Should America take oil and gas subsidies and apply them to alternative power and fuel resources?
Why American stubbornly continues to support a fossil fuel industry that is swimming in money from inflated fuel prices is a confounding issue.
We do this allready! So far it has cost us billions of dollars! And no one has gone to jail as they would in the pricate sector! Fraud, and lies dominate those like Solyndra! Government needs to step out of the free market and let it go back to serving consumers and allowing consumers to dictate the market! This is the basic concept that built the greatest country on earth!
Solyndra went bankrupt largely because their ultra-sophisticated technology couldn't compete with simpler, cheaper Chinese panels. As for 'going to jail as they would in the pricate (sic) sector,' no one from Lehman has gone to jail, either.
Solyndra knew their technology was not competitive. Thats why nobody invested in their business except one big fool.
Yes!!! That would be one of the best things we could do for our country and the world. There are huge numbers of natural energy-producing methods and refinements still in experimental stage that we could get to market by providing the finances they need.
For example, three years ago I heard about a paint being developed that could produce solar power when painted on a house or car roof. Fifteen years ago I talked with a guy who had developed a solar oven made from clay that is slowly being introduced to developing countries. Just a few miles from where I live, people are building "earth houses" made from fired clay that are well insulated and waterproof, that could be easily built in developing countries with materials on hand. Last month I talked with a guy who'd developed a way of using friction from vehicle wheels to charge up the engine. And, of course, there are experiments galore going on with the electro-magnetic principles that Nikola Tesla discovered. All of these could be helped to market with a little government funding.
Government funding isn't the answer, as the government doesn't have any money that it does't first confiscate from those that produce. If there is a market for reliable "alternate" fuel they will be brought to market by way of the free market.
Sue: It's just to vague to buy in when someone sez (in order): "I heard about a paint.." and "I talked with a guy who had developed...", "Last month I talked with a guy who'd developed..." and, "..there are experiments galore.."
If I'm seeing potential everywhere I look, including university research, that isn't getting to market, then others must be too. Are you telling me personal experience doesn't count?
Try running cars on potential, heat your home with potential, make plastics from potential. Try being logical not emotional.
Mr. Guesser. You do realize that all physical products start with ideas, do you not? And that ideas are made into experiments which are then perfected, etc. until they are ready for market. I'm not being emotional, but observant.
Experiments run nothing. Write back when it works.
There is a profit to be made from renewable energy. The Chinese know it and are moving fast to get the market. The US energy companies have the reserves to compete on their own. Subsidies must stop.
absolutely correct...subsidies are not the answer. A reduction in taxes and overbearing (not all)governmmental regulation.
As we already owe for what we have given them and the banks, I suggest the subsidies end and we pay that back towards the debt they created!
That's actually a good idea, Perspycacious.
Yes, tax incentives to fossil fuel companies are perverse and should be ended.
Even better would be a carbon tax, the proceeds of which would be rebated to all American taxpayers as a credit. Thus the worst carbon polluters would pay the costs of using our common atmosphere as a dump, and non-polluters would have any costs which might be passed-on from the polluters buffered. Over time one would expect that clean energy sources would prosper under this scenario, reducing greenhouse gas emissions drastically. Here's a webpage discussing this idea:
http://www.carbontax.org/who-supports/s … conomists/
A carbon tax? Really? So the poor should pay a tax for every product that is connected to oil? Food, clothing, anything plastic etc. Are you sure the rich shouldn't jusy pay?
perverse huh? Government has a subsidie that helps oil companies continue producing wells that produce more water than oil.......otherwise the well would be plugged. This sub. gives us energy freedom........
Remember Bill Clinton's BTU tax. His own floor leaders balked at that one. I am proud to say I was part of the LA group to help kill that beast, which never reared its ugly self again.
It would be a greater opportunity for the people of the country to get the alternative sources of energy.
akram, if that were the case then they would be wide available and widely used...
Solar panels are becoming more widely used. These were even placed on the White House during the Carter administration. A lot of people who want to live off the grid and save on electricity buy these, which are not new.
Solar can be used to offset or even remove one from the grid, but it's not a good financial choice at this time. The costs are usually not recouped before the lifetime of the panels expire & need to be replaced. financial viablity is not there Y
Have you tried driving that new solar power car? How about that solar powered Fighter airplane to defend against incoming bombers. And that solar powered Tank is to die for, errr in.
