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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Surprise! Bush rejects tax on oil companies' windfall profits

    Bush rejects tax on oil companies' windfall profits

    President expects companies to invest in alternative fuels

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Friday rejected calls to tax oil companies' record profits fueled by high oil prices but said he expects those companies to re-invest those profits into alternative fuels and new energy technologies.

    "My attitude is that the oil companies need to be mindful that the American people expect them to reinvest their cash flows in such a way that it enhances our energy security," Bush said, which includes investment in new pipelines, expansion of refineries and more exploration and investment in renewable sources of energy.

    "They also expect to be treated fairly at the pump," The president said.

    "These oil prices are a wake-up call," the president said, and re-enforces the need to develop alternatives to gasoline such as ethanol.

    "The temptation in Washington is to tax everything," Bush said while taking questions from White House reporters. "The answer is for there to be strong reinvestment to make this country more secure from an energy perspective."

    On Thursday, the president said he wants to raise fuel-efficiency standards on automobiles, as members of both parties jockeyed for political position on the issue of rising gas prices.

    Bush called on Congress to give him the authority to set the standards for passenger cars sold in the United States as a means of reducing the nation's demand for gasoline.

    "I encourage them to give me that authority," Bush told reporters during a visit to a service station in Biloxi, Mississippi. "It's an authority I used for light trucks, and I intend to use it wisely if Congress will give me that authority." (Watch political frenzy spurred by gas prices -- 2:01 )

    The president's comments, delivered as he stood next to gas pumps during his 11th visit to the Gulf Coast area devastated by Hurricane Katrina, were soon followed by a letter from Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to the GOP House and Senate leaders.

    "At the president's request, I hereby ask that the Congress take prompt action to authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation to reform fuel economy standards for passenger automobiles," Mineta wrote.

    "Along with other previously announced energy policies, the president believes these actions are critical to promoting our nation's energy security and independence."

    Congress first set the passenger car standard for fuel economy in 1975, and it has remained at 27.5 miles per gallon since 1990. The mileage is a weighted average of an automaker's fleet, not a requirement for individual models.

    Mineta's letter noted that the Bush administration has used its authority to set standards on light trucks and sport utility vehicles to raise gas mileage levels.

    "The DOT raised the light truck and sport utility vehicle standards twice in the last four years," Mineta wrote.

    Mineta said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could set the fuel economy standards "in a manner that is cost effective, based on sound science and safeguards vehicle occupants."

    He said the administration would oppose any increase in fuel standards that did not include rules that would prevent cars from becoming less safe as carmakers reduced their weight to help gas mileage.

    Democrats: Cut firms' tax breaks
    Republicans proposed an amendment Thursday that would give the Transportation Department authority to issue fuel efficiency standards for passenger vehicles, expand tax incentives for the use of hybrid vehicles and push for more research into alternative fuels and expansion of existing oil refineries.

    It would also provide most American taxpayers with a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline. (Full story)

    However, the GOP energy package might face tough sledding because it also includes a proposal to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to oil exploration, which most Democrats and some moderate Republicans oppose.

    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee called it "a bold package ... that will give consumers relief at the pump and help to bring down the price of gas over the longer term."

    Wednesday, on the other side of the aisle, Democrats called for a new energy bill and federal legislation to punish price gougers. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Democrats want to roll back billions in tax breaks for oil companies.

    On Thursday, she reiterated her party's interest in forcing oil companies to ease the burden of high gas prices.

    "The oil companies are making record profits; they're getting billions of dollars of subsidies and royalty holidays from the Republicans in Congress and the Bush administration," she said.

    "What do the Republicans suggest? Let's do away with the environmental rules, let's drill in the ANWR."

    Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, called Thursday for an amendment that would suspend the federal gas tax for 60 days, which he said would save taxpayers $100 million dollars per day.

    He said the lost tax revenue would be covered by repealing $6 billion worth of tax breaks for major oil companies.

    "While Exxon Mobil executives are popping champagne and celebrating their record profits, American families are popping antacids under the strain of soaring gas prices," Menendez said.

    Exxon Mobil reported increased quarterly profits Thursday, saying it earned $8.4 billion in the first quarter of 2006. (Full story)

    Menendez said he would join Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, in offering an amendment to increase funds for energy efficiency programs, renewable energy research and federal purchases of alternative-fuel vehicles.

