Friday, June 04, 2010

Obama, lying (again) -- it's getting tiresome.

Thanks to the WSJ, the light is finally shed on the myth that Bush deregulated the oil industry (or any other for that matter). Not only that but the myth that Bush was a free-market Conservative is shattered with the appropriate title of "Champion Regulator" granted to him in this video piece. Nice work, WSJ!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAA ... is this for REAL!?!?

Someone needs to educate the WSJ OPINION page on facts.

Fact is: Oil industry for deep water drilling WAS - in deed - DEREGULATED under Bush/Cheney.

To be specific:
* MMS suddenly decided under Bush that they would not continue with the recommendations to update the regulations of the oil companies as began under Clinton (it should be noted that the regulations have not been updated since 1996 – this is how deeply the oil companies have infiltrated our government),

* Since 2006 - the GOP Congress & W & Cheney left the blowout preventives design standard, manufacturing standard up to the OIL industry with no government witnessing or oversight of the construction or installation. (Hence DEREGULATED)

* 2006 - Bush/Cheney lifted the ban on deep water drilling with NO REGULATIONS OR STANDARDS in place (hence DEREGULATED)

* as a result of the "lift" 2006 GOP Congress & Bush/Cheney did NOT require government standard for design or installation of blowout preventives.

** As of 2006 The federal government doesn’t routinely inspect them before they are installed. Their emergency systems usually go untested once they are set on the seafloor at the mouth of the well. The federal government doesn’t require a backup. (HENCE DEREGULATED)

Ah ... let me guess -- if regulations for Oil Industry are imposed the frightwingers will call Obama Hitler - yawn

Anonymous said...

Here are documented facts of DEREGULATION for deep water drilling under Bush/Cheney

OIL & GAS SUBSIDIES: $6 BILLION

Section 1329
Allows “geological and geophysical” costs associated with oil exploration to be written off faster than present law, costing taxpayers over $1.266 billion from 2007-2015. The provision claims to raise $292 million from 2005-06, and cost taxpayers $1.266 billion from 2007-2015. It originated in the House (there was no such provision in the original Senate bill). Record-high oil prices should provide a sufficient incentive for oil companies like ExxonMobil to drill for more oil without this huge new tax break.

Section 1323
Allows owners of oil refineries to expense 50% of the costs of equipment used to increase the refinery’s capacity by at least 5%, costing taxpayers $842 million from 2006-11 (the estimate claims the provision will actually raise $436 million from 2012-15). This provision was added by the Senate. Record high prices for oil and gasoline, and record profits by refiners like ExxonMobil and Valero should provide all the incentive needed to expand refinery capacity without this huge tax break.

Sections 1325-6
This tax break allows natural gas companies to save $1.035 billion by depreciating their property at a much faster rate. This tax break makes no economic sense, as natural gas prices remain at record high levels, and these high prices—not tax breaks—should be all the incentive the industry needs to invest in gathering and distribution lines.

Section 342
Allows oil companies drilling on public land to pay taxpayers in oil rather than in cash.

Sections 344-345
Waives royalty payments for drilling for some natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Section 346
Waives royalty payments for drilling in offshore Alaska.

Sections 353-4
Waives royalty payments for gas hydrate extraction on the Outer Continental Shelf and public land in Alaska.

Section 383
Allows oil companies drilling in federal land off the coast of a particular state to pay the state 44 cents of every dollar it would have paid to the federal government for the privilege of drilling on federal land.

The royalty-in-kind provisions in this section allow corporations drilling for oil on public land to forgo paying cash royalties to taxpayers. Instead, companies provide an amount of the oil as an in-kind contribution to the federal government. Since federal land supplies one-third of the oil and gas produced in the United States, expansion of this program could have a significant impact on the federal treasury.

This proposal has its origins in Bush’s National Energy Policy, which requested that the Secretary of the Interior “explore opportunities for royalty reductions.”

Anonymous said...

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, however, criticizes the BUSH current royalty-in-kind program, concluding that the government is unable to determine whether taxpayers receive a fair shake from the program. For example, the GAO notes that the pilot program currently “relies upon royalty payors to self-report the amount of oil and gas they produce, the value of this oil and gas, and the cost of transportation and processing that they deduct from royalty payments” (emphasis added). The reporting system caused the GAO to express concern about “the accuracy and reliability of these data.”