I just found out that Green America is sponsoring a bill through Congress for Clean Energy Victory Bonds. That would be a great way for those of us in support of renewable energy development to contribute - http://cleanenergyvictorybonds.org/about
Thanks Sue for the link, but what else can citizens do to get and push for green energy economy?
The Environmental Action Group I chair is working with our city to do the following: Find alternatives to coal for electricity, build better bike paths, become certified by CA Green Communities. For what's required see - http://www.cagreencom.org/
Those are good steps. Most of LA gets it electric power from Natural gas, some nuclear and some coal, because of Govt. interference in the Carter admin. when it was thought the gas supply was running out. Bike paths do not work with our urban sprawl
Where bike paths do not work mass transit can. I would rather our country begin the transition to green energy rather than 20 years from now with a greater dependence on fossil fuels.
I heard that the city has developed a plan to turn storm drains throughout the city into open streams with bike paths lining them. Do you know anything about that, Larry?
Storm drains to open streams: Bikers caught in sudden currents will have no chance. Open drains collect more trash. Open drains offer more chances of children falling in drains--not the best idea.I don't know your age or commute--bikes are not for me
I would think that civil engineers will be able to figure out how to make storm drains safe - like opening them up to the sky and filling them in with dirt and concrete, and rerouting drainage to drains currently in use for that purpose.
Rerouting drainage is not an easy task. I am sorry but the bike plan would probably cost millions.
Turning any infrastructure from one purpose to another will cost millions. For example, there is a project underway in Atlanta to turn an old rail line into bike paths and walk ways that crosses the entire city, including urban parks.
Mass transit is a great idea. Unfortunately, money is the issue. We barely passed a tax to improve the bus system. A gerrymandered district had to be drawn. We are going to add more routes, but I'm not on the bus route and am eight miles from the CBD
In Los Angeles the city is working with nonprofits to cut costs when refurbishing parks. A nonprofit called NorthEast Trees, for example, designs storm collection systems and plants native trees, while the city works out permits and financing.
I think that our culture will eventually get it right. Mass transit is pretty established in Atlanta, but I have issue with a transit system that goes to bed at 12AM.
Again, the issue here is cost.
It will cost something staying with status qua.
For those asking what else you can do to get a push going on "green" energy...purchase it. This will allow the market to grow IF it's viable. But, don't use tax money, as we need to get our house in order per the Constitution. This is not a fed issue
Here is a great hub about how to invest in green technologies written by marcygoodfleisch. http://marcygoodfleisch.hubpages.com/_1 … -companies
Sue: Just read the hub you mentioned. I a sorry, but I do not have the time or resources to check out all the products I buy. I am 60 and unemployed, I'n not investing my money in green start up companies. The concept is good.Using it is anther story
I don't either, but I thought I'd share the link (lol). It's my aim.
YOU BE THE JUDGE
The government is subsidizing the alternate power energy $9 billion
The subsidy in oil/gas subsidies is $4 billion
THE OIL/GAS INDUSTRIES are paying $ million/day in taxes to the treasury
Alternate power industry is returning far less to the treasury, actually many $ millions invested by the government are going bankrupt = taxpayer losses.
GET BY THE PROPAGANDA of the adminiistration
Who owns big oil? Obama and the Democrats want to tax them?
Domestic drilling advocates WARN of increased global demand for oil, dwindling supply
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03 … z1qHuBO3uK
Team Obama's scary crusade against affordable, reliable ENERGY
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/04/ … z1tIvHh9ZS
The budget losses are not due to the alternate resource finding but using the money in war instead of research. alternate resources are not being sought but the alternate preys.
adram, that is the dumbest answer I ever saw! Budget losses not due to alternate resource..??? Here is a secret for you! NO MATTER how much government or you liberal wackos WANT green energy.............NO BODY ELSE DOES! Free Markets still dictate
Yay! We're starting to shift over. From 1973-2003 the nuclear/fossil fuels industries got $98 B in subsidies, while alternative energy got $26 B. (Then came the wars for oil, which could be considered a huge subsidy itself.) Wikipedia has details.
