything Obama or Clinton says. But they won’t vote for him, no way. Because they know that nobody else is going to.

    So there’s your media-government stranglehold. When the media decides who gets to be in power, the government has no need to try to control the media because almost by definition they’re already on the same page. No dictatorship anywhere in the world could ask for a better relationship with the media, because heavy-handed control of the media will be noticed by everyone whereas our (the US) situation is much more invisible to most citizens.

  8. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Phenomenal comment.

    Any time I can learn something, it’s a good day. Are YOU Hugo Chavez?

    Great point on the American media and its relationship to this election as well — that, my friend, is part of the frustration that needed an outlet (hence the birth of this site).

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