The API on Cap and Trade

Yesterday the American Petroleum Institute conducted a blogger’s conference call to talk about various energy issues that they are focused on. I used to regularly attend these calls, but things have been quite busy and it has been a while since I participated. But I thought it would be worthwhile to check in and find out which issues they are currently occupied with. I asked one question on cap and trade during the call (see below).

The API listed three key areas that they are focused on. These are the Waxman-Markey climate bill, which they think will cost jobs (particularly in the energy industry), domestic access to petroleum resources, and taxation of the oil and gas industry. Participating from the API were:



Jack Gerard, President and CEO, API
John Felmy, Chief Economist, API
Doug Morris, API
Kyle Isakower, API

The bloggers on the call included:

The audio and transcript can be found here. In his opening statement, Jack Gerard happened to mention recent testimony of Alan Krueger, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist of the US Treasury, in which he justified higher taxes on the oil industry by suggesting that current tax policies have led to overproduction by the industry. That is simply astonishing. Yes, it must be overproduction that has caused our oil imports to increase year after year to the point that we import 60% of what we use. One wonders what the import level will reach once this domestic “overproduction” is reined in through punitive taxes. For a bit more on Krueger’s testimony, see:

Administration attempts to justify tax proposals surprise Gerard

Alan B. Krueger, assistant US Treasury secretary for economic policy, mentioned that the administration was looking at other industries’ tax breaks during a Sept. 10 hearing by the Senate Finance Committee’s Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the White House’s Fiscal 2010 oil and gas tax proposals.

When a subcommittee member, Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), asked him if the administration was currently singling out the oil and gas industry as it seeks tax incentive repeals, however, the US Department of the Treasury official replied, “That is correct.”

Gerard said he continues to be amazed by Obama administration statements that oil and gas tax incentives should be repealed to prevent overproduction of domestic resources. “The Treasury Department’s Green Book says there’s too much oil and gas production in the United States. We think that’s laughable. We think there needs to be some serious dialogue about what these proposals mean and about ways to get back to producing more oil and gas,” he said.

Also see Geoff Styles’ analysis of the issue:

Overproducing US Oil?

Back to the call, I get concerned about proposals in which the price tag is vaguely defined. I would much rather see a direct tax on gasoline in which the impact can be modeled, over a new system whose overall impact on prices is uncertain. The latter is a big economic risk to me. So I asked a question about cap and trade, with Geoff Styles following-up.

11:16 MS. VAN RYAN: Another question? Robert, I know that you sent one to me by e-mail. Would you like to pose that question yourself?

11:24 MR. RAPIER: Yeah, I’ll do that. Yeah, the question was, I understand the concern about the cap-and-trade legislation; I have similar concerns. I am wondering if you have an alternative proposal; if there is any kind of legislation for cap-and-trade that you could get behind that achieves the same goals?

11:46 MR. GERARD: We haven’t. There has not been a proposal out there yet, Robert, that we have gotten behind. We think now is the time for a reset. There was a lot of focus on this early on in the Waxman-Markey bill. There was a lot of effort gone into it and it just came out in the wrong place. So what we have been attempting to do over the past few months is to point out the significant flaws in that legislation with the hope and expectation that we can help educate policymakers and the public.

And what we found is that when you begin to educate, not only does it resonate but it is clearly understood. The House exercise was focused primarily on the utility area or consumers’ bills, industrial bills that we often think of that you get at home to pay for your heating, your cooling, et cetera. But it almost totally left out the fuels question. And that is why 44 percent of all the emissions – or I should say refineries – will be held responsible for 44 percent of all the emission and yet given only 2.25 percent of allowances to transition us to a carbon-constrained world. So the net effect of that is – and I am oversimplifying this now – is that you’ve shifted the cost onto those who use fuels.

And that is why you see the farm bureau, you see the truckers, you see small business and others. When they began to see through the dust of the activity in the House, they say, well, what happened is we are looking at our utility bills and the Congress made an effort to transition us over time to a carbon-constrained world and they tried to provide some mitigating factors – in this case, allowances – to do that, but on the fuel side, we got totally forgotten. So anybody who drives a pickup truck, a car, rides the bus, the train, flies on an airplane is going to have an almost immediate impact as a result of Waxman-Markey.

And so in educating on that front, I believe we now have their attention that we have got to look at that question. And we internally, and as an industry, are developing further thoughts and ideas, if you will, as to how best address the fuel question and how it fits into the broader framework of a carbon-constrained world.