Sorry: When I see something in Wikipedia, I always look for a second source. There is some good stuff and some junk. Sometimes it is hard to separate.
There are lots of opportunities for investing in green companies and lots of people doing so. There are investment companies that have searched out green companies in which to solely invest their client's money, and they are gaining in popularity.
Question: Why is this a 'liberal' issue? The science and facts are there, fossil fuels are a limited resource. The more we use it, the more we damage our climate, the more engineering we build around fossil fuels, the more dependent we are.
Eugene this is not a liberal issue. Fossil fuels may be limited, but there is enough to sustain us for decades, if not centuries. Science will find the answers you want in due time.
You should not penalize one industry to fund an industry that is going to be in competition with it. WHen the oil industry started there were no subsidies. I suspect Henry Ford did not get a government loan for his Model T assembly line.
Oil companies are built by having investors take a risk.
The alternative fuel industry is the same. If you really believe wind turbines are going to solve our problems, invest in the company. Buy solar panels and reduce your electric bills. Buy an electric car--just do not go far from home or you will be using gasoline.
If a consensus can be reached on what would be a viable fuel source to supplement oil, I might not be so opposed. But I am opposed to giving any money and further oppose making the oil companies pay for any idea that someone might come up with.
Finally, as I have said on other occasions, there is no Mr. Exxon or Mr. Chevron. Those companies are owned by you and me. Some of us own shares (I do not). Some of us have royalty interests (I do not) and some of us have 401K, annuities or pension plans that are invested in oil and gas companies ( I do have that) and those people want the greatest return on the dollar they can get because people like me, 60 and older are not going to be around when an alternative fuel is finally in mass use. It took 10 years to phase out the use of lead in gasoline.
With Cash for Clunkers, we have a new fleet of cars on the road, many of which will be going strong in 15 years. We do not have a fuel replacement, we have not figured out the infrastructure and the government has not figured out how it will be taxed.
Finally, I will bet that whatever alternative is finally put in place, the price will be similar to the per mile cost of gasoline.
There is no silver bullet. Before we start robbing Peter or should I say Petrol to pay Paul, or is that All, we need a plan in place.
There is a lot of confusion on this issue. I had to research this issue at my last job. I found my original draft. I will be doing a Hub this weekend to explain some of the confusion.
It is a confusing issue because of price speculation; Middle East instability; the permanent environmental costs of extracting oil and more. But oil and gas companies are pigs. They need to give it up.
Pigs because you have said so? These pigs provide YOUR electric, Your gas for YOUR car, Your plastics for YOUR computer, diesel fuel for tractors to plow and plant YOUR food. ETC. WHO'S the pig?
Wow. Guesser is getting really upset here and below. Does mockery really serve this conversation? . . . or maybe we're not being sensitive enough. Guesser, do you work for oil, by any chance? Seriously. We've been pretty hard on oil here.
Don't work for oil--never did. The pig reference was not started by me. You're not hard on oil, they laugh at you.
I did a Hub on this and other related subjects the other day to address a lot of these issues. This hub to long and to hard to keep track of comments. The link to my latest hub is http://larrywall.hubpages.com/hub/Clear … dies-Impor
No as there is already a flat tax on oil and fuel which is about to collapse the American economy, Oil and gas prices are breaking the backs of the avergae family. However we have abundant research that has been stove piped since the 1970(s) in order to keep oil interest lucrative. We can pull from the stove pipes for little to no cost and switch to alternative fuels in the USA.
There is a fed. tax on gasoline and each state adds it own tax. The consumer pays both. I worked in the industry for 22 years and I do not know of any flat tax. Oil cos. as a group have spent more researching alt. fuels than all other groups.
All kinds of subsidies are useless. These subsidies only benefits big corporations and their rich shareholders. It never benefits poor. Only direct financial support to poor can change the effect on poor. There should be no subsidies to power and fuel resources.
Tell the woman, whose only income is from the oil co. stocks he purchased while working and left it to her when he died that she is a "wealthy shareholder." Tell teachers in LA, where part of their retirement is in oil stocks that they are wealthy.
Actually, the biggest shareholders of the big corporations are the big corporations themselves, owning each other's stocks. I would classify the two examples you gave, Larry, as poor shareholders, who could choose to switch investments if they want.
