Bush Is for Oil…And, That’s about All

Suits Say U.S. Impeded Audits for Oil Leases – New York Times

Memorable quote from page 3 of the article:

“From 1989 through 2001, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office, auditing and other enforcement efforts generated an average of $176 million a year. But from 2002 through 2005, according to numbers that the department provided lawmakers last May, those collections averaged only $46 million.

In another clash, frustrated federal auditors have complained that the Interior Department no longer allows them to subpoena documents from oil companies.”

It leaves one to wonder what “conservatism” means anymore if a purportedly conservative government insists on subsidizing the most profitable industry in the world. If conservatism implies that governments should not interfere in markets, then why on earth would conservative people give a handout to an industry that needs no more economic advantage, an industry that dominates energy totally? If subsidizing solar cells is wrong, then why is subsidizing oil companies right?

It also causes despair to those who think about policy and responsibility on the part of the government. What aspect of this energy policy is responsible? This approach is tantamount to subsidizing the AT&T monopoly 30 years ago, instead of investing in the development of the internet. Now the internet is challenging the phone system as a viable new means of communication. Instead of being at the mercy of phone companies, consumers have some recourse. The servile Bush energy policy explicitly extends and strengthens the oil monopoly at a time when supply is scarce. It subjugates the needs of businesses to the profit motive (not imperative) of the oil industry at a time when the industry could not possibly reap greater profits. It is an energy policy that serves no need, no national purpose and no economic imperative.

Fortunately, impeachment is now a possibility.

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