A Tax On Energy

Just what we need to do - punish the people who are supplying our energy.




President Obama said last Thursday that he would not cut spending "on investments that will make America stronger."  He really meant that he would pour money into alternative energy projects, paid and incentivized by a cap-and-trade program on fossil fuel use.  The fact is that alternative energy cannot replace fossil fuels, and cap-and-trade imposes a massively expensive tax.  Obama's "investments" will weaken America, not make it stronger, says Iain Murray, a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

A recent gaffe by Al Gore and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon reveals the inefficiency of alternative energy in stark relief.  In a joint Financial Times op-ed, they claim that the wind energy industry today employs more Americans than the coal industry, 85,000 people compared to 81,000.  This is just not true, even counting everyone employed by the wind industry both directly and indirectly with the number of coal miners alone, explains Murray:

  • The coal industry employs over 1.4 million Americans in all (extrapolating from a Clinton-era Department of Energy source).
  • What this figure actually demonstrates is how inefficient wind energy is compared with coal. The wind industry generated 1.3 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, while the coal industry generated 155 million MWh.
  • In other words, coal jobs are seven times more efficient and productive than wind jobs.

Thus, it's easy to see how shifting from coal-fired power to wind will impose a significant cost on America.  One of wind power's biggest shortcomings is the simple fact that the wind does not blow all the time, especially on hot days when electricity is needed for air conditioning.  The wind industry unspoken secret is that to make up for this inbuilt shortfall, it needs backup power generation facilities, which use fossil fuels, mostly natural gas.  So the supposed benefit of wind -- carbon-free electricity -- is an illusion. 

How this can make America stronger is hard to see.  If America pays more for energy while its main competitors -- most notably China -- press forward with using the most cost-effective energy forms, America's comparative advantage will shrink significantly, says Murray. 

Source: Iain Murray, "A Tax to Weaken America," Washington Examiner, March 2, 2009.

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The proposed "Spectrum user license fee" on p132 of President Obama's budget would see cellular phone operators paying an annual levy for using certain bands of radio wavelength;

To be passed on to the consumer of course as one or another fee or tax on the billing.

Josie06 Josie06
56-60, F
28 Responses Mar 3, 2009

Dead on balls yet again Shadow.....<br />
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The cap & tax bill is nothing more than a huge transfer of wealth. Problem is, it's a transfer from the poor to the rich...

After reading through these comments, I would like everyone to be aware of one other factor.<br />
With the spending that has been done this past year, we are in very deep debt. The bill is going to come due in about 2 yrs. <br />
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The government, in the past 10 yrs. has gone up in wages and personel by 10 fold. This means we have to pay 10 times more, or produce more. Have your wages gone up 10 times more in the past 10 yrs ? If they have ...great, mine didn't ! <br />
What this all boils down to, is that the government is getting bigger and bigger with wages (Ferderal) going up and up. This leaves who to pay the bill ????<br />
The point of this whole cap and trade bill is to suck more money out of the common tax payer and get government even bigger and bigger...so they can tax more and more !!<br />
Is this so hard to understand?

i do have one question Smokeseek. You are saying these two bullets are not supportable FACT?<br />
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# The coal industry employs over 1.4 million Americans in all (extrapolating from a Clinton-era Department of Energy source).<br />
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# What this figure actually demonstrates is how inefficient wind energy is compared with coal. The wind industry generated 1.3 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, while the coal industry generated 155 million MWh.<br />
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Granted the third bullet is an opinion based on the first and second bullet.

Smokeseek, i agree. Coal is OUR resource and we must develop it. We can not continue to rely on foreign sources , if we do we will never ever be out from under someone elses thumb.<br />
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The arcticle presents a situation that is not good for America. Extremes never are.<br />
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Corporations should have the foresight to invest in the future. Government should have the foresight to have taxation policies and regulatory policies to allow them to do just that. <br />
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The federal government should start with fair taxation in order to not penalize it in the US and make other countries look better as bases.