Indeed, the industry’s cheerleading for the royalty in-kind program stems from recent court decisions that found U.S. oil companies, equipped with an “honor system” self-reporting system, routinely underreported the volume of oil and natural gas removed from taxpayer land, therefore allowing the companies to cheat the public. By seeking to end cash payments for the privilege of drilling on public land altogether, it appears as though the oil companies are attempting to hedge their losses from the embarrassing court decisions.

In 1998, the Mineral Management Service estimated that similar provisions would cost taxpayers between $140 million and $367 million every year.

There was a vote on April 21 in the House to strike the section providing a suspension of royalty payments for offshore oil and gas production in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico, but it failed, 227 to 203.

Anonymous said...

More proof WSJ Opinion jokers need to use FACTS.

Title IX, Subtitle J
This section would provide $1.5 billion in direct payments to oil and natural gas corporations to drill in deepwater wells. This section is a pet project of Texas Republican and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. It would designate a private entity, Sugar Land-based Texas Energy Center, as the “program consortium” to dole out taxpayer money to corporations. The Texas Energy Center has strong ties to Tom DeLay, with six different executives (Herbert W. Appel, Jr., Robert C. Brown, III, Philip E. Lewis, Thomas Moccia, Ronald E. Oligney, and Barry Ashlin Williamson) giving a total of $8,000 to DeLay’s campaign since March 2004. In addition, three of the Center’s executives have given a total of $4,500 to President Bush’s 2004 re-election effort.

The Center’s lobbyist is Barry Ashlin Williamson. In 1988, Williamson went to work for the Reagan administration and became principal advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy in the creation and formulation of a national energy policy. President George H.W. Bush later chose him to be the U.S. Department Interior’s Director of the Minerals Management Service, which managed oil and gas exploration and production on the nation’s 1.4 billion-acre continent shelf. Williamson then served as Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission from January 1993 to November 1995.

The Texas Energy Center will play host to The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, whose members include Halliburton and Marathon Oil.

OIL & GAS REGULATORY ROLLBACKS

Section 322
Exempts from the Safe Drinking Water Act a coalbed methane drilling technique called “hydraulic fracturing,” a potential polluter of underground drinking water. One of the largest companies employing this technique is Halliburton, for which Vice President Richard Cheney acted as chief executive officer in the 1990s. This exemption would kill lawsuits by Western ranchers who say that drilling for methane gas pollutes groundwater by injecting contaminated fluids underground. Only 16 companies stand to significantly benefit from this exemption from clean water laws: Anadarko, BP, Burlington Resources, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, Dominion Resources, EOG Resources, Evergreen Resources, Halliburton, Marathon Oil, Oxbow (Gunnison Energy), Tom Brown, Western Gas Resources, Williams Cos and XTO. These companies gave nearly $15 million to federal candidates—with more than three-quarters of that total going to Republicans. Moreover, the 16 companies spent more than $70 million lobbying Congress.

Section 323
Provides an exemption for oil and gas companies from the Federal Water Pollution Control Act for their construction activities surrounding oil and gas drilling.

Section 311
The section severely limits the ability of local communities and states to have adequate say over the siting of controversial Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facilities. The section states that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) “shall have the exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of an LNG terminal” under the Natural Gas Act (emphasis added).

Anonymous said...

Continued as part of
Section 311
The language is clearly aimed at a July 2004 lawsuit filed by the State of California claiming that FERC illegally ruled in March 2004 that states have limited jurisdiction over the permitting and siting of LNG facilities inside their borders. The lawsuit is being closely watched by other states, where officials have expressed alarm about the inability of state and local governments to have adequate input into these projects. LNG projects are particularly controversial because liquefied natural gas is extremely volatile and dangerous. Even if one supports increasing the number of LNG terminals in North America, there is absolutely no justification for limiting the ability of states and local communities to have control over the permitting and siting of these facilities. (See our Liquid Natural Gas section.)

