Blumenauer: do you trust the oil companies?

Congressman Earl Blumenauer has weighed in on the "gas tax holiday" proposals that are the subject of so much controversy in the presidential race.

Discuss.

Comments

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    Earl is dead on. Any talk of a gas tax holiday is nothing more than pandering for votes. Ahem...Hillary, McCain.

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    You tell 'em, Earl!

    Ed Schultz has been hammering on the folly of the "gas tax holiday" on his radio show too.

  • sandra longley (unverified)
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    gas tax? you mean pandering to the hardships being born by the average american trying to make ends meet? SHAME on you HILLARY CLINTON, if I wasn't going to vote for you before-I am now.

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    Yeah that 30 buck savings over a 3 month period will definitely help me make ends meet. Might not help all of those services and infrastructure projects that are funded with the tax, though. Hmmm...priorities.

  • Ted (unverified)
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    If you really want to talk tough, just withdraw the U.S. troops and tell the oil companies that they can hire Halliburton and Blackwater to provide protection of the oil pipelines. Instead of socializing the war and privatising the profits, make them pay for it themselves.

    Also, if you don't trust oil companies, why hasn't the Dem led congress investigated the record profits of the oil companies and/or raised taxes on those profits?

    Why did Congress not do anything to halt the mergers of Exxon-Mobile, Chevron-Texaco, BP-Shell, etc? What was the point of breaking up Standard Oil into the "seven sisters" in the first place?

    No, let's pander to the lowest common denominator and reduce the gas price debate to a "tax holiday," just like they reduced the whole torture and violation of international law issue to "water boarding."

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    I'm not sure what Earl is trying to say here. Apparently the claim is that "giant oil companies" won't pass on a gas tax reduction. And he figured this out by asking a few consumers?

    The decision whether to pass on a gas tax reduction will be made by the local retailers, not the "big gas giants."

    And if there is any product out there that shows price elasticity, it's oil. You can track the per barrel price daily at the pump.

    A gas tax "holiday" is a bad idea, but this has little to do with how we feel about oil companies. It is simply bad public policy--it encourages consumption precisely at a point where we need to be reducing our dependence on petroleum.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    sandra longley,

    I'd give up on this one. Hillary is looking goofier and goofier all the time. When confronted with the near unanimous negative reaction to the gas tax holiday among economists, she dismissed them as elitists. Anyone seriously concerned with "hardships being born by the average american trying to make ends meet" can come up with half a dozen better plans in five minutes.

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    gas tax? you mean pandering to the hardships being born by the average american trying to make ends meet? SHAME on you HILLARY CLINTON, if I wasn't going to vote for you before-I am now.

    Sandra,

    If you had looked at anything the economists said you would know that if the gas tax goes away more people will buy gas thus increasing demand and then the price will raise again and the only "average American" that benefits are the oil companies. $30 over the course of the summer is really going to help you out? If $30 means that much to you maybe you should have better priorities than backing Hillary on the internet because where I come from $30 would cover about 1 1/2 meals for a family of 4 and that doesn't really help out much does it?

  • Cindy (unverified)
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    Earl & Others;

    That is a great response; protect your candidate. First, Clinton is not saying this will fix everything, but it is a show of good faith and that Washington is listening, at least a few. The infrastruce money will come from the windfall tax. Pelosi won't help Americans, since it would go against her candidate as well.

    Let's remember one thing folks, look at all the money Obama has taken from the oil CEO's and employees. Also, don't forget that he voted FOR Cheneys oil plan.

    Look into the Africa oil connections; his campaigning for Odinga and the connection to Gaddafi.

    Obama is trying to create this great "difference" between himself and Clinton, to distract from the fact that he DOESN'T have a plan; except maybe, to "talk with" Chavez, to garner Venezuela oil; or destroy a democracy in Kenya, in order to control their oil.

    It makes complete sense that he wouldn't want to tax his buddies !

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Cindy,

    It would be a rare and wonderful thing for a leading US presidential candidate to not be in bed with Big Oil. Whether Obama is or not does make make the Clinton/McCain gas tax holiday a sensible idea. We do not need a show of good faith. We need someone to DO SOMETHING about America's 19th century-style energy policies. A bloody tax holiday goes in the opposite direction. Shall we call her Hillary "Wrong-Way Peachfuzz" Clinton?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    close italics

  • Cindy (unverified)
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    Tom:

    So no gas-tax relief. Okay, do you really think Americans are going to stay home this summer ? They don't seem to want to go abroad, as our dollar is low. So, most will travel closer to home. Right ?

