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On Monday evening the Senate is scheduled to take up my legislation, S. 2204, the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act.  People I talk to all across my home state of New Jersey want to know why they're stuck paying close to $4.00 for a gallon of gasoline while these companies receive billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and rake in record profits.  In effect they are paying Big Oil at the pump and a second time when they file their taxes.  This must stop.

Over the last decade, the Big Five oil companies - BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell - made nearly $1 trillion in profits -- in the last year alone, the figure reached a record-breaking $137 billion in profits.  And for every penny that the price of gasoline increases, Big Oil makes an additional $200 million per quarter.

I believe that we should stop spending taxpayer dollars on 19th century fuels and embrace the clean, renewable technologies of the 21st century.  That is why my bill takes some of the savings gained from the repeal of government subsidies to Big Oil and invests them in clean energy programs that create jobs in the solar, wind, biofuels, and clean energy manufacturing industries.  These are proven programs such as the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program, which has since 2009 created over $35 billion in investment and tens of thousands of energy projects.  In New Jersey alone 750 grants were given for solar, geothermal, landfill gas, hydropower and wind projects.  These projects are worth over $350 million, have created many jobs and will help save New Jersey on energy bills for decades to come.

Last year, when we attempted to repeal oil subsidies we managed to get 52 votes in support, but the power of Big Oil ensured the bill was filibustered, requiring 60 votes for passage.  I need your help.  Please urge your Senator to join me in repealing Big Oil subsidies, investing in a clean energy future, creating jobs, and lowering the deficit.  It's time to stand up for American families and stand up to Big Oil.

In addition, next Wednesday, March 28th at 3:30 PM I will be conducting a Twitter Town Hall focused on energy policy.  To participate, simply tweet your question today with the hashtag #AskMenendez.  You can watch me answer questions via a livestream that will be available on March 28th on my website at www.menendez.senate.gov/twittertownhall.

Originally posted to Senator Robert Menendez on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, DK GreenRoots, and The Royal Manticoran Rangers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (125+ / 0-)
  •  sounds like a good bill (19+ / 0-)

    good luck, Senator, and thanks

    & please do consider dumping the filibuster. it makes progress even more difficult than it already is. majority rule should be the rule.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 10:44:47 AM PDT

    •  the filibuster cannot be dumped (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Marjmar, dewley notid

      as debate is intrinsic to congress.  i think what you're after is to jettison the cloture requirement to end debate?  in which case, debate is endless and true filibusters would be de rigueur.

      Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

      by Cedwyn on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:28:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The filibuster CAN be dumped as it's merely (8+ / 0-)

        a rule the Senate adopted, and is subject to modification as the majority sees fit.
           There are many ways to ensure thorough debate without grinding the gears to a virtual halt owing to the almost impossible present threshold of 60 votes on every single piece of legislation.
           Senator Harkin's proposal back in the day this was being looked at made a whole lot of sense as far as the balance between debate and the ability to legislate is concerned.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:35:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Try this (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hyperstation, elwior, YucatanMan

          Instead of requiring 60 votes to invoke cloture, require 41 to maintain a filibuster. Do whatever you have to to change the rules to force 41 Senators who believe in something so strongly that they will  hold the floor forever. Put the onus on the minority who gets to halt the Senate.

          The current rules allow one Senator to grind things to a halt unless 60 Senators vote for cloture. Let's see if all those Republicans are willing to twiddle their thumbs for three days. This accomplishes the actual alleged purpose of the filibuster. The objecting minority would at least have the right to debate the issue for as long as they feel is necessary.

          " The essential humanity of men can be protected and preserved only where government must answer — not just to the wealthy, not just to those of a particular religion, or a particular race, but to all its people." -Robert F. Kennedy

          by Big Danny on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 07:33:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  filibuster need not be intrinsic to Congress (0+ / 0-)

        right now there is a rule that allows debate to be endless, even if a majority wants to end debate.

        that is a bad rule that allows a minority to thwart the will of the majority.

        majority rule should be the rule for all regular business.

        amending the constitution, of course, should require a higher bar.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 12:07:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The filibuster's okay, but the faux filibuster (16+ / 0-)

      should go, along with the so-called "secret hold."

      Lazy and/or sneaky Senators must not be allowed to control what business the Senate handles. A Senator who doesn't want to bother with a real filibuster and/or wants to hide what s/he is doing to obstruct the Senate shouldn't get the time of day.

