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 DesertFox3
Joined: 8/6/2005
Msg: 101
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Big Oil dodges bullet - gets a big boost from GOPPage 5 of 12    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Senate Republicans block windfall taxes on Big Oil

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer Wed Jun 11, 2:39 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Saved by Senate Republicans, big oil companies dodged an attempt Tuesday to slap them with a windfall profits tax and take away billions of dollars in tax breaks in response to the record gasoline prices that have the nation fuming.

GOP senators shoved aside the Democratic proposal, arguing that punishing Big Oil won't do a thing to lower the $4-a-gallon-price of gasoline that is sending economic waves across the country. High prices at the pump are threatening everything from summer vacations to Meals on Wheels deliveries to the elderly.

The Democratic energy package would have imposed a 25 percent tax on any "unreasonable" profits of the five largest U.S. oil companies, which together made $36 billion during the first three months of the year. It also would have given the government more power to address oil market speculation, opened the way for antitrust actions against countries belonging to the OPEC oil cartel, and made energy price gouging a federal crime.

"Americans are furious about what's going on," declared Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. He said they want Congress to do something about oil company profits and the "orgy of speculation" on oil markets.

But Republican leaders said the Democrats' plan would do harm rather than good — and they kept the legislation from being brought up for debate and amendments.

On world markets, oil prices retreated a bit Tuesday but remained above $131 a barrel. Gasoline prices edged even higher to a nationwide record average of $4.04 a gallon.

At the Capitol, Democratic leaders needed 60 votes and they got only 51 senators' support, including seven Republicans who bucked their party leaders. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, a state tied closely to the oil industry, was the only Democrat opposing the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voted in favor of the measure, but for procedural reasons changed his vote to "no" so that he could bring it up again.

"We are hurting as a country. We're hurting individually as Americans ... and the other side says, `Do nothing. Don't even debate the issue,'" complained Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

"Average citizens are scratching their heads and saying, what's wrong with Washington," said Schumer.

GOP opponents argued that little was to be gained by imposing new taxes on the five U.S. oil giants: Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Shell Oil Co., BP America Inc. and ConocoPhillips Co.

While these companies may be huge, they don't set world oil prices and raising their taxes would discourage domestic oil production, the Republicans said of the Democrats' plan.

"In the middle of what some are calling the biggest energy shock in a generation ... they proposed as a solution, of all things, a windfall profits tax," Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky chided the Democrats. He called their proposal "a gimmick" that would not lower gasoline prices and only hold back domestic oil production.

"The American people are clamoring for relief at the pump," agreed Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., but "they will get exactly what they don't want" under the Democrats' plan — higher prices and an increase in oil imports.

The bill's supporters argued that their proposal was different from the windfall profits taxes of the early 1980s that thwarted domestic production and led to a rise in imports. The oil companies could avoid the tax by using their "windfall" to push alternative energy programs or refinery expansions, they said.

Shortly after the oil tax vote, Republicans blocked a second proposal that would extend tax breaks that have either expired or are scheduled to end this year for wind, solar and other alternative energy development, and for the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. Again Democrats couldn't get the 60 votes to overcome a GOP filibuster.

Neither Republican presidential candidate John McCain nor his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, were in Washington to cast votes on the energy issue on Tuesday.

Obama, in a statement, said Republicans had "turned a blind eye to the plight of America's working families" by refusing to take up the energy legislation. Obama has supported additional taxes on the oil companies. McCain is opposed to such taxes and has proposed across-the-aboard tax reductions for industry as a way to help the economy.

Election-year politics hung over the debate. Democrats know their energy package has no chance of becoming law. Even it were to overcome a Senate GOP filibuster — a longshot at best — and the House acted, President Bush has made clear he would veto it.

But there was nothing to lose by taking on Big Oil when people are paying $60 to $100 to fill up their gas tanks.