    To make the point that relieving consumers of the 18 cent tax, will cause this blow-out of consumption, is ridiculous. They are going to use.

    But what about the truck drivers ? What do they have, 500-600 hundred gallon tank ? Do you think 18 cents, would make a difference to them ? They haul a great deal of freight, nationally and locally. How many are owner-operators ? Small and large business suffers, when fuel prices rise. We consumers suffer; with every purchase we make.

    Again, I ask you, what is his plan ?

    Is it to drill in Alaska ? Or maybe in eastern Oregon, or off the coast ? Or are we to believe he doesn't want to continue to use oil.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Cindy,

    What's important is that he tax holiday idea will have little effect, but what effect it has will be mostly negative. It also gives the impression that the government is doing something to fix the problem, and that would be a false impression.

    What to do? Here's a few ideas:

    • new subsidies for using public transportation.
    • increased funding for bike path construction and safety upgrades.
    • incentives for people to bike through national parks.
    • reinstate tax credits on hybrids and other low fuel consumption vehicles, regardless of manufacturer.
    • increase taxes on the oil companies.
    • increse subsidies for wind, solar, wave, geothermal, and other sustainable energy sources.
    • use federal spending to promote zoning and landuse decisions that lead to walkable communities that have jobs, shopping, schools, and entertainment close to housing.
    • Develop a public interest announcement campaign that associates large, gas guzzling vehicles with small penis size.
    • Stay home and read, garden and talk with neighbors.
  • Cindy (unverified)
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    Tom:

    So, is that Obama's plan, right down to the small penis ? I'm laughin so hard, I can't hardly type.

    Seriously, is that Sen. Obamas' plan ?

    Not that I don't agree with most all of your suggestions, but I see the "tax oil companies"; isn't this what Sen. Clinton proposed and wasn't this attacked as being unrealistic, as the oil companies will only pass the tax onto the consumer ?

    Honestly, do you know what Sen. Obamas stance is on domestic drilling ?

    I know who I support and why, but I am not without reason to listen to others point of view. The questions I ask are not for just a negative response, I am trying to learn as well. I am, as much as anyone here, protective of Oregons environment and want to know what his stance is not only on domestic drilling, but natural gas pipeline, nuclear power, etc.

  • earl blumenauer (unverified)
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    Paul has a point. I may not have been as clear as I wanted to be. It is the not the retailer who is charged the tax or who will benefit from the "holiday". The big oil refiners, producers, importers are the ones who are charged the tax on a per gallon basis and will get the Clinton, McCain break. They will choose how much to reflect their savings in what they charge for their gasoline. This is not like a sales tax that is collected by retailers large and small, where a reduction in the rate directly is passed on to the consumers.

    Cindy is dead wrong about a windfall tax paying for the infrastructure. There is zero chance that such a tax will pass the senate, let alone Bush's certain veto and Senator clinton and her staff know it. We have passed cuts in oil company tax breaks 3 times to pay for renewable energy incentives....only to fail in the Senate each time.

    the only thing certain is a reduction in transportation funding of $9 to $10 billion.

  • Cindy (unverified)
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    Earl:

    So the Senate and Bush are the culprits ? Bush has stated he would look at the plans, though, I agree that nothing will probably be done.

    And just so we don't confuse anyone into thinking that Sen Obama hasn't used this idea also, it should be noted that he voted three times (2000) for a gas tax holiday.

    Exxon had 1st quarter profits of 10.9 billion; second quarter profits of 11.66 billion. So why can't the Senate get anything done about this ?

    Earl, I will not pretend to debate with you about all the workings of Washington, D.C.; as I am not a politician.

    My point rather, do you believe Sen. Clintons' plan for a Stragetic Energy Fund for clean energy resources is wrong ?

    Also, do you know Sen. Obama stance on domestic drilling, federal mandated natural gas pipeline placement or nuclear power ?

    Thank You

  • Cindy (unverified)
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    Earl:

    Also, have you changed your mind about the Bush-Cheney energy bill ? *********** Rep. Earl Blumenauer pertaining to Bush-Cheney energy bill: "a list of tax breaks and special interest favors that does not translate into a cohesive approach, which global realities demand for this country." [July 29, 2005, Washington Post]

    <hr/>

    I will remind those that don't know; Sen. Obama voted FOR the Bush-Cheney energy bill.

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