14:13 MR. STYLES: Jack, this is Geoff Styles. Could I follow up on that?

14:16 MR. GERARD: Please.

14:17 MR. STYLES: Because I certainly share your concern about the disproportionate way that Waxman-Markey doles out the free emissions allowances. In conversations with some of the folks who have been supporting the bill, I get a sense that there is a belief out there that, to some extent, maybe to a significant extent, they feel that the costs that would be imposed on the refining sector would somehow be absorbed by the refining sector and not actually passed on to consumers. Has API done anything looking at, you know, to what degree, any degree, of cost absorption by the refining sector as opposed to simply shifting the market pricing points, and in effect, pushing it on to consumers would take place?

15:11 MR. GERARD: Let me answer that generally. And I will turn to our chief economist, John Felmy, afterwards to see if he can add anything to it. My simple response would be unless you can repeal the laws of economics and supply and demand, that is the only conditions under which that thought would work because it just doesn’t make any sense.

What we are talking about here is significant costs. We are not talking about nuances around the edge. And just as I mentioned earlier, some of our analysis shows you would drive gasoline over $4 a gallon in the current environment. And so, you know, potential job loss of 2 million jobs. We are not talking a penny or two here. We are talking about quarters and dollars.

And how they could come to that conclusion might give them some political cover in trying to justify what they have asked for in the bill. But I don’t see how it makes any economic sense and frankly, it is unrealistic. Now, let me turn to an economist to give you a real answer. How is that?

16:14 JOHN FELMY: Well, if I could just add, I mean, that is absolutely right. There are two key factors. First of all, the emissions that the refiners themselves produce – they are competing on a world scale with international refiners. And we had commissioned EnSys to take a look at that. And it clearly showed that it would be a severe and negative implication for refining capacity in the U.S. because of an inability to be able to compete.

But more importantly on the consumption side and a sense of being responsible for the emissions from the tailpipes of your users, I think it is helpful to look at the current refining situation right now. In the second quarter of this year, almost every refiner lost money. And in the fourth quarter of last year, basically, there was a complete inability to pass along any cost changes.

And so with that kind of market conditions, primarily driven by international competition with a lot of, for example, gasoline on world markets from places like Europe and so on, I fail to understand how there is that ability to be able, from an economic sense, to have that happen. Analytically, you have got a weak gasoline market. You have got a lot of supply on world markets. And that competitive aspect, by most analysts, is expected to remain.

17:33 MR. STYLES: So in effect then, John, what you are saying, I think, is what I concluded a long time ago, which is if refineries are expected to absorb this, they will absorb it by going out of business.

17:44 MR. FELMY: Exactly. If you are already losing money and you raise your costs and you have no ability to address that, the margins already were low when they were positive, and when they are negative, there is nothing to give away.

17:58 MR. STYLES: Thank you.

18:00 MR. FELMY: And with, you know – we have got three broad classes of refiners in this country. You have got the big ones, which are about 50 percent; you have got about 25 percent, which are the big independent ones that are not integrated; and then a lot of very small refiners that would really take a beating in that environment.


Following that exchange, I got a bit distracted with juggling cats and never had a chance to ask another. But if you are interested in the rest of the discussion, you can access the transcript and audio at the link.

28 thoughts on “The API on Cap and Trade”

  1. So let me understand this right — in the doling out of free emissions credits, the refiners are more or less left out? And cap and trade is revenue neutral, right? So basically money will be transferred from refiners to other polluters, and this cost will be passed on to gasoline consumers. If the goal is to reduce carbon emissions, how is that better than a gasoline tax that could actually pay for research into alternatives (as well as creating a more conducive price environment for those alternatives)? Wouldn't that be a more direct, targetted, and controllable approach?

  2. So let me understand this right — in the doling out of free emissions credits, the refiners are more or less left out?

    That is pretty much the gist of it. The administration has consistently taken a hostile position against the oil and gas industry, as was the case throughout the campaign. That's the single biggest issue I had with Obama during the campaign. I am convinced that they are taking measures in this case that are simply going to increase our dependence on foreign oil.

    Wouldn't that be a more direct, targetted, and controllable approach?

    Of course. But by doing it this way, the politicians can deny responsibility for raising taxes, and will simply point fingers at the oil companies when prices go up.