The oil companies have been frequent targets of Congress. Twice this year, top executives of the largest U.S. oil producers have been brought before congressional committees to explain their huge profits. And each time the executives urged lawmakers to resist punitive tax measures, blaming high costs on global supply and demand.

In addition to the proposed windfall profits tax, the Democrats' bill also would have rescinded tax breaks that are expected to save the oil companies $17 billion over the next 10 years. The money would have been used to provide tax incentives for producers of wind, solar and other alternative energy sources as well as for energy conservation.

In an attempt to dampen oil market speculation, the legislation would require traders to put up more collateral in the energy futures markets and would provide authority to regulate U.S.-based trading in foreign markets. And it would make oil and gas price gouging a federal crime, with stiff penalties of up to $5 million during a presidentially declared energy emergency.

After Tuesday's defeat, Democrats did not rule out pushing the issue again.

"This was politics at its worst," complained Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. "This was a refusal to debate the biggest problem confronting the American people. ... That takes nerve."
 Feedback1
Joined: 3/8/2008
Msg: 102
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/12/2008 4:45:14 PM
I think if this keeps up I'm going to call up all of my friends/people who keep harassing me about not driving a car and ask them.....how does their car look parked in the driveway?

Maybe now my little protest against greedy governments/oil companies will not seem so silly.
 loraz0
Joined: 1/30/2007
Msg: 103
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/12/2008 5:19:54 PM
Sure there are filters in your tank and in some fuel lines. When they get clogged, your car stops. I prefer to buy gasoline, not water, dirt, or tank scale.
 Lizziede
Joined: 1/7/2008
Msg: 104
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/16/2008 12:32:22 PM
Until the American public gets off their butts and do something gas will continue to raise. I work in a service station. We don't get a discount on gas nor a raise since the gas has gone up. Our station is American owned. The owners try to keep the price at least 2 cents below our competition. BP up the street from us went out of business. We (the public) all have to ban together and do something to change all of this. This means writing letters, gas protests, etc. Starting rumors on here or whereever doesn't do a thing. I hear stuff from people each day about gas and oil prices. It has become easier to just put our lives on "autopilot" and keep on going. You would be surprised at the amount of money folks put in their tank and put on their credit card. Gee..what is that going to do to the National Debt when they can't pay those charge bills? They gas up their ATV's and boats. I often wonder where do they get the money todo that with? Credit card. The elderly are being held prisoner to the gas station. Some come in everyday or everyother day to "gas up". Because they can't afford to "fill up". Its all got the domino effect. Gas goes up, food goes up, other products go up etc. Get off your butts....do the right things to stop this!!!
 climbsagain
Joined: 1/20/2008
Msg: 105
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/16/2008 1:46:40 PM
I keep hearing about doing the right thing? What is the right thing? Using less gas may be about the only thing we can control for sure. As for forcing oil producing nations to lowere the price of oil? That seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. Again what is the right thing?
 BarbinCleves
Joined: 5/17/2008
Msg: 106
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/19/2008 5:15:10 PM
I believe we squnder in United States more than we think, Last year in every ones parking lot at your job I bet their was more SUV'S in the parking lot than small cars. We are just out for ourselves in this country.
I was lucky enough to go to Greece three years ago. Not one SUV. People took turns going to pick up the elders so they would be cherished and listened to.
We have done some of this to ourselves because as long as we have what we want we don't care how we get it as long as we have it.
I came back with sadness to think we spend so much time working to have 3 0r 4 cars in our driveways, that we don't take time to sit and talk and take care of our older family. That we drive two blocks rather than walk.
That was a wake up call for me. I have bought a small Ford and I talk to every older person I can to learn from them.
Working for a bakery I can tell you flour has doubled. Gas for diesel has went from $20,ooo,oo a month to $45,000.oo so hard times are yet to come .
 DesertFox3
Joined: 8/6/2005
Msg: 107
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/20/2008 10:45:23 AM
We are just out for ourselves in this country.