Consider the following from Business Week Magazine:
Annual Revenue: $442 billion
Expenditures: $400 billion
People: 2.5 million shareholders, 83,600 employees.
The profit margin is about 10 percent and 2.5 million is a lot of shareholders
You're right, Larry. I just looked and Vanguard and Fidelity are two of Exxon's biggest shareholders. Several others are banks or trust funds of banks. Another is an investment company for businesses. The stock market has evolved. ;-)
Sue: Thank you for your research. You not only proved that there are small shareholders--my 401K was once through Fidelity. You also showed there are many misconceptions about the oil and gas industry. I will be doing a hub on this in a few days.
Yes indeed. My father had investments in Vanguard and Fidelity when he died. Personally, I prefer to support smaller investment companies that focus on green and fair trade industries. That gives them SOME funding for bringing goods to market anyway.
Huge subsidies have been given to support green products. I do believe we need to be greener, but I don't believe we need to subsidize it. Many of the green projects the government subsidizes ends up failing. Green companies need to compete to make better projects and not be supported enough that they still succeed if they fail. People need to spend their money for these projects not the government.
You make an excellent point. When a viable energy alternative emerges,some assistance may be in order, but not now.
Here's one that got a little assistance. In another post I mentioned Tesla's experiments. The Tesla all electric sedan is going to be introduced next month. http://news.yahoo.com/tesla-deliver-sed … nance.html
We have tons of oil in our own country.. I wish we'd go after that and create more jobs here in the states, lower prices, Stop depending on other countries, and promote cleaner energy!! I'm down with renewible and cleaner energy but we still had oil here that can be used
And in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in Alaska - pristine coasts depended upon by myriad species of wildlife for survival, where oceans freeze into icebergs and hurricanes rage - worse conditions than the Caribbean, impossible to clean up a spill.
Where is that pesky Carribbean oil spill? I looked everywhere for it.
There's a lawsuit against BP and facts are being withheld. Still, 600 dolphin deaths in one year to the normal 75. Try this. http://blog.nwf.org/2012/04/two-years-i … side-down/
More evasion Sue? Post some current photos of the oil spill that is "impossible to clean up". Certainly you have them if it's still there. Or are you making that stuff up?
I say no. Eliminating subsidies is a good thing all by itself. Taking that money and using it to subsidise other industries is just making the same mistake again. We have been pouring millions into alternate energy since the 1970s, and most of that money was just wasted. If the government wants to spend money on basic research, let them send it to universities, not to alternate energy companies. So far they have a very poor record.
The subsidies should go to alternate fuel sources. The biggest problem is funding the research. Every time there's hope in the air that the politicians have finally gotten it through their thick skulls that alternative energy is necessary, they cut spending. Everybody complains that electric vehicles are too expensive, batteries too dangerous. Of course they are. Research and development is expensive and without cash there really is no hope. Had we started 10 or 20 years ago to put as much effort and money into researching alternative fuels as we do killing this planet, we'd probably have some affordable vehicles on the road. Even the Republicans would be driving them.
Not only would we have cheaper vehicles and utility bills, but the "job creators" could have created a brand new world-leading lucrative industry. They could have employed millions of American's and guess what: the oil industry would still be in full swing. The difference is our carbon footprint would be significantly smaller and we'd extend the life of our oil reserves by a couple of hundred years.
We can't separate ourselves from oil completely, yet. I don't know if I'd want our military depending on electricity entirely and we still need power plants that burn coal. But the point is to reduce the footprint so that the planet can heal itself.
You take away the subsidies, the oil company pass on their increase cost to the consumer. How long do you think it will be before an alternate is in place and the necessary infrastructure is built.
It will take decades if not longer. That's why we should have been pursuing this issue more diligently decades ago. Will BP pass on the cost to cover their little accident? Probably. Our resources will be gone and we don't have a back up plan.
Daimler, Honda, GM and Ford all have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles out on the road, testing. Honda is developing a home HR fueling station. Germany has a HR mobility plan in action, expecting to switch to hydrogen vehicles by 2015.
Hydrogen: You cannot get enough hydrogen into an airplane for a trans-Atlantic trip. We still need oil for aviation fuel. People in the northeast use home heating oil,who is going to cover their cost to convert--assuming it viable for home use?