    Cheers, RR

  3. Here in Europe there is a cap and trade system covering all electricity production. It works. Nobody knows about it(so I agree with RR's point that it is like a stealth tax). But unlike a carbon tax, C&T responds to a recession by lowering prices, raising prices in the good times. But either way (direct tax or C&T), we need to get the cost of CO2 into the price of our energy products. The problem of cheaper refined fuel imports is the same either way.

  4. The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) has published an interesting study on subsidies in the energy business.

    It seems the largest subsidies are for oil production in foreign countries. The Oil Companies get a Tax Break on this offshore production that other businesses don't.

    According to the ELI, the oil companies Received $72 Billion between 2002 and 2008.

    Renewable fuel companies, mostly corn ethanol, received $29 Billion in the same time period.

  5. I am really tired of the cost job argument. For the 30-years people have been shouting about job loss for every efforts – from minimum wage to clean air and water, environmental protections, CAFE standards, you name it. The opponents always line up with job loss arguments.

    The cost job argument is as old as the industrial revolution.

    I believe if it cost jobs in one sector of the economy, the other sector will pick it up.

  6. Lowering prices in a recession is a bug, not a feature; it prevents companies from being able to predict their costs and competitive advantage due to efficiency measures.

    One feature I don't see in this discussion is that measures targeting the oil industry are payback for the last administration.  Oil was its financial power base, and the Dems want to exact a price for that.

  7. How do we discourage consumption of fossil fuels without raising prices? We can raise prices now,or let the market do it abruptly with peak oil. I'd rather see it done today,in a gradual fashion. Better now,than waiting for the inevetible price shocks.

    No doubt,alternative energy can better compete as fossil fuel prices go up. But,if we wait for peak oil to raise those prices,we'll be stuck out on a rotten limb.

  8. Logically, we need to start with the fundamentals. Is there credible evidence that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a problem? The scientific answer to that question becomes clearer every day — A big resounding Probably Not!

    So what is going on here? Obama and his chaps are unfortunately not just anti-oil, they are anti-industrial Luddites. They don't care that they have already destroyed millions of jobs in the US; they aim to destroy lots more.

    In their ideal future, everyone who does not work directly for the government will work for ACORN passing out subsidies to the well-connected. Where the money to support this is to come from, the Obaminoids do not have a clue.

    So they are creating a truly non-sustainable situation. It will lead to international conflict, as Obama himself just emphasized by throwing Europe under the bus. It will also lead to civil war in the US. Millions of human beings will die, needlessly.

    And when it is all over, the survivors will laugh at the stupidity of the useful idiots who worried about anthropogenic CO2, and will get on with building nuclear power plants & mining transportation fuels from the planet's perfectly adequate mineral sources of carbon.

  9. “electricity production”

    First off, electricity production is different than transportation fuel. Second, the EU is different than the US. Third I am skeptical when anyone one tells me anything works in the EU.

    RR is correct that dems are hostile to the oil industry but I would suggest that dems are just hostile to producing anything. When it comes to producing renewable energy, with friends like dems, who needs enemies.

    For example, we are having an election for governor. The democratic candidate are running ads suggesting the GOP candidate thinks rate hikes are deserved by my utility implying that he cares more about the utility than people.

    When I moved to this state a few years ago my electricity rates went down and my state income taxes went up. I pay twice as much in state income taxes as I do federal income taxes. The utility that provides electricity has the lowest rates in the state. Rates are going up because of the capital cost of pollution control equipment at about $300 million a power plant. I do not have a problem with added pollution controls but they will also increase ghg emissions.

    The problem I have with Cap and Trade is that it is policy that favors one part of the country over another without reducing ghg gases. In other words, it will not work if your goal is environmental protection. It will work for transferring jobs to China, India, and Brazil.

  10. Rufus,

    Divide those numbers by gallons or better yet, btu to put the subsidies into perspective. Not that I want to defend subsidies for oil either.


    I suspect that Obama is harnessing the negative public opinion of big oil for poltitical gain. He will only bleed it a little. Not enough to cause any serious or permanent harm. The Canadian tar sand oil continues to flow.

  11. I've got a better idea. Let's divide the $72 Billion by 130 million taxpayers. That comes out to $553.84 for My Share.

    I just paid a bunch of Multi-Billion Dollar Companies $553.84 to go drill in other countries.