I am enjoying this debate. And I really liked grits4ever had to say. Totally agree with what she said.<br />
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Josie the article you linked to written by freelance journalist P.J. Gladnick, is a matter of his opinion. His comments were not supported by any presentable data. <br />
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Although there is no such thing as "clean coal" there are ways it can be burned more efficiently and cleanly; . Yes our utility bill will likely rise to offset the new taxes incurred on the industry. <br />
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We all need to change with times. Remaining with status quo will not work. The corporate officers of the energy companies should have the foresight to invest in the future. They should be the oneS leading the way to create new industries and become market leaders in the future.

Congress and the Dems, with helpful RINO's, have derailed Capitalism. And it's been going on for nearly 100 years ... just speed-up during the 1990's.<br />
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dubiousone, i agree on development of OUR energy resources. We can not be self-sufficient if we remain dependent on foreign sources.<br />
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In order to do this we also must move into another field ... sovereignty. We can never be self-sufficient is we can not secure our borders.

Ok. I think you are a lovely fellow, feel passionately about many things and will undoubedtly have a very long and fullfilling life. We just don't jive. Peace.

: - ( Dubiousone blocked me!!!!!! He's an authortarian fellow, isn't he? Likes to run a neat ship or "sit the F down and shut up". Geez. How's your blood pressure, Dubiosone?

Bush talked about doing many good things as far as developing alternative energies but as usual it was just talk no funding like No Child left behind and the rebuilding of New Orleans (Great job Brownie)<br />
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What you neocons don't seem to get is that the technologies and sources of energy that you are so in fear of losing have gone no where and will not for many years.<br />
Kind of like the abortion issue where many babies could be saved but you conservatives see no way to compromise so many many more die.<br />
In the case of energy you want to squash the possibilities of alling cleaner technologies to the mix.<br />
The underlying issue I suspect is different than what is espoused.<br />
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If we can replace a million barrels of oil or use less coal by using wind and solar power to bring emissions down while ultimatelytransitioning to alternaive energies then that is what we must do.<br />
We are not talikng about taking the coal industry or any other for that matter by the spigot and choking it to death.<br />
Why do you only see in black and white?<br />
Unplug from FOX and you may be able to see the reality of what we "environmentalists really want to happen.<br />
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The problem here is ideas in the extreme with no compromise.<br />
The left has it and the right has it.........let's try to see things from a more logical and centrist perspective shall we?<br />
All forms of energy are on the table to stay or go but any process that takes place on this front will ultimately be a compromise and will require a mix.<br />
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It would be nice to see all those who are willing to sacrifice our future for self interest on either extreme to sit the F down and shut up.

dubiousone...well said!

The free market is the best engine to determine prices with supply and demand.<br />
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Congress proposed a lot ... and GOP/Dem alike caused the mortgage crisis that started this by repealing good laws to forces bad loans.

There was a news article on the TV two nights ago. Plan in Congress is to up the federal tax to $1.00 per gallon (from 19 cents) minimum. <br><br />
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No more driving. Many buses will stop running as municipalities will not be able to afford gasoline or diesel either. The way the news article went it could include LG also.<br><br />
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People might lose jobs ... but i guess that will be okay as long as no emissions.<br><br />
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There is a better way ... our Congress is not trying to find it. These is no cure for asthma but i did think it was controllable.<br />
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Extremes are not the answer.

I will not put a price on children's health. I don't care how expensive it is, we need to cut back our burning of all fossil fuels for the sake of the asthmatic children. The disease is of epidemic proportions! And its only going to get worse if we don't accept reality. In fact, lets tax the hell our of all fossil fuels because that's the only way we will ever cut back and give these kids some relief. It seems we Americans have become incapable of thinking with our heads, we think with our wallets.

No, no magical powers. However Obama-Reid-Pelosi have an agenda. Everyone knows that.

Well, it's not all Bush's fault ... he had a willing and may times forward leaning Congress too. Plus it goes back to Clinton, Bush the Elder and even Reagan and before.<br />
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Congress is always in the forefront, now they have a very willing leadership and Administration to think up more things.<br />
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Blame, there is more than enough for everyone ... for the last 50 years regardless of party affiliation.