      When you think about it, it's a sorry state of affiars when terms llike "lazy" and "sneaky" can be applied to members of the Senate, but if the shoe fits....

      Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

      by RJDixon74135 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 12:22:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I read somewhere.... (8+ / 0-)

    that oil subsidies were supposed to have ended when oil reached $50 a barrel.
    Any truth to that?

    Republicans have the 1% vote locked up.

    by MartyM on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 10:56:41 AM PDT

    •  Wasn't that about 8 years ago? n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, maybeeso in michigan

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:04:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe what you are referring to (36+ / 0-)

      is a program that was designed to provide royalty relief for deep water oil exploration.  Oil companies would not have to pay royalties for drilling in deep water as long as the price of oil stayed below a certain threshold.  These terms were formally agreed to in leases.

      Unfortunately some leases did not have the language which included the price threshold.  As a result the federal government has lost billions in royalty revenues.  My Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act, which will be voted on by the Senate Monday, will terminate this program, but it will ultimately be up to the courts to decide if we can recover past royalty payments owed.

      •  Senator Menendez, are you on board with (16+ / 0-)

        Senator Sanders' effort to reign in the rampant commodities speculation activities that are contributing to the steep run-up in gas prices that are just killing us out here?

          I mean, it's not just the strain on individual families which $4/gallon (and higher) gas places on us, it's also the impact on the fragile economic recovery we're just now starting to feel.

           We don't need more talk on this issue, we need some action to stop the continuing run-up in prices, and hopefully a reversal down to more manageable levels.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:26:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (30+ / 0-)

          I absolutely am supportive of Senator Sanders' efforts.  We cannot allow market manipulation or excess speculation to create wild swings in oil prices and damage our economic recovery or continue to inflict such extreme pain at the pump.

          •  Is the president on board? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Simplify, socalmonk, Onomastic, YucatanMan

            I hope so because (among other reasons) good policy is good politics, and runaway gas prices is something that effects people's votes.

               More than high prices at the pimp, we can't afford to have the GOP back in power in our Nation.

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:52:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the President better be on board (5+ / 0-)

              I'm sick and tired of the corporate welfare, and I'm sick and tired of corporate crooks and their politicians.   At the state and federal level, they are systemically dismantling the middle class and shifting the wealth up to the .5%.   D or R, I'm sick of insane conservatives and wall street liberals attacking our kids and destroying our country.

              "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

              by dkmich on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 12:23:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have not heard President Obama (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                socalmonk, Christin

                utter a single word about taking action to mitigate the steep rise of gas prices.

                  He's been talking a lot, but in a defensive posture, and in these days where facts are so easily muddled, explanations, even good ones about why you're feeling this pain at the pump means little.
                   Taking proactive action to reign in the outrageous profits being taken (at our expense) by these big-money commodities traders will help everyday folks, will help the economy, and will help the Democrats politically.
                   If Republicans start whining about measures that bring down gas prices, as they are often wont to do, they'll get caught in a place they don't want to be in an election year.

                "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

                by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 12:34:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And according to Bernie Sanders the price added (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  socalmonk, YucatanMan

                  to a gallon of gasoline by runaway speculation (most oil and gas futures, some 80% are purchased by those who will never take delivery) is $.56 And that is a conservative estimate.

                      If Americans' bill at the pump could be reduced by that much,  it'd be like adding the stimulus of another tax cut to fortify this fledgling recovery, rather than putting it at risk.
                     And it would do wonders for the president's poll numbers, and for those who advocate for such measures.

                     Finally, if the prices start coming down, the president can avoid being taken hostage (politically) by the "drill baby drill" crowd.

                  "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

                  by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 12:54:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oil and gas are nonrenewable resources (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ivote2004

                    If you don't want to pay the prices, cut your usage. Supplies are only going to be tighter in the future. No reason to expend significant government resources so that soccer moms and dads can keep tooling around the exurbs a little longer in their Escalades.

                    Expensive gas is the future. Get used to it.

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:59:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm sorry, were you responding to me? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      althea in il

                      Did I talk about expending government resources in any way?

                        And aren't you raising something of a logical fallacy talking about soccer moms and Escalades, ignoring working men and women who need their cars to get to work and for other necessities, and who are already having trouble making it?