    I'll bet Exxon-Mobil ($35 Billion Earnings last year) really needed those tax dollars from poor ol' Rufus.

    I almost feel guilty I didn't send them more.

  12. Or, maybe I'll divide the $72 Billion by the $46 Million the big 4, alone bribed the bunch of crooks we, laughingly, call "Congress."

    $72 B / $46 Million = $1565.21

    $1565.00 Return on $1.00 invested. Not bad.

    btus, yeah, right.

  13. The wisest words ever spoken: "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
    (Okay, the Golden Rule is more wise, but this is a close second).
    A gasoline tax would accomplish as much as cap-n-trade, and far more besides, and be readily understood by all parties.
    Our tax code makes Rube Goldberg look simple.
    I say a hefty gasoline tax, and no federal income taxes on incomes under $100k, and no corporate income taxes at all.
    Left-wing hostility towards the oil industry is inexplicable to me. Productive people are never the bad guys–whether producing oil, or working on the factory line.

  14. "Productive people are never the bad guys …"

    In the real world, that's true, Benny. Unfortunately, the Democrat Party has been taken over by a bunch of elitists who have nothing but contempt for productive people. That is why they are working on shutting down every productive effort in the US.

    Where will the gasoline come from to run the Elite's cars after they have been successful? (You & I won't have to worry, we won't have cars — peons that we are). If the Elitists ever think that far ahead, they will plan to import it. And what will they export to pay for the imported gasoline? Presumably autographed photos of Obama & Pelosi — those will be about the only things they have left.

  15. “Left-wing hostility towards the oil industry is inexplicable to me. Productive people are never the bad guys–whether producing oil, or working on the factory line.”

    The same goes for the electricity generating industry. I pay lots of taxes. The companies I have worked for have paid lots of taxes.

    So Benny, why do you want productive people to pay more taxes? A gasoline tax is one of the most repressive taxes working folks. How about 20% on food to reduce obesity? I really get tire of folks who do not produce anything talking about subsidies and wanting to raise taxes on tangible goods.

    There is a very simple way to reduce ghg emissions. Your ration the amount of energy elected officials use to the amount I use.

    C&T is not a simple solution, it is a very expensive make program for civil servants and commodity traders. The easiest solution is rationing. Anyone who votes for it (except if there is a real emergency) will not get reelected. The second easy way to reduce ghg emissions is to build nuke plants.

    All that is needed to build nuke plants is loan guarantees. Currently the government is making lots of money on this program. It will not cost taxpayers any money unless we elect a president who changes energy policy in the middle of construction. Oh wait, we have already done that.

  16. not to worry–

    after the gov't finishes with carbon, associated greenery and nationalization of remaining american industry, we'll all have gov't jobs or receive gov't doles. then we can travel on gov't fleets of hybrid evs or pure evs[cars or buses,dependent on having a job or not]. the electric cos being exempted with offsets,etc won't have any costs to pass on to consumers. all liquid fuel will be biogreen.

    we'll do what the USSR couldn't achieve–utopia in our own way.

    what's all the fuss?
    sit back and enjoy.


  17. "A gasoline tax is one of the most repressive taxes working folks. How about 20% on food to reduce obesity?"

    There's so much wrong with that statement. It's a well-known fact (although obviously not well-known enough) that less well off people spend money on less nutritious higher energy foods, and are the most prone to obesity. A gasoline tax would be aimed at smoothing the transition to a world with less oil. It makes sense if you believe that prices are going to skyrocket in the future anyway.

  18. Kinu-
    I share your concerns that the D-Party does not have enough appreciation of the business world.
    On the other hand, the R-Party, in total control of Washington DC from 2000-2006, led us to a near total collapse of our financial system, and a exceedingly expensive permawar in Iraq (a war that Obama seems intent on extending in Afghanie).
    Not much to chose from if you ask me.
    So far, Obama has struck out twice, by my lights. First, he has not developed an energy policy (although Bush radically expanded ethanol, which in effect is an anti-energy policy), and secondly, Obama has not got the hell out of the Iraqistan.
    I supposes a third strike is that he has not proposed a sensible reform of our financial system, to make it much more rugged.
    It is stupidity to have states regulate insurance companies, and then have a single company, AIG, threaten to torpedo the entire system. Or to have rating agencies paid by the issuer, while others leverage 40-to-1 based on those ratings.
    No reforms yet, although maybe the Obama team (which at least shows up for work) is concentrating on stablizing the patient before attempting surgery.
    I will say this: Obama inherited a terrible hand, a permawar in Iraqistan and a economy in the toilet. That is what Bush left us with, after eight years in office. I may never vote for the R-Party again.