Hawaii uses oil to make electricity too, but it doesn't mean they can't find something else. And I'm not talking about hydrogen for everything, just those things it's viable for . . . like cars. Oil will still be around, but better balanced.
America should take all our foreign "aid" payments and apply them to ANYTHING ELSE besides throwing that money away to people who don't like us.....
Some of our "foreign aid" goes to feed hungry children, provide basic health care and teach people how to earn a living. Some, maybe a majority,of it is wasted.
Foreign aid is a toughie. I was in the Peace Corps a couple of times and worked on such projects. The trick is setting it up so the desired end user gets it, not the developing country's government officials.
We agree on something. Foreign aid can be well spent. It just has to be well administered.
I have no problem with foreign feeding hungry children, but most of it is used for other things. There are a lot of hungry children in US schools with budget cuts, which irks you when you hear there are no foreign aid cuts on the horizon.
Truthfully, it shouldn't be a choice between foreign aid and feeding children at home. The amount we pay for both is piddling compared to what we've forked out for war. Imagine what we could do for our people in the US with the 4 trillion war $.
I would not argue one point with you. I just do not know how we are going to accomplish it because some of the wars we fight do eventually make life better for the people who now have so little.
Our energy needs will keep growing while at the same time we have to bring down carbon and methane emissions.
....And I can not answer your question.
Logically we would be doing exactly that, but we haven't. We have had alternatives to the use of fossil fuels from light rail/mass transit to solar energy since the sixties, so it isn't a new idea. If then as culture, we would have ecologically friendly back when the Beatles made their name.
Instead, the US choose the path of profit.
When OPEC decided our attitude about Israel was not their liking, they shut off the petrol and the US went into a tizzy in '74.
So why is it in 2012 we haven't learned anything as a culture?
Sorry, no clue....
And sorry,we must change.
As a country, we use a disproportionate amount of resources than other countries because we simply choose to ignore reality, because of the belief the is no way to run consumerism than on fossil fuels.
We did respond when OPEC closed the tap. We drilled more wells, we advanced technology, we lower the speed limit, we conserved and the industry produced more oil. We panic when our gas gauge was at 3/4 of a tank by needlessly topping off our tanks.
The 1st time that happened we did not have 20/20 hindsight. What is our excuse now?
And long term, we should not do what we did in the 70's, because there are now other factors besides oil dependency for the country, like climate change.
The 70s should have been a wake-up call. Our dependency was exposed. We can drill more but then what? It doesn't stay here anyway and when we've tapped that last barrel they'll have us by the you-know-what again.
Exactly my point.
Unless oil drilling, can be strictly used for domestic consumption the average Joe isn't going to feel it in his tank, (I didn't even mention speculation which can still keep oil high in price.)
And climate change....?
Subsidies only make slaves, both the ones who have to forcibly give the money to the ones who get it for "free" and ultimately to those who get it for "free" there are many strings attached that force you to capitulate to your sugardaddy. If there is good ideas they will ultimately come to market. What we need is for the Government to get out of the way and let smart people produce good products here instead of forcing everything out of the country. Oil and gas companies only make about a dime a gallon on their product. The FEDS tax you about 50 cents a gallon, so who is the thief here? We need to end the illegal FED and its illegal collection agency the IRS and force these mongrels to repay Americans for the trillions they stole over the last decade. Don't you people realize that when we pay taxes it doesn't go to the government, it goes to the private company called the Federal Reserve and then they cut a small check back to our government to help cover operating expenses. Big Oil isn't the demon here, the FED is the demon who is stealing you blind and devaluing the dollar. Oil today is the same price as it was when I was growing up and you could get a gallon for 17 cents. What has happened is the dollar is worth so little now that it takes 3.50 to buy what 17 cents bought in 1972.
Read this, before defending the oil companies too strongly - http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/ … ofits.html
OK Sue, Exxon made 41 billion in profits and the FED stole about 14 trillion from middle America through this scam called the Mortgage mess. Again I ask you who is the real crooks here.
More money from our gallon of gas goes to government than to oil companies. The reason for oil company profits is that MORE gallons were consumed on the global market. It is simple supply and demand and quantity of units sold.
You are right Mitch. This situation is not the Oil companies' faults. This has been pushed as a class envy issue and it is not. They employ millions and spend millions. The government sucks your money out and doesn't contribute.
