Monday, November 02, 2009

One wonders what certain people were thinking...

...when they went to the polls 51 weeks ago tomorrow:

Without question, hiking the tax burden on America's oil and gas companies will mean less, not more, domestic energy production. In exchange for at best a small reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, thousands of jobs will be destroyed, billions of potential investment dollars will flow overseas, imports of fossil fuels will increase, energy prices will rise, and many states and localities who derive revenue from oil and natural gas production will witness further declines in their tax receipts. What's more, the tax plan is at odds with the administration's own carbon reduction goals since it would discourage production of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel.

Earlier in the piece the author observes that the Obama administration argued that elimination of certain tax breaks would "stimulate greater energy efficiency while providing funding for 'green' energy alternatives." One wonders where the administration came up with such a convoluted line of reasoning, as allowing those companies to keep their money would be a better way of providing funding for alternative fuel development. And it's also worth asking why the administration doesn't seem to think the energy companies have a vested interest in the development of alternative energy sources, especially when one takes the environmental and supply considerations into account. If nothing else these alternative energy sources wouldn't be held hostage to the Mother Gaia worshippers, which to me would seem to be by itself worth whatever amount of investment it would take to develop said sources.
As for the title of this post -- well, a good 20 percent of the nation's oil refining capacity is located here on the Texas Gulf Coast, with the majority of it located in Jefferson and Harris counties. The ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown (Harris County) is the largest in the country at about 557,000 barrels per day capacity, and it will be overtaken by the Motiva refinery in Port Arthur (Jefferson County) as that facility is expanded to an estimated 600,000 barrel-per-day capacity. Yet the majority of residents of both Jefferson and Harris counties effectively voted for this burden on the industry by casting their votes for Obama in the last presidential election. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Considering all of this, somebody needs to ask Thomas Frank and his ilk just who's voting against his or her own economic interests here. It sure as hell isn't who they think it is.