Ya got that right!

we spend so much time working to have 3 0r 4 cars in our driveways


Hey, I resemble that remark!!! I keep 3-4 cars around as one of them beaters got to be running at one time or another... it's cheaper to pick up another $500 car than to get one of them fixed, that's sad! ... read above comment, mechanics must be out for themselves too!

 8thTonOFun
Joined: 9/30/2005
Msg: 108
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/20/2008 12:15:41 PM
LOL, word to that fox...I've had as many as 7 at once...all in various states of disrepair:P

Of course mechanics are out for themselves...so are grocery store clerks, attorneys, the guy working at the gas station...not a mechanic's fault you can't work on your own car, just like it's not an attorney's fault that you don't have the ability/know-how to represent yourself in court. Unless you're a moron, you don't ONLY take a job so you can help people. If helping people were a job with no pay, it would be in high demand because NOBODY (including anybody in this thread) would do it. Who wants to work for no pay?

What I love to hear is how all these oil companies are posting record profits. Everybody forgets that when they hear that ExxonMobile made $400billion in profits last year and that's TWICE AS MUCH as they made in 1998 (for example...I haven't looked up these figures)...that Exxon made $200B in profits in '98 and so did Mobil...before they merged.

Now we have two companies combined...OF COURSE they're making twice as much money. DUH!

Why don't we get pissed off at the people playing the futures game? THAT, my friends, is what's driving up the price of oil like crazy, in addition to the extra demand in Asia.

DRILL OFFSHORE! BRING OIL FROM ALASKA! KILL THE CARIBOU, THEY'RE GOOD EATIN ANYWAY!

How many of you like the fact that we have a free enterprise economic system? That if you can make it and sell it, you can put whatever pricetag you want on it? I like it, personally. But guess what - that will go away if the Feds tax the big, bad, evil, monstrous oil companies that are "only out to make money" (no kidding, it's a BUSINESS! JEEZ) more than any other industry, be it porn, radio control cars, kites, silverware...IMO it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and WRONG to be able to limit any ONE PERSON or ENTITY'S ability to MAKE MONEY.

How would doctors feel if the federal gov't said "OK, Doctors can only make $45,000 a year. Trash collectors, on the other hand, can make up to $500,000 a day if they want to and can. Lawyers can only make $400 a week, yet your average horse trainer MUST be paid at LEAST $90/hr, and have a minimum of 50 paid hours a week"

Doesn't sound fair, does it?
Didn't think so.
 climbsagain
Joined: 1/20/2008
Msg: 109
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/20/2008 3:15:56 PM
Intersting point regarding record profits for the oil companies. When compared to other major corporations the percent of profit to the overall revenue stream, about 9% is the standard for corporations. This is what the oil companies are making the lasyt few years.

Think about how gas prices remained stable here in the United States throught the mid eighties all the way up to about 2000. If you look at the numbers the oil companies did not do well during this time. We were driving with cheap gas that we took for granted. Now its time to pay up.
 plentyreal
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 110
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/23/2008 10:22:28 AM
Its are goverment, remember the boston teas party.
 climbsagain
Joined: 1/20/2008
Msg: 111
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/23/2008 4:06:52 PM
It is always easy to blame the government for the problems that plague this country. Of course there are people that don't vote, don't know who they vote for, people that do not become involved, people that just complain about the high prices at the pump. For all of the folks that complain how many have made any attempt to use less gas? Think about it?
 grannybritches
Joined: 6/4/2008
Msg: 112
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/24/2008 8:58:42 AM
Does anyone know? How much gasoline savings is there if you don't run the air conditioner in the car? Also, how about using other features? Does it make any gas difference if you don't run the CD player or radio, for example?
 mysticlisa
Joined: 1/20/2005
Msg: 113
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/24/2008 10:31:03 AM
I saw a report on one of those news channels that running the air conditioner makes a very slight difference. Not enough to make yourself uncomfortable in the heat. I don't believe the radio makes any difference at all.
 Wavfact
Joined: 4/6/2007
Msg: 114
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/24/2008 2:15:20 PM
I found Nitor's post quite funny and baseless.. When a company decides to sell energy, they are regulated. becauses its considered a public nessisity not a luxury. Yes its business, but its "energy business", not the same as someone developing and selling a new type of shoe. that just shows a lack of facts. Oil companies need regulation because the control the worlds economy, period.

