image: play the game of Bonkers; the game your politicians will undoubtably win. 🙂
Hillary Clinton has decided to line up with John McCain in pushing to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for this summer’s travel season. This is not an energy policy. This is money laundering: Americans borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through their gas tanks. What a way to build the country.
When the summer is over, they will have increased their debt to China, increased its transfer of wealth to Saudi Arabia and increased their contribution to global warming for their kids to inherit.
The author of the article in the International Herald Tribune, Thomas L. Friedman says;
But here’s what’s scary: America’s problem is so much worse than you think. We have no energy strategy. If you are going to use tax policy to shape energy strategy then you would want to raise taxes on the things you want to discourage – gasoline consumption and gas-guzzling cars – and you would want to lower taxes on the things you want to encourage – new, renewable energy technologies. We are doing just the opposite.
Are you sitting down?
Few people know it, but for almost a year now, Congress has been bickering over whether and how to renew the investment tax credit to stimulate investment in solar energy and the production tax credit to encourage investment in wind energy. The bickering has been so poisonous that when Congress passed the 2007 energy bill last December, it failed to extend any stimulus for wind and solar energy production. Oil and gas kept all their credits, but those for wind and solar have been left to expire this December. I am not making this up.
The Democrats wanted the wind and solar credits to be paid for by taking away tax credits from the oil industry. President George W. Bush said he would veto that. Neither side would back down, and Bush – showing not one iota of leadership – refused to get all the adults together in a room and work out a compromise. Stalemate. Meanwhile, Germany has a 20-year solar incentive program; Japan 12 years. The US, at best, run two years.
“It’s a disaster,” says Michael Polsky, founder of Invenergy, one of the biggest wind-power developers in America. “Wind is a very capital-intensive industry, and financial institutions are not ready to take ‘congressional risk.’ They say if you don’t get the [production tax credit] we will not lend you the money to buy more turbines and build projects.”
Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association says, the impact in just 2009 would be more than 100,000 jobs either lost or not created in these industries, and $20-billion worth of investments that won’t be made.
While all the presidential candidates were railing about lost manufacturing jobs in Ohio, no one noticed that America’s premier solar company, First Solar, from Toledo, Ohio, was opening its newest factory in the former East Germany – 540 high-paying engineering jobs – because Germany has created a booming solar market and America has not.