                        Look, the long-term solution is, and has always been in renewable energy and conservation. We've known this for at least 35 years now, and the drive to bring those things about becomes ever more urgent.

                         But at this point, we need to look at the economic and political realities of this moment in time. Relief at the pump would help working folks, but is also good for the economy as it allows Americans a bit more discretionary spending and that ripples through the economy in a synergistic manner as high gas prices is almost like a regressive form of taxation, affecting those with the least money the most.

                         And the relief would be good for the Democrats politically, and face it, the DEms are our only hope for an energy policy that makes any sense over time.

                      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

                      by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 02:18:16 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                          And aren't you raising something of a logical fallacy talking about soccer moms and Escalades, ignoring working men and women who need their cars to get to work and for other necessities, and who are already having trouble making it?
                        They'll need to adjust too. That's the point of oil depletion. Working people are going to have to move closer to work, live in a smaller house or a condo, walk more places, etc.

                        The transition will be very painful, which is why most people (including you) advocate solving the problem 'in the future' when some nebulous future alternative tech will save us.

                        There isn't going to be an alternative tech to replace oil, at least in the near to medium term. I am an engineer and I understand these issues quite well. People who believe this are deluding themselves.

                        And the relief would be good for the Democrats politically, and face it, the DEms are our only hope for an energy policy that makes any sense over time.
                        This is also a pipe dream. Neither the Dems nor the Repubs have any serious energy policy that makes sense given the above realities. I have zero confidence that a second term Obama will do anything at all that is useful in terms of energy.

                        Energy policies that make sense are extremely politically unpopular. Americans will not tolerate it, so politicians blame speculators and wall street instead of telling Americans the truth.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 03:51:56 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  The President is part of (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    snoopydawg

                    drill baby drill.
                    period.
                    he made that quite evident this part year.
                    drilling the gulf - the arctic.
                    you know. all over.  
                    looking at further drilling in Alaska.
                    his cave on keystone.
                    he's no one's hostage.

                    "We're drilling all over the place," Obama said in Maljamar, N.M., on Wednesday, standing alongside oil rigs on federal land. The president was announcing his plans for the expedited pipeline, a southern portion of the original Keystone XL, in Cushing, Okla., where construction is expected to begin this spring.

                    You are not an Environmentalist if you support the brutal, cruel, inhuman life and slaughter of animals in Factory Farms which produce 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

                    by Christin on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 02:06:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not so sure about that Christin. (0+ / 0-)

                      And I think it's unfair to President Obama to put him in the same (mindless) category as people like the former half-governor of Alaska or Joe (I'm sorry to BP) Barton.
                        The President's third legislative priority, after the stimulus and health care reform was his cap and trade proposal. He resisted the drill, baby drill nonsense during the last campaign, and he had acted to block Keystone before the pressure of rising prices began to weigh so heavily on him politically.
                         He's no tree-hugging environmentalist, but he seems to get the big picture on energy and the environment too. On the other hand, he wants (very much) to be re-elected.

                         I think it's a whole lot smarter politically to take the steps needed to reign in the speculators, as he'll win more hearts and minds that way than by giving in to the brainless crowd. And he won't piss-off environmentalists who are his natural supporters, and the planet will love him more in the long-run too.
                        After all, he's got kids, and they'll have kids, and by the time that generation grows up and suffers the consequences of our actions, they will wonder what we were thinking when we messed up so badly.

                      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

                      by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 02:59:46 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  sigh. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        elwior, Onomastic

                        i disagree El -   he knows better. He knows that Keystone will not lower gas prices.
                        but he did cave to the pressure - and as someone who was called a "bot' on this blog since 2007, and was one of his top 200 cheerleaders here?
                        i disagreeing - but i do.

                        there's a reason he gets a F from most environmental groups, activists, speakers, authors, etc.
                        do if you think this past weak, his cave on keystone, didn't already piss off environmentalists?
                        i don't know what else to say.
                        that was the only feather he had in his cap.
                        and he let that one go too.

                        there's nothing he has done - to take care of this planet.
                        or "save it".
                        he did not stop the rising oceans as he promised.
                        he is not taking care of it.

                        and i'm sorry - but to give him a pass, and say he's doing things that bush did not do (in regards to the planet) or  palin would have?
                        he is. the drilling in the arctic. Alaska. the gulf.
                        bragging about it.
                        letting the gov slaughter wolves from a plane like palin loves to do?
                        there's defense for that?