    Kit P.
    I don't want to tax anybody. But if I have a choice between gasoline or higher income taxes, I would choose gasoline taxes. The corporate income tax has become a minor source of income, and should be shelved entirely (now companies just offshore the accounting of profits into low tax havens).

    In a sense, a gasoline tax is more fair, as income taxes depend on how wiley your accountants and lawyers are. Our tax system is too complicated. And one can modify behavior to reduce the gasoline tax.

    I share concerns that sales taxes are regressive–but our energy policy should not be made with our complete national interest in mind, not just the interests of our poor.

    Kit, I want nukes, and min-nukes. I think PHEVs are the way to go, and that we can eliminate imported oil, and boost our economy like never before.

    Maybe we should form a Third Party.

  19. "A gasoline tax would be aimed at smoothing the transition to a world with less oil."

    Engage brain, Pete. Look to the past for guidance. What tax policy smoothed the transition from sail to steam for 19th Century shipping? What tax policy smoothed the transition from horse to automobile in the 20th Century?

    All high taxes do is empower evil poiticians. See Europe. (And I agree with Benny — a plague on both parties in the US. There are some honest politicians, but then there are some honest used car dealers too).

    There are good reasons for concern about the finite nature of fossil fuels. The way to deal with that is the same way that steam dealt with sail or automobile dealt with horse — develop an improved technology, something that is better, faster, cheaper.

    Raising taxes on gasoline will not do that. We know that for a fact because we can look at what foolish Euros have achieved with their own long-standing high tax policies. EUnuchs have succeeded in giving automotive expression to Europe's disgusting class divide: the rich drive around in tank-like Mercedes Benz, the peons drive around in shopping carts.

    Europe's high taxes have stimulated no technological advances, only smaller vehicles for peons. Their transportation still uses fossil fuels. And the EU is the world's largest importer of fossil fuels. High gasoline taxes have been a failure.

    What we need (in Europe as well as the US) is incentives to innovation. X-Prizes. Rollbacks of regulatory barriers to innovation. Elimination of complex tax rules which drive business out of the country. We need to focus on creating new technology, better technology — not lining politicians' pockets. And we do not have a lot of time.

  20. mr. kinu..–

    this subject is not about logic. it is pure POLITICS. therefor, the legislation is crafted to the subtle ends of a political class. these ends, if understood by the majority of BODY POLITIC would likely end with some level of upheaval.


  21. LOL! Kinuachdrach, do you object to our Euro-commie-wuss captains of industry driving bigger cars than the less well off? What an egalitarian place you must have created in the US since I last looked five minutes ago!

    "The way to deal with that is … develop an improved technology, something that is better, faster, cheaper."

    As our host here has pointed out on a few occasions — you can't mandate the creation of new technology. In the meantime, you're right — we're still using fossil fuels for transport in Europe … just a lot less than the USA.

  22. “R-Party, in total control of Washington DC from 2000-2006, “

    All this time I thought Tom Daschle was a dem.

    See Benny, I have been carefully watching energy and environmental issues for years. Zero was the chances of passing AGW legislation that would endanger jobs during both Clinton and Bush administration. It remains to be seen if we get any meaningful environmental legislation.

    Has anyone bothered to read the legislation?

    “Kit, I want nukes, and min-nukes.”

    Benny you may want to compare the 2005 Energy Bill to the quality of energy legislation under dem leadership before you decide not to vote GOP again.

    It is always interesting to see those that are in favor of PHEV and against corn ethanol.

  23. RR:

    Electricity is "Atomic power."

    Electricity takes place on an atomic level and electro-magnetic induction is one of the most efficient means of energy transfer known to man.

    I find it amusing that we use other atomic phenomena such as fission and fussion to produce the
    most common, earliest and most useful form of atomic energy –



  24. Electricity is "Atomic power."

    That's splitting hairs. Atomic energy conventionally means nuclear energy. If electricity is atomic power then so is chemistry, which also "takes place on the atomic level". So an ox pulling a plough is running on "atomic power" too.