LNG proponents claim that states still can veto LNG projects, as they retain jurisdiction over the facilities under the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Air Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. But these three acts have very limited jurisdiction (for example, LNG facilities don’t really pollute the water or air, so states have no real ability to raise objections under these laws). The broadest possible law is the Natural Gas Act, so it is no surprise that natural gas companies and their allies in Congress pushed to give FERC “exclusive authority” under the one law (Natural Gas Act) with the most sweeping power.

Language added during the conference committee (meaning it wasn’t in either the original House or Senate bills) gives the Department of Defense veto authority over LNG projects proposed near military bases, directing FERC to “enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of Defense for the purpose of ensuring that [FERC] coordinate and consult with the Secretary of Defense on the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of liquefied natural gas facilities that may affect an active military installation.” FERC is further required to “obtain the concurrence of the Secretary of Defense before authorizing the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of liquefied natural gas facilities affecting the training or activities of an active military installation” (emphasis added).

But a similar proposal in the Senate to provide states with these exact rights now given to the DoD was rejected by a vote of 52 to 45 (a “yea” vote is bad, in that it was a vote to kill, or table, the amendment that would have forced FERC to get the approval of states to permit LNG facilities).

The House also rejected an amendment that would have removed this section entirely, thereby preserving the status quo and allowing the state of California to continue its challenge in federal court (so an “aye” vote is good, as it was to remove the entire LNG section).

Anonymous said...

Section 357
Authorizes a survey of the oil and natural gas available underwater off the coasts of states. This is the first step in opening these areas to more drilling. There was an amendment to strike this language that failed 52 to 44.

Section 390
Increases the ability to exclude a broad range of oil and gas exploration and drilling activities from public involvement and impact analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Section 381
Limits the ability of states to protect their coastlines from oil and gas exploration by limiting their appeals process under the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Section 369
Mandates that the federal government make available oil shale and tar sands extraction on federal land for oil companies.
COAL SUBSIDIES: $9 BILLION

Section 1307
Provides $1.612 billion in tax credits to invest in new coal power plants.

Section 1309
Provides $1.147 billion in tax breaks for owners of coal power plants to install pollution control equipment.

Section 401
Authorizes the appropriation of $1.8 billion of taxpayer money to help build a new fleet of coal power plants.

Section 421
Authorizes the appropriation of $3 billion of taxpayer money to help build a new fleet of coal power plants.

Section 962
Authorizes activities that will cost $1.137 billion of taxpayer money to help make coal power a cost-competitive source of power generation.

Section 963
Authorizes the appropriation of $90 million to research ways to sequester carbon dioxide emitted from coal power plants.

Section 964
Authorizes activities that will cost $75 million to help develop new coal mining technologies.

Title XVII
Authorizes spending of hundreds of millions of dollars in loan guarantees to build new coal and nuclear power plants. The Senate voted on June 23 by a vote of 76 to 21 to keep this section in the bill.

Section 411
Provides taxpayer-guaranteed loans for a coal project. The most likely beneficiaries of this provision are North Dakota-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Ohio-based Nacco Industries. Basin Electric Power Cooperative owns the Great Plains Synfuels facility in Beulah, North Dakota, an alternative fuels plant originally financed mostly by the federal government and later sold to the Cooperative for a fraction of the amount invested in the plant. The plant gasifies lignite coal to produce synthetic natural gas as well as fertilizers and other chemicals. Nacco Industries would benefit from the loan guarantees because it has long-term contracts to supply Basin Electric with lignite from the nearby Freedom Mine, which Nacco owns. In addition, Basin Electric and Nacco Industries co-own the Antelope Valley Station, a coal-fired power plant at the same location as the Great Plains Synfuel Plant and the Freedom Mine. Since 2001, Basin Electric and Nacco Industries have contributed over $100,000 to federal politicians, with contributions evenly split between Republicans (51%) and Democrats (49%).

Anonymous said...

**** Gosh where were the tea party people when Bush/Cheney were TAKING AWAY LOCAL CONTROL as is explained in my above posts???????

Anonymous said...

More Bush/Cheney DEREGULATION

Section 412
Lends $80 million to the Healy Plant in Alaska to convert an existing “clean coal” plant into a regulator coal plant.