                        i've given him passes for everything and anything since 2009.
                        and went down in flames a lot defending him for things he did, or did not do.
                        when i would not have defended a R president.

                        i'm not burying my head in the sand on this issue too.
                        his record on E issues is not good.

                        If Bush did this - i'd be crying.
                          So I'm crying.
                        And I'm done defending this - or saying he's being forced to do anything.
                        So everything crappy he does?
                        He's being forced, right?
                        I don't think so.

                        He was always going to cave on Keystone.
                        But people getting pissed off about the 100 dollar bill to fill up their SUV's just made him act a little faster.

                        The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced conditional approval for Shell Oil to drill six exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska in 2012 and 2013.  
                        Weeks earlier, the Obama administration green-lighted exploratory drilling next summer in the Arctic's Beaufort Sea.=The Arctic has virtually no resources to deal with a spill.  

                        If a Deepwater Horizon-style disaster took place in the far north, "we'd have nothing. We're starting from ground zero today," Adm. Robert Papp, the Coast Guard's top officer, recently told Congress.

                        The Beaufort Sea is much shallower than the Gulf of Mexico.  But there is great potential danger to the waters and iceflows that are home to the polar bear and the harp seal and the bowhead whale.

                        "Once oil is there, it gets under the ice and you can't remove it," Pete Ewins, Arctic species specialist with the World Wildlife Fund, said in Seattle recently.

                        The low point in Obama's energy-environment record came in late summer.  He blocked the EPA from setting down new rules to cut ozone levels in the atmosphere that generate smog and cause respiratory illnesses among children.

                        Big Oil and Big Coal lobbied relentlessly, purchasing the lobbying services of Washington, D.C., Democrats who once did good but now do well.

                        Bill Clinton embraced God's great out-of-doors in the mid-1990's as a counter to Newt Gingrich and GOP extremists in Congress.   He designated the 1.7 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the canyonlands of southern Utah.  Politicians in the Beehive State bellowed.  

                        Obama has not responded to calls that he designate national monuments to protect the rich fishery of Alaska's Bering Sea, threatened by a mine, or the mind-boggling White Cloud Peaks of southern Idaho.

                        Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/...

                        You are not an Environmentalist if you support the brutal, cruel, inhuman life and slaughter of animals in Factory Farms which produce 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

                        by Christin on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 03:20:37 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  With all due respect Senator Menendez, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan

            I was not asking a rhetorical question when I inquired about where President Obama stands on this issue of commodities speculation and its effect on prices at the pump.
                This is a very big issue, related to the issue you raised here, and most important, related to the constant erosion of the financial security of ordinary, everyday Americans like those of us here at DKos.
               It is maddening to us that we are put upon this way and that so many of our hard-earned dollars end up in the pockets of people who accumulate these dollars as little more than a big, perverse game.

               We rely on good folks like you to represent us in matters like this (and other critical areas) that have a direct impact on our lives.
               So if you're coming here to engage in dialogue with folks (who inherently like and support you by the way), please have the courtesy to not blow us off when we are seeking critical information.
              If you don't know the president's position, just tell us that. And if you can find out and let us know, we would greatly appreciate the information.

               And BTW, I waited for almost an hour and a half before posting this to give you adequate time to post a response to my question.

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:20:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps cannot answer the question and stay (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              in good graces with the White House in an election year?

              I am in full agreement with you, by the way.

              We need a further crackdown on speculation of all types, but particularly commodities speculation which hurts working people the most.

              What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

              by YucatanMan on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 09:49:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Senator Menendez - I am very impressed that (9+ / 0-)

        you are actually participating in a conversation here. It's very uncommon for a politician to participate this fully, usually we have a posting and no followup.

        I am frequently asked two question by the friends of Big Oil and my guess is that you or your staff have these answers handy.

        1. Specifically what tax breaks do the largest oil companies receive that are distinctly different than other domestic manufacturers?

        2. How much does Big Oil pay in lease payments, royalties, and federal income taxes on an annual basis?

        Thanks!

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:08:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Big Oil enjoys tax breaks... (13+ / 0-)

          in how they report drilling costs, how they account for capital investments, and deductions for certain injectants they use.  They also enjoy the domestic manufacturing deduction even though most people agree that extracting oil should not be considered "manufacturing."