I read your link. I think the most notable thing is that it showed that Exxon made a $40 billion profit in 2011. Exon spent about $420 billion in that same year for a less than 10 percent ROI. When you spend a lot of money, you often make money.
Gov doesn't contribute, Roy? We're talking about fossil fuel subsidies. That's who the gov contributes to. They also pass legislation that favors, approve drilling permits on federal lands, and just waged two very expensive wars for oil. :-(
yes from me. Why the hell not. once everything is all up and running it's only beneficial to the planet and our resources.
Is your car sail powered? Is your computer made without plastic? Is your food grown at your house? OIL is the lifeblood of modern life. NOTHING replaces it. Until something does, DRILL BABY DRILL.
i didn't say stop using stuff. I just said that it wouldn't hurt to use some renewable energy to power things like electricity. This world could no lunger run without fossil fuels.
Where does electric come from? COAL AND OIL thats where.
That's what I'm saying, power electricity with renewable energy, and we will have more fossil fuel to use for cars, trains and planes etc..
Wind and solar powered electric are a joke. It would take windmills over the entire state to electrify New York City. The do gooders will not allow hydro-electric damns because of some silly fish.
give it up Gusser, these kids don't get it! I wonder if they know we still burn more wood for energy than green energy? Wood still 4% green energy less than 1%
I'm not in America. I'm not a politician nor am I an energy expert. All I'm saying is if we could harness a little extra renewable energy where possible, we'd have more fossil fuels left over to power the rest of the world for a lot longer.
From Southern California, Metropolitan Water District, one of the biggest water suppliers in the world, is setting up solar panels to power water over the mountains to Los Angeles. People here are pressuring LA to get off coal and they're listening.
Gusser and American Romance, all things must come to an end. It is time for our energy consumption and generating capacity to run on something other than oil and coal. Sure these fuels built the US, but in the long run we can not afford it.
Turbines and solar panels will be devices vulnerable to hurricanes, like we get in Louisiana. That would be in addition to all other damage that the powerlines would still face. Not a good idea.
Not good for your area, Larry, but for Southern California both of those technologies are great. We don't get hurricanes here, and we are heavy users of fossil fuels. (BTW, when I said LA I didn't mean your LA) (lol)
Sue the problems I point out impact Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and on up the east coast. Solar panels will get less use in the Northeast and Alaska.
People are very IGNORANT of the Oil Industry. And headline bashing the Oil Industry gets applause.
Anyone complaining about the biggest subsidy the 1.5 million Barrels of Oil the US Military burns every day?
Why do we not hear a public outcry at the 18% the Federal Government skims off the top of every Gallon of Gasoline Sold?
Why is there no public demonetization of the $140 billion given to Israel since 1950?
You can't bash a subsidy until you understand who benefits and what it does.
Alternative Energy is not cost effective and subsidize all you want, until a business model that is cost effective is developed the industry will collapse.
It makes no sense wasting money on technology that is not ready for market. The private sector will develop a viable business model when the time is right. Government money thrown at Alternative Energy is just squandered.
Take away the subsidies and watch the price of oil at the pump climb yet again. Corporate America is not going to take a hit - you are.
Yes, I complain about the US military using so much oil. That's why we went to Iraq and tried to build a pipeline through Afghanistan too (which the Taliban blocked). Yes, I dislike $ given to Israel. Subsidies are best used for new technologies.
Sue, exactly how much oil did we get from Iraq in exchange for the war?
We're on it! Back into Iraqi oil for the first time, since we were shut out in 1973. Read this - http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/01/07-3
How much oil Sue? Stop evading questions and back up your story. Or maybe you can't.
I believe we are discussing tax breaks rather than subsidies, no? They are not the same and often misrepresented to make political points. A subsidy is money directly given to a person or entity, like Solyndra, as a cash. A tax break is where a percentage of sales/profits are not taxed for any one of a number of reasons. Subsidies come out of our pockets in the way of CONFISCATED tax dollars. Tax breaks allow companies to keep more of their own EARNED money to use toward expansion, hiring, new technologies and compensation. The government should not be involved with private enterprise in this capacity. Allow the free market to bring products and service to the people as they are available and as the demand, by the people, ensures a market for those services and products.
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