Section 413
Senator Larry Craig, on behalf of Senator Ken Salazar, got Section 413 into the energy bill by unanimous consent on June 23. Corporate lobbyists representing Pacificorp and Xcel recommended the language to Sen. Salazar. While the intended recipient may be Pacificorp and/or Xcel (for unannounced projects), another company qualifying for the loan guarantee is the Medicine Bow Fuel & Power project in Wyoming (the section requires that the project “be located in a western State at an altitude greater than 4,000 feet”) The section explicitly states that “the demonstration project shall not be eligible for Federal loan guarantees”—making the relationship between this section and the very similar-sounding loan guarantee project outlined in Section 1703 a little unclear. Medicine Bow, Wyoming is at an altitude of over 6,500 feet. Medicine Bow is owned by DKRW, a Houston-based firm led by four former Enron executives, including Thomas White. White served as Secretary of the Army from May 2001 to March 2003. Prior to that, he served as vice chairman of one of Enron’s largest divisions, Enron Energy Services (EES).

Under White’s tenure, EES played a major role in the California energy crisis. In 1998, the year he became its vice chairman, EES was America’s 61st largest energy trader. When he left, his division was the 28th largest energy-trading firm in the country. Until March 2001, the trading operations of EES were separate from the rest of Enron’s Wholesale Energy unit—meaning White was responsible for a huge trading operation that played a significant role in California’s energy crisis.

Also, under White’s direction, EES severed at least two large retail contracts in California in January and February 2001 during the height of the energy crisis, which Enron helped create. Based on the evidence on hand, it appears that EES took the power that had been obligated to serve these retail consumers and sold it in the wholesale market where EES could fetch higher prices than it could by continuing to sell power at lower, fixed rates to retail customers. This significant wholesale trading operation, combined with White’s decision to break retail contracts in California, made the division a major player in California’s deregulated wholesale market.

Section 414
The recipient of Section 414, has not yet been identified. The provision authorizes the federal government “to provide loan guarantees for a project to produce energy from a plant using integrated gasification combined cycle technology of at least 400 megawatts in capacity that produces power at competitive rates in deregulated energy generation markets and that does not receive any subsidy (direct or indirect) from ratepayers.”

Section 415
This section provides “loan guarantees for at least 5 petroleum coke gasification projects” which have not been identified.

Anonymous said...

Section 1703
Subsection (c)(1)(B) describes a project almost exactly the same as what is described in Section 413, except that the demonstration project grant outlined in Section 413 does not allow the recipient to also receive a loan guarantee. So, the most likely recipients are the former Enron executives with DKRW or Xcel Energy.

Subsection (c)(1)(C) provides $800 million in federal loan guarantees to controversial Excelsior Energy for a coal power-generating plant (ConocoPhillips is a partner in the project). The DOE awarded the company a $36 million in October 2004 during an event that appeared to be designed to boost the image of President Bush in Minnesota just weeks before the election.

Subsection (c)(1)(D). There are two general possibilities for the recipient of this federal loan guarantee. One could be Lexington, Kentucky-based EnviRes to build a coal gasification facility to create fuel in East St. Louis, Illinois. The total cost of the project is $254.2 million. EnviRes is a joint venture of three companies, including Triad Research, which is controlled by Robert Addington of AEI Resources, a huge coal conglomerate.

The other possibility is Pennsylvania-based Waste Management & Processors Inc. On October 26, the Bush Administration announced a $100 million grant for a “clean coal” project in the swing state of Pennsylvania, benefiting Waste Management, headed by John Rich. His family and company employees have contributed over $60,000 to candidates for federal office since 2001.

While Waste Management is the lead company on the project, they have teamed up with several other companies: (1) Shell Global Solutions U.S., as gasification technology supplier; (2) Uhde GmbH, a Dortmund, Germany-based global engineering company; (3) Sasol Synfuels International, as liquefaction technology provider; and, (4) Nexant, Inc., as owner’s engineer.

Anonymous said...

Conservachic

I have provided you proof, not only of deregulation under Bush - not only of STRIPPING local communities legal authority under Bush but ... but ... BUT ... I have also provided you proof of the BILLIONS in Corporate Welfare that OUR tax dollars GIVE to HUGE energy corporations -- where were your Tea Party rallies when THAT was going on?