  25. Rufus,

    I was a little puzzled by this ELI study. First of all, the itemized subsidies only added up to $68 bn, not $72. Maybe they were just listing the largest items – I didn't read the fine print. I thought it would be useful to see just what was being subsidized rather than blurting out "BIG OIL Subsidy!!" I found it useful to consider 10 categories of fossil fuel subsidies.

    1) 22%, or $15 billion of the $68 billion listed, was allocated to the Foreign Tax Credit you referenced. Not $72 billion.

    2) 23% went to subsidize production in high cost environments, areas that may have otherwise been commercially marginal (although that of course depends on price). This seems like a legitimate use of subsidy to me, if without it most of these projects would have not been undertaken.

    3) 11% went to various accounting conventions, particularly treatment of intangible costs.

    4) 10% went to assumed loss stemming from lower than expected offshore lease government take. This seems very arbitrary to me. As I understand it, the ELI is assuming some globally fair government take, and calculates that the feds could get more. Maybe. But there's no free lunch. A higher take might mean lower bids or less development.

    5) 9% went to a low income housing energy assistance program. This is money paid to states to insure low income families get access to fuels. Hardly a Big Oil subsidy.

    6) Another 9% went to government storage programs, the SPR and two other minor programs. This is a government initiative, not a handout to the oil industry.

    7) 8% went to an accounting rule benefiting independent producers, not Big Oil.

    8) 5% went to the coal industry.

    9) 1% went to incentives for clean fuels.

    10) 1% went to a variety of small miscellaneous programs.

    So, of these

    – Numbers 1 and 3 may have room for revenue take ($22 bn);

    – Number 4 possibly but would have the side effect of lower US production (how could it not?) $7 bn;

    – Number 2 would clearly have a negative impact on US production ($16 bn);

    – Number 7 would hurt smaller companies but may be minor source of revenue ($5 bn)

    – The rest are not really benefiting the oil industry very much.

    I view this as $22 bn in possibly vulnerable oil industry subsidies, another $23 bn in at least partly defensible subsidies, and $27 billion (getting back to $72 bn) in subsidies that don't benefit the large mutlinationals much at all.

  26. "a permawar in Iraqistan and a economy in the toilet. That is what Bush left us with, after eight years in office."

    The economy just finished the best 25 yr. run ever. I remember when economists said 5% unemployment was a pipe dream Benny. Then,it happened. Along with 3% inflation year after year. And 5% interest rates. Economically,we were in hog heavan. It couldn't last forever.

    You're wrong about Iraq being a permawar. US soldiers aren't doing any fighting in Iraq. They're chilling out on US bases,which will be closed or turned over to Iraq some time in 2011,when the last of the troops come home. And Obama has no choice in Afghanistan. If we hand Afghanistan back to Bin Laden,airliners will hitting skyscrapers again.

  27. Two points that have not been appreciated much on this thread:

    1) cap and trade is not about peak oil. It's about limiting CO2 emissions. Whether you believe that CO2 is a problem or not (I strongly believe that it is, and believe even more strongly from a risk management point of view that we should assume that it is), the effects of Waxman-Markey on oil production and consumption are very much a side-effect of the policy, not its primary driver.

    2) In the short term, the likely carbon price is so low that it will make SFA difference to petroleum prices and production patterns. It will make more difference in the US because other taxes on fuel are so low by world standards, but do the math and it soon becomes pretty clear that for the carbon prices likely over the next decade it's a minor factor – perhaps not so minor in deciding whether refineries will be located in the US or offshore, but minor in terms of actual consumption or production.

    The big changes will happen in the stationary energy industry before the transport sector. Agriculture will also see some major changes; methane from burping and farting ruminant animals (notably cows and sheep) is a particularly potent greenhouse gas.

  28. “9% went to a low income housing energy assistance program.”

    Good analysis armchair261 and you might be surprised at how some of that money gets spent.

    The energy industry pays lots of taxes. If I went down to GM and forked over the money for a new car, I would really get mad if they told me my money went into a general fund. I am now on a list to get a new car. Not to worry, my car is coming as soon as my congressman's teenage son gets his new car for free. Not to worry unless the government decides that cousins of congressman's teenage son and ACORN volunteers should get free cars before productive citizens.

    If you think this is hyperbole, think again. Nuclear utilities have paid billions of rate payers money for the government to build a mandated spent fuel repository. Obama and Reid have decided to kill it for political reasons.

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