In the US Consititution, we as american citizens have the right to dissolve and install a new government when the present one is working against the people. How much more do we all have to put up with before we excersise our constitutional rights?
 climbsagain
Joined: 1/20/2008
Msg: 115
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/25/2008 5:20:12 PM
The real savings in gas consumption is slowing down. This is the reason as to why the speed limit was lowered to 55 in the early 1970"s. Amazing how many folks drive with reckless abandon and waste so much gas. Aside from the fact that it is dangerous. We know by reading the post the sad side effects of speeding. We could slow down. We could park cars that are faster than anyone needs. Sure there is the ego to consider when it comes to cars and speed. How about we just grow a little instead and slow down and save fuel along the way?
 TTM_1974
Joined: 5/6/2007
Msg: 116
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/25/2008 5:46:55 PM
I got a new job, new car and I'm single, so I can buy as much gas as I need for my one-tank trips on the weekends. Can't seem to find a date to accompany me on my half-day vacations. C'est La Vie.
 DesertFox3
Joined: 8/6/2005
Msg: 117
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/25/2008 7:19:45 PM
How many of you like the fact that we have a free enterprise economic system? That if you can make it and sell it, you can put whatever pricetag you want on it? I like it, personally. But guess what - that will go away if the Feds tax the big, bad, evil, monstrous oil companies that are "only out to make money" (no kidding, it's a BUSINESS! JEEZ) more than any other industry, be it porn, radio control cars, kites, silverware...IMO it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and WRONG to be able to limit any ONE PERSON or ENTITY'S ability to MAKE MONEY.

Yes, but why are they (Big Oil) crying for 'tax breaks' while boasting record profits... & getting them too??

Again 'Free enterprise system'... why are they entitled to tax breaks?
 DesertFox3
Joined: 8/6/2005
Msg: 118
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/25/2008 7:22:20 PM
Does anyone know? How much gasoline savings is there if you don't run the air conditioner in the car? Also, how about using other features? Does it make any gas difference if you don't run the CD player or radio, for example?


If you have working AC... USE IT!!!!!!!!!

The trade off between areodynamics & using AC is nill... if you don't use your AC, it will end up costing you in costly repairs in the end anyway.

I wish my AC worked in my Vehicles, but very costly to fix.

Other features aren't going to make any difference in your MPG that you would even notice.... keep the sunroof & windows closed, less drag.
 8thTonOFun
Joined: 9/30/2005
Msg: 119
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/25/2008 8:29:24 PM

I found Nitor's post quite funny and baseless.. When a company decides to sell energy, they are regulated. becauses its considered a public nessisity not a luxury. Yes its business, but its "energy business", not the same as someone developing and selling a new type of shoe. that just shows a lack of facts. Oil companies need regulation because the control the worlds economy, period.

In the US Consititution, we as american citizens have the right to dissolve and install a new government when the present one is working against the people. How much more do we all have to put up with before we excersise our constitutional rights?


Business is business. Oil companies in the US, for the most part, do not control the world's economy...the ones that PRODUCE said oil DO.

Exxon doesn't own the oil fields in Saudi Arabia. Nor does Valero the fields in Kuwait. These companies buy the oil from the folks that pump it, then refine it, and sell it...Much like Ford doesn't make steel, but they buy the steel, then fashion it into a (sometimes) working automobile;)

Nitor is not baseless. Nitor says right things, my friend, and one of those things is directly ABOUT the free-enterprise system. we do NOT have only ONE company selling oil here. That would be a monopoly. Nitor said that. Monopolies are frowned upon, unless you're Milton Bradley. There are still multiple companies selling oil, and the top execs of each company are not just sitting in a big room rolling in $10,000 bills and saying "HAHA, we're destroying everybody!"