    Unlikely to pass
    The Republicans' energy package will be offered as an amendment to an emergency spending measure before the Senate to fund the Iraq war and hurricane relief, according to a senior GOP leadership aide.

    It is sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Pete Domenici of New Mexico and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

    Under Senate rules, either the GOP amendment or the Democratic alternative would probably need 60 votes to pass, which is considered unlikely. However, the amendments would give senators a chance to cast votes on measures designed to help constituents being hit by high gas prices.

    As outlined by the senior GOP leadership aide, the energy package would give taxpayers the $100 rebate, repeal tax incentives for oil companies and allow the Federal Trade Commission to prosecute retailers unlawfully inflating the price of gasoline.

    The GOP senators are also calling on the Bush administration to suspend deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for six months to increase the nation's oil supply. President Bush announced Tuesday that he would halt new deposits into the reserve until after the summer driving season. (Full story)

    No short-term relief
    If any of the proposals survive election-year partisanship to pass, Democrats and Republicans said they would be unlikely to affect the price of gas in the short term.

    That opinion was shared by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during congressional testimony Thursday.

    "Unfortunately there's nothing, really, that can be done that's going to affect energy prices or gasoline prices in the very short run," Bernanke said.

    He warned, however, that record high oil prices remain a concern that could pose a risk to both economic growth and the inflation outlook. (Full story)

    "After many years of not really doing as much as we should on the energy front, this situation has arisen," he said, calling for actions over a number of years to either increase supply or reduce demand in order to keep prices down.

    Increased fuel-economy standards, advocated by environmental groups, was not among the proposals Bush outlined in this year's State of the Union speech, when he said the nation needs to break its "addiction" to Middle Eastern oil using technological solutions. (Full story)

    Nor was it part of last year's energy bill, which critics said did little to reduce energy prices or dependence on foreign oil, while providing billions in tax breaks for the energy industry.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill Thursday to restrict future oil company mergers and enable the United States to sue OPEC for unfair practices. (Full story)

    CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 04:49 PM
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    Bush has a good thought, reinvest profits in research and development but why would they want to put themselves out of business? Are these refineries able to be switch over to produce an alternative fuel? Doubtful. The oil companies will continue researching what they have for years, finding more oil fields and how to extract it.

  3. #3
    Good Enough ZORBA5150's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 04:30 PM
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    Default

    Their profits are already taxed. Why should they be taxed again?

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    My take home pay is already taxed. Why should I be charged sales tax?

    Putting misplaced idealism over reality will get you into stupid places.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL
    My take home pay is already taxed. Why should I be charged sales tax?

    Putting misplaced idealism over reality will get you into stupid places.

    Shit we pay taxes on income tax refunds...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  6. #6
    Eruption
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    Default surprise-surprise!

    so some of you want to stick it to the Big Oil companies for making "too much" money, is that it?

    you know.. i don't enjoy paying any more for my gasoline than the next man. but taxing "exessive profits" has got to be the most idiotic reaction imaginable.

    for starters, just who gets to decide what are "excessive profits"? and please don't tell me Congress! those fools don't have the collective business sense to run a lemondade stand.

    and how do we define "excessive profits", anyway? "excessive" is a relative term. nobody seems to mind Microsoft's or Wal-Marts profits, and i think they can legitimately be defined as "excessive" as compared to Big Oil. after all, that little worm Bill Gates happens to be the richest man on earth.

    and i don't recall any politicians introducing "tax cuts" for Big Oil during the 22-year period between 1981 and 2003 when the price of a bbl of oil in real dollars steadily dropped to a 1973 level.

    all this talk of "excessive profits" is hyporcritical non-sense. bush was absolutely CORRECT to have rejected any such notion.

  7. #7
    Eruption
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    07.10.17 @ 09:12 PM
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    Difference, going to WalMart or buying a product from Microsoft is a choice. Unfortunately buying fuel is a necessity. I would be curious to see what the tax rate charged to oil companies currently is. It sounds great to impose better fuel efficient car requirements except for one thing, we all have the current cars. Whether it is justified or not oil companies currently have a negative view by the public. This stance by Bush very well may lead to a public backlash this November during elections. In '94 Republicans took out the Democrats, is '06 the year the Dems will return the favor?