          Lastly, oil companies have disguised foreign royalty payments as foreign tax payments.  This allows them to deduct these taxes from their US taxes.  This means the American taxpayer is subsidizing foreign oil!

          As far as Big Oil's total contribution to the federal government, I do not have that statistic at the ready.  I can say, however, that lease payments and royalty rates here in the US are quite low and that with these tax subsidies, Big Oil is not paying its fair share.

          You should also take Big Oil statistics on their tax payments with a large grain of salt.  They enjoy including things like the gasoline tax.  In my book, drivers pay the gas tax not Big Oil!

          •  We pay the gas tax in EVERYONE'S book. But Senator (0+ / 0-)

            you still have not answered my question about the president's position on the role of commodities speculators in driving up the price of gas at the punp.

               We here at Daily Kos really do appreciate your stopping by, but traditionally here when a Kossack asks the person who posts a diary a question, they answer.
               It's simply not respectful to do otherwise.
                And though it is only one individual here asking you a question, there are many, many folks here who have the same question and would appreciate an answer.

               If there is one thing We the People object to about our elected representatives is that you tend not to listen to us, and sadly, that includes Democrats.
              We want to do everything we can here, and in similar places around the Internet, Social Media, and elsewhere to help you on this issue, and in electing good Democrats in general.
               Having said that, you have to understand that this is a relationship that cuts both ways. When you actually do listen and when you support us as well, our support will be returned in spades.

              At this moment, I am simply asking for the same common courtesy we extend to you.
               Thank you.

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 02:39:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you, Senator (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pragmaticus, elwior

            I appreciate your good work here.

            After you fight this uphill battle and are successful with this legislation, I hope you will continue to work on further steps in this positive direction.

            Tax breaks are not the only way that the government, the nation, the citizenry, and the ecosystem subsidize the profitability of fossil fuel companies. We use the term "externalities" for costs and benefits that are not included in the formalities of financial accounting. Negative externalities -- expenses and liabilities imposed (in this case, by fossil fuel companies) onto external parties -- need to be internalized into financial accounts and thereby into truthful pricing signals so that the marketplace can do its job.

            Just two of many examples: citizens bear untold billions in costs to treat their asthma, allergies, and other respiratory ailments caused or aggrevated by pollution from burning of fossil fuels. And of course fossil fuel use contributes mightily to the buildup of greenhouse gasses that are destabilizing the climate, melting polar ice, and will inexorably for decades to come be dumping untold costs onto those who can least afford them. Yet none of these costs or liabilities make it onto the P&L or balance sheet of any company that books the income, builds an asset base, and enriches its shareholders by feeding (and ensuring the continuation of) fossil fuel addiction.

            The US federal government has a unique and critical role to play in "debugging" our economy's accounting "software". The key is legislative steps for internalizing externalities. Truthful price signals are the secret ingredients that unleash the magic of the free market.

            You legislation passing will help internalize externalities. Thank you, Senator Menendez!

            #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

            by ivote2004 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 05:27:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  which subsidies are you referring to exactly? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 04:19:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for stopping by, Senator (16+ / 0-)

    As your diary needs more eyeballs, I am republishing it to our group, The Royal Manticoran Rangers.

    Both houses should pass legislation to redirect the oil subsidies to renewable energy research and production.

    The smartgrid is another topic and I don't want to threadjack.

    Thanks again!

    "What have you done for me, lately?" ~ Lady Liberty

    by ozsea1 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:06:47 AM PDT

  •  I've been behind you on this since ... (24+ / 0-)

    ...the first time you proposed it.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:24:07 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for your leadership on this issue, (8+ / 0-)

    Senator.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:25:18 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Senator. (6+ / 0-)

    This problem is long overdue for correction.  I appreciate your effort and will stand with you 100%.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:04:41 PM PDT

  •  Why does the GOP support this form of Corporate (7+ / 0-)

    Welfare, billions of dollars/year, when they're so very, very concerned about the budget deficit?

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:26:44 PM PDT

  •  As I always point out when it comes to BigOil (5+ / 0-)

    BigOil is subsidized by the world-wide protection of our military.  I'm sick of foreign wars on behalf of giant international corporations and their desires to own somebody else's stinking oil fields.