The gouging, if it exists, is NOT happening on the refining/selling end in our country. That much is obvious because it is a WORLDWIDE phenomenon.

Did you know that, also, the government has the right to revoke the citizen's right to vote if we get a low enough turnout at the polling stations? Betcha didn't.

Nitor is Right! (I smell a bumper sticker)
 racefan529
Joined: 4/13/2007
Msg: 120
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/25/2008 11:30:04 PM
Granny, the key speed is about 40 mph. if you are going faster than that, the drag created from having the windows down becomes more costly than running the air.
 grannybritches
Joined: 6/4/2008
Msg: 121
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/26/2008 3:14:21 PM
Oh, good! Then I can use the air conditioner without feeling as though I'm using unnecessary gas.

I saw today where gasoline may go to $7.00 per gallon. If so, that's going to pretty much stop our economy in its tracks.
 climbsagain
Joined: 1/20/2008
Msg: 122
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/27/2008 3:13:10 AM
If gas hits 7 dollars a gallon what will life be like? People will go hungry? This country may see the worse violence we have ever known if gas hits 7 dollars a gallon? For that matter what will happen world wide when people begin to die from starvation on a scale the modern world nas never known?
 grannybritches
Joined: 6/4/2008
Msg: 123
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/27/2008 1:15:35 PM
The Saudi Arabian oil people had a meeting recently and said they were increasing production. They were worried that the high cost might push the American people into becoming so frugal it would affect how much they were selling. However, the price just keeps going up. Maybe the real strategy is to take us down that way rather than with terrorism.

Have you noticed that it has affected the amount of traffic on the roads? I was on I-270 in Columbus one day around quitting time for businesses. Was dreading going through there at that time, but I breezed on through. There was a noticeable difference in the amount of traffic on the highway. Maybe that was just an unusual occurrence, however.
 climbsagain
Joined: 1/20/2008
Msg: 124
Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/27/2008 2:06:18 PM
There do not appear to be short term solutions to this problem. The oil producing nations are no longer working together as they once did. The Oil producing nations are growing rich and will most likely ride this golden cash cow long and hard. If the shoe were on the other foot....say that of corporations in the United States we would do the same. We take pride in our capitalistic life style. Here it is high gas prices and all. Live by the sword and one day we may die by the sword.
 8thTonOFun
Joined: 9/30/2005
Msg: 125
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Gas Price increase. What do you think?
Posted: 6/29/2008 9:03:18 AM
The only reason it will hit $7/gallon is because we EXPECT it to, just like $4/gallon. Had nobody made the prediction that it would hit $4/gallon by memorial day, we'd still be pissing and moaning about $2.99/gallon.

It's the media that's killing us, I think, and making us EXPECT this stuff. Self-fulfilling prophecies and all that.

We have nobody but ourselves to blame...and the same people that are crying about high gas prices and blaming President Bush for everything from Katrina to 9/11 to it raining every day I have off work so I can't ride my bicycle or motorcycle don't want to hurt the little caribou in Alaska, or drill offshore, etc etc. the environmentalists are killing our economy, and it's been happening for years...we're just now seeing the aftermath. It started with automobiles and industrial regulations. Part of the reason China is producing things so much cheaper than we are is NOT because of worker's low wages, but the fact that they don't have have any emissions standards for their factories. I'm all for protecting the environment, but everything we do is offset by what's going on in China. The fact that they are so behind the times with environmental protection makes me wonder why nobody steps up and makes them accountable for their actions...after all, their cheap manufacturing is moving jobs that would otherwise be in the USA, Canada, Europe, Mexico, et al is a big reason for our current unemployment situation.

[/soapbox] :)

climbsagain is 100% correct. Live by capitalism, die by capitalism. I couldn't have said it better myself.
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