  8. #8
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 12:17 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousDooDoo
    so some of you want to stick it to the Big Oil companies for making "too much" money, is that it?

    you know.. i don't enjoy paying any more for my gasoline than the next man. but taxing "exessive profits" has got to be the most idiotic reaction imaginable.

    for starters, just who gets to decide what are "excessive profits"? and please don't tell me Congress! those fools don't have the collective business sense to run a lemondade stand.

    and how do we define "excessive profits", anyway? "excessive" is a relative term. nobody seems to mind Microsoft's or Wal-Marts profits, and i think they can legitimately be defined as "excessive" as compared to Big Oil. after all, that little worm Bill Gates happens to be the richest man on earth.

    and i don't recall any politicians introducing "tax cuts" for Big Oil during the 22-year period between 1981 and 2003 when the price of a bbl of oil in real dollars steadily dropped to a 1973 level.

    all this talk of "excessive profits" is hyporcritical non-sense. bush was absolutely CORRECT to have rejected any such notion.
    I agree 100%.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  9. #9
    Eruption
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    Default yes and no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Limecuda
    Difference, going to WalMart or buying a product from Microsoft is a choice. Unfortunately buying fuel is a necessity. I would be curious to see what the tax rate charged to oil companies currently is. It sounds great to impose better fuel efficient car requirements except for one thing, we all have the current cars. Whether it is justified or not oil companies currently have a negative view by the public. This stance by Bush very well may lead to a public backlash this November during elections. In '94 Republicans took out the Democrats, is '06 the year the Dems will return the favor?
    here's the basic problem:

    americans have a schizophrenic attitude about oil/gasoline. they want to be able to buy all the oil/gas they want at a low price, but they don't want to be required to conserve oil and/or experience the ecological mess of drilling for more of it.

    you say buing gasoline is a necessity. to a small degree you are correct, but to a large degree you are not. take me, for example: i own four vehicles, none of which are fuel-efficient.

    if i wanted, i could get rid of my daily driver, a big SUV that gets only 16 mpg, and buy a Vespa scooter that gets 60 mpg. or i could take public transportation to and fro. but i don't want to. i like driving in a big, 4WD with plenty of room for my dogs and my toys. that's my CHOICE.

    so, i buy a lot more gasoline than i "have to" which means i have very little room to argue that my gasoline purchases are a "necessity."

    in truth, most americans are a lot like me. pick-ups and SUVs, until a very short time ago, were the best-selling vehicles in the US and had been for DECADES. so i have a hard time buying into the argument that gasoline is a bonafide necessity.

    as far as the anti-Big Oil attitude of the general public, it all started with the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. or at least that was the event that pushed the pendulum to the extreme.

  10. #10
    Baluchitherium Guitar Shark's Avatar
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    The better question is why we are still granting subsidies.

  11. #11
    Eruption
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    Default ding-ding-ding!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Shark
    The better question is why we are still granting subsidies.
    give the shark a cookie!

    now THAT is a legimate gripe.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 04:50 PM
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    While I don't like to be paying almost $3 a gallon of gas, I can definitely afford it.

    If my budget is so tight where I cannot afford to be paying and extra $30 a week in gas, then something is wrong.

    How many people leave that at the bar on a Friday or Saturday night?

    That is about 6 packs of smokes.

    A case of good beer.

    We can't go about and start limiting the profits of publically owned companies. If you want socialism move to Canada or somewhere in Europe.

    Oh yeah there gas is even more expensive.

  13. #13
    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousDooDoo
    here's the basic problem:




    if i wanted, i could get rid of my daily driver, a big SUV that gets only 16 mpg, and buy a Vespa scooter that gets 60 mpg. or i could take public transportation to and fro. but i don't want to. i like driving in a big, 4WD with plenty of room for my dogs and my toys. that's my CHOICE.
    I do not know where you live, but around here there is no public transportation. It is a rural area where you must travel. I agree you can have a more efficient car, but in the end you MUST buy fuel. It IS a necessity.


    When talking about other major companies prices are somewhat controlled by competition. In terms of oil, there is no competition. No way could the average person go off into the oil business and start their own refinery.

  14. #14
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    11.30.17 @ 06:15 PM
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    I can't tell you how relieved I am to see the responses in this thread going in the direction that they're going.
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

    Gunter glieben glauchen globen

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Meaningless jibber-jabber?

 

 

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