Bush canceled it ... but the new Administration has re-visited it yet. Instead they tax it.<br />
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i believe environmentalists are 50/50 on this issues. Much like global warming no real consensus with the pla<x>yers.

The link works for me (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=us-cancels-clean-coal-plant) at Scientific American.<br />
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i read and O&G industry paper that oli had to be under $80 per barrel to make the shale production viable. This was mid to late last year.

The DOE just put the kibosh on a clean coal facility as costing to much.<br />
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U.S. Cancels Clean Coal Plant: Scientific American<br />
Feb 4, 2008 ... So much for clean coal—at least for now. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has canceled plans to build a prototype ...<br />
www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=us-cancels-clean-coal-plant<br />
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Cost effects us all. And without some infrastructure building, cost will only get higher for the consumer forced to pay for the alternatives.

With the cost of oil down, extracting it from shale is now more cost effective. (Bet OPEC is planning a price increase)

Clean coal is doable. I think there is a plant in Denmark that is utilizing a system that "scrubs" the emissions clean. Two problems with it. First, what to do the residue. Second, the cost is very high.

Sorry, if i jumped in in error. Sometimes i'm a proverbial dumb blond.

i think he was talking about my comment about clean coal.

dubiousone ... out of context. Maybe. But you must read what has been reported. That is exactly what was reported. Even the though that he would bankrupt is is scary. He should say he would help it become better ... he did not.<br />
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Also, people must learn to research subjects and come to their own conclusion. Too many today regurgitate what ever their handler or favorite TV news caster or movie star says.<br />
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Clean coal is what we need. Clean coal is doable. i said that if your read my comment.<br />
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The government, in it's wisdom, with trade protectionism tried to save the steel industry. It failed miserably. Rather, it should have made changed to the tax code to more favorably see domestic manufacturers over foreign manufacturers. Tariffs and quotas present a new set of problems ... and we are left licking our wounds as business flees to more favorable locals.

we need to tap into what we have that can be used while we are developing the new ones. I personally have a hard time thinking there is such a thing as clean coal. to me that is like saying i want my dirt clean.

Alternative energy is great and we should peruse it. However, wind energy will not run your car. Electric batteries might, but when will they be financially affordable for everyone. <br />
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The US needs to develop all it's resources in order to become energy efficient. That included coal (clean coal is doable) and oil & gas as well as wind, solar, safe nuclear, hydroelectric, thermal and others.<br />
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Some are right for certain parts of the country and not feasible at all for other parts of the country.<br />
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One must know the President's side on coal too:<br />
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Audio: Obama Tells SF Chronicle He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry ...<br />
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Nov 2, 2008 ... The things that Obama says, the people he has ties to, .... These Marxist will completely destroy this country; this coal story is the ...<br />
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newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2008/11/02/hidden-audio-obama-tells-sf-chronicle-he-will-bankrupt-coal-industry<br />
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Our President wants to destroy an industry. Not right. Industries come and go with technology not Presidential whim.

I think everyone reading this article should know that Iain Murray represents the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Republican Think Tank. CEI's funding comes from companies like Ford Motor and Exxon Mobile, whose own interests are at stake with Obama's push toward clean energy. So it is to be expected that Mr Murray criticize the new President's plan. Rightly said, coal will be economically more competitive than alternative energy sources. However in time, our country could could truly become energy independent. Think of a country who does not have to depend upon the Middle East or coal pollution for their energy needs? These new industries can create new jobs as our fossil fuel use is slowly faded out. These changes can not happen overnight, but we must begin somewhere. And that time is now. Humanity must continue to evolve. <br />
Mr Murray please do not sail over the horizon, you might fall off the edge of the planet.

just wait til they all see a significant spike in their gas and electric biils due to the cap and trade bullshit. Who do you think they will blame? most certinly the energy companies and not the loons who caused it ie: green movement

some just do not want to see that the "tax cuts for 95%" is such a joke. we'll get 13.00 more a week in the paycheck. the tax code for tax return will not show this so it will all have to be paid back. then multiple other taxes imposed on business will be passed on to us. lets get ready for heating bills to average upwards to several hundred dollars a month. who will suffer the most. the poor of this country who voted him into office.