    Dick Cheney on how he acquired his vast personal fortune, in his VP "debate" with sad Joe Leiberman:

    DICK CHENEY: I can tell you, Joe, the government had absolutely nothing to do with it.
    BS, Cheney.  The government had everything to do with it.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:48:07 PM PDT

  •  I completely support this, Senator. (5+ / 0-)

    Corporate welfare for oil companies needs to stop now.

    And when you get this taken care of, can you look at farm subsidies, too?  My husband hunts on farmland in Iowa where the owner has been paid for ten years to grow nothing.  That's just wrong.  

    _ I've spoken my piece and counted to three._

    by althea in il on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:52:20 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, sir (7+ / 0-)

    I am very fortunate to live in New Jersey and to be represented by you, Senator Lautenberg, and Frank Pallone. I appreciate all 3 of you.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:55:52 PM PDT

  •  Welcome to Dailykos Senator (4+ / 0-)

    Hope you stop in often !

  •  I'm contacting my two CA senators now. (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks so much for doing this and I certainly wish you well.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 03:14:24 PM PDT

    •  I'm going to contact Boxer and Feinstein also. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, Amber6541

      I want them to support this, and Bernie Sanders effort as well regarding reigning in the commodities speculators driving up the prices.

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 03:38:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just a note of caution... I had trouble with (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, Amber6541

        Feinstein's e-mail, so you might want to try but save a copy of what you write. I will call them Monday and find out what's up.

        While you are at it, can you ask them to co-sponsor S 2134 regarding adoption of military dogs by their handlers? It's a great bill. There are only four co-sponsors at the moment.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 03:46:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  BTW... what is the Sanders bill #? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 03:47:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I couldn't find a bill #, though The bill has (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany, Amber6541

          a number of Senate sponsors and is being introduced in the House as well.

           Here are the provisions however:

            This legislation mandates that the Chairman of the CFTC take immediate actions to eliminate excessive oil speculation within two weeks.

          1) Our bill requires the Chairman of the CFTC to establish speculative oil position limits equal to the position accountability levels that have been in place at the New York Mercantile Exchange since 2001.

          2) Our bill requires the Chairman of the CFTC to double the margin requirements on speculative oil trading so that Wall Street investment banks back their bets with real capital.

          3) Under our bill, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other Wall Street investment banks engaged in proprietary oil trading would be classified as speculators, instead of bona-fide hedgers; and

          4) The Chairman of the CFTC would be required under this bill to take any other action necessary to eliminate excessive speculation and ensure that the price of oil accurately reflects the fundamentals of supply and demand.

             

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 03:57:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What exactly are the tax breaks that oil companies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, elwior

    get that other manufacturing or processing businesses don't get?  Which of these does your bill address?

    What in your bill prevents the oil companies from passing on their higher tax burdens onto consumers?

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 04:18:52 PM PDT

  •  Here's something great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, ivote2004

    that will help us get off oil. Mostly now in CA but also in your state of NJ - we need more of this: Charging Stations for electric cars

    Today, California announced a $120 million investment to install over 10,000 charging points throughout the state. The new "Electric Expressway" will be built up by NRG Energy Inc. and will include 200 public fast-charging stations and 10,000 "plug-in units" at 1,000 locations ...

    Meanwhile, over in New Jersey, a bill to support charging stations being installed at businesses and homes is moving through the legislature.

    http://ow.ly/...

  •  Bad Idea. Here's why. (0+ / 0-)

    Essentially, ending oil subsidies would increase prices for consumers and hurt poor Americans. Why? The answer comes from economics.
    1. Demand for oil is very inelastic. People need it to commute, to live, to travel. Some goods are elastic; when the price rises, people buy much less. The Law of Demand still applies to oil, but to a lesser degree when compared with many other products on the free market.
    2. Because of this inelastic demand, people buy oil at the price it is offered. People need gas to get to work. In the short-term, we see minor modifications to consumer behavior.
    3. Oil companies want to make profits. They would pass the money they lose from subsidies into price increases for consumers, which would be a regressive policy and take more money away from the poor. They know, because of the inelastic demand, that they can get away with it.

    In the long-term, we need to phase out oil subsidies, but the bill you offer does it to fast. I am concerned about America's poor; they shouldn't have to pay more for gas than they already do.

    •  Oh Jeez! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivote2004, hyperstation

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 05:18:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oil demand inelasticity is an obsolete myth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, hyperstation

      Rising prices do lead to lower fuel use.

      Americans have pumped less gas every week for the past year.

