It’s hard to image that someone actually does not support renewable energy. But it’s true, in fact there are those hard at work lobbying against federal incentives for the renewable energy industry.
On February 27th 2008, The House of Representatives passed the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008. Created with energy and fiscal repsonsibility this bill does not add to our national deficit, but rather repeals $18 billion in unnecessary tax incentives for oil and gas companies while extending and increasing tax credits for a wide range of renewable energy programs. By strengthening our renewable energy sector, this bill in the long-term, will help create millions of good-paying, green collar jobs, bring down energy prices, improve energy security, and help fight global warming.
So the battle begins. Immediately after the bill’s passage Senate Republicans started closing ranks in the face of intense lobbying from oil and gas companies . The Bush Administration has already stated that the president will veto a bill that rolls back tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.
Even the nation’s head oil-man President Bush knows oil and gas companies don’t need incentives. In 2005 President Bush said, “I will tell you with $55 oil we don’t need incentives to oil and gas companies to explore. There are plenty of incentives”. With over $100 billion in profits in 2007 (avg price in 2007: $72.32/barrel) and oil currently at $105/barrel, they certainly do not need 18 billion of your tax dollars.
So why the fight? Well here it is, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that the oil, gas, and coal companies all know but don’t want you to know. It’s that they don’t sell oil, gas, and coal. Surprised? I bet you are. They know that what they really sell is energy, at least sources of energy. And they are not about to give up their monopoly on it.
Imagine our renewable energy industry really getting off the ground. Your electricity coming from wind, solar, hydropower, and the waves of the ocean just to name a few. Free sources of energy! You can’t trade trade sunlight or wind on the commodities market. OPEC can’t slow production to increase prices. No one owns them. How will oil, gas, and coal complete? They won’t be able to and they know it. And that’s exactly why they are fighting so hard against losing their tax breaks to the renewable energy industry. They just don’t want their competitors, the renewable energy industry, to get off the ground. If they do, they lose controlling your energy future. A growing renewable energy industry means a declining oil and gas industry.