In One Eye

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
 
Your tax dollars at work, episode 542:
A wide-ranging energy bill expected to move through Congress this week includes more than $8.5 billion in tax incentives and billions of dollars more in loan guarantees and other subsidies for the electricity, coal, nuclear, natural gas and oil industries.

The White House said Wednesday that President Bush intends to sign the bill soon.

Efficiency and conservation programs would get about $1.3 billion of the more than $14.1 billion in total tax breaks over 10 years, according to lawmakers who have been briefed on the legislation worked out in negotiations between the House and Senate. About $3 billion in tax breaks would go for renewable energy source, mostly to subsidize wind energy.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, the ranking Senate Democrat participating in the energy negotiations, bemoaned the reduction in support for energy efficiency and conservation programs in the tax package. The Senate had approved more than $3 billion in tax breaks.

But he said he will support the bill when it comes before the Senate, possibly as early as Thursday. The House could take up the measure late Wednesday.

"Given the makeup of the Congress today and given the policies of the administration this is as good a bill as I think we could hope to get," Bingaman said in a conference call with reporters.
Like all good Democrats, Senator Bingaman just can't muster up the courage to say that this bill is an atrocity in that its primary purpose is certainly to provide financial breaks for the energy industry.

However, it gets worse as America's slimiest politician of the 21st century has evidently
slipped “a $1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas” into the energy bill" ...

The provision was inserted into the energy legislation after the conference was closed, so members of the conference committee had no opportunity to consider or reject this measure.
Leave it to these oligarchs to make a bad situation even worse—to make an unethical situation downright illegal.