      During those 52 weeks, gasoline consumption dropped by 4.2 billion gallons, or 3 percent, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse. The decline is longer than a 51-week slide during the recession.

      The main reason: higher gas prices. The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.89, the highest ever for this time of year, and experts say it could be $4.25 by late April. As a result, Americans are taking fewer trips to restaurants and shopping malls. When they take a vacation, they’re staying closer to home.

       

      Sorry for you oil-company shills who suddenly have a Romney-esque caring about po folk.

      But surprise, surprise, those oil addicts you thought you had hooked for good... aren't behaving quite like you and your sad old econ models would like ;)

      "Oil demand inelasticity" only had cred when you had the sheeple enslaved and addicted and without alternatives. But we've been quietly freeing up your slaves and addicts, and the range of alternatives has blossomed over the past 3 years, 'n case ya didn't notice.

      Progressive initiatives we've been fighting for for decades and seriously ramped up within Obama's first 100 days  (and then even more by Obama's EPA) are gaining more and more traction:

      But the decline in gas consumption is also a sign that efforts to push carmakers to produce vehicles with better gas mileage are paying off. The average new car now gets nearly 24 miles to the gallon, compared with about 20 mpg just four years ago, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

      “I’d expect to see lower gasoline consumption for several years to come,” Rice University energy expert Ken Medlock says.

      #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

      by ivote2004 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 05:55:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, hyperstation, howd

      Remember that oil is fungible, and that the US is simply not the only market.  The fact that we as a country stopped subsidizing oil that is sold on a global market would have little effect on overall world prices - US production companies could not raise their prices without pricing themselves out of the market and driving purchasers into the arms of non-US based producers.

      It's like the laughable ideas about Keystone XL, which is designed to transport oil to refineries that are in an export zone.  Allowing a massive pipeline to cross the US won't do a damned thing to reduce prices in the US, because the gasoline from those refineries is largely exported for profit, not sent back out into the US to 'keep us safe from foreign oil'.

      •  Correct, the whole idea of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

        Keystone pipeline is get the Texas benchmark up to the Brent price.
        Hoarding is in fashion in Cushing, Oklahoma. Mike Cantrell, president of Domestic Energy Producer’s Alliance, says the hub of oil storage in North America has an oil problem.

        D.E.P.A. represents thousands of small time oil producers, many right here in Oklahoma. They know the leader in storage of the gooey goodness is overflowing. It’s coming from Montana and Texas, and could soon flow from Canada.

        “To us in the oil and gas business, Cushing is the mecca,” said Cantrell.

        “Because that’s where everyone has to get their oil, and that’s become a problem.”

        In New York, oil traders at the Mercantile Exchange need a benchmark. With capacity for more than 50 million barrels of crude, Cushing fills that role. Full tanks mean future prices are higher than current ones.

        Emptying tanks? Refine and get it to gas stations before values fall even farther. Traditionally, Cushing’s price, known as the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, trades 3 or 4 dollars higher than the other standard, called Brent. Lately though, Cushing’s been coming in 20 dollars lower.

        “Producers are hurt by it and so if you’re selling your oil at the Cushing price instead of 10 or 15 or 20 dollars international price higher, producers suffer,” said head of the National Energy Policy Institute, Brad Carson.

        http://kosu.org/...

    •  hahaha, a comment from big oil? (0+ / 0-)

      stopping the subsidies would not cost "the poor" a dime since big oil already charges the market rate. Subsidies are a gift from "the poor" to big oil via Congress.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 09:40:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've written to my senators. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, YucatanMan, Pragmaticus, Amber6541

    Given that my senators are Chambliss and Isakson, it's likely a waste of time.  I can expect the usual reply full of talking points, if they respond at all.

  •  GOP is trying to include end to Wind Energy (4+ / 0-)

    subsidies.

    DOES THE SENATE BILL INCLUDE ending subsidies for Wind Energy?

    Solar?  Or have the already expired.

    I want solar power but can't afford it.  Every home in a sunny area should have solar power, but that would cut out all the BIG BUSINESS guys who get their $$ directly from the DOE.

    Why not end profiting from energy?

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 07:27:51 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for this ... (0+ / 0-)

    however, I would appreciate that your staff examine this:  why natural gas vehicles are a disastrously bad investment and provide a substantive and meaningful response to the myriad of issues raised.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:04:35 AM PDT

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