The House rolled back billions of dollars in oil industry subsidies Thursday in what supporters hailed as a new direction in energy policy toward more renewable fuels. Critics said the action would reduce domestic oil production and increase reliance on imports. [...]
The legislation would impose a "conservation fee" on oil and gas taken from deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico; scrap nearly $6 billion worth of oil industry tax breaks enacted by Congress in recent years; and seek to recoup royalties lost to the government because of an Interior Department error in leases issued in the late 1990s.
Democrats said the legislation could produce as much as $15 billion in revenue. Most of that money would pay to promote renewable fuels such as solar and wind power, alternative fuels including ethanol and biodiesel and incentives for conservation.
"The oil industry doesn't need the taxpayers' help. ... There is not an American that goes to a gas pump that doesn't know that," said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Pump prices topped $3 per gallon last year as the oil industry earned record profits.
The bill, Hoyer said, "starts to move our nation in a new direction" on energy policy.
Why the hell were were we subsidizing fossil fuels in the first place??!! We need action on climate change. We need more incentives to conserve. We need more incentives to invest in renewable energy. We need common-sense solutions to the great human security issue of our time...
And ya know what? Today's vote in the House was a good first step in the right direction. Oh yeah, and the House Dems completed the ENTIRE "100 HOURS AGENDA" IN LESS THAN HALF THE TIME! If ya ask me, I'll tell you that the Dems finished more in the first 42 hours of the 110th Congress than the Republicans during the ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE 109th!