Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama raises taxes on oil and gas to stop global warming

UPDATE: Welcome, visitors from the Cato Institute! Thanks for your link from here. New visitors, interested in economics make want to check out my posts on card check, the deficit, Stephen Harper, tax hikes for the rich, cap and trade, porkulus 1, porkulus 2, conscience rightsschool choice and the subprime crisis.

This Reuters article explains how Obama is going to attack energy producing oil and natural gas companies in order to save the planet from global warming. Here is the exact quotation from Reuters:

U.S. oil and natural gas producing companies should not receive federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks because their businesses contribute to global warming, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Wednesday.

In the same article, Senator John Cornyn explains the consequences of this policy:

Senator John Cornyn of Texas criticized the tax increases, saying they would hurt independent energy companies that provide a large share of U.S. oil and gas supplies.

“My view is that higher taxes on small and independent producers here in America will make us more dependent on imported oil and gas while we transition to cleaner energy alternatives, a goal we all share,” said Cornyn. “And it will also hurt job retention and job creation in the energy sector, which provides an awful lot of jobs in this country.”

Let me also note that consumers are going to pay the price for raising taxes, because energy producing companies are just going to raise their prices to pay for the tax increase. And if Obama either fixes prices or nationalizes the energy industries, (like he’s nationalized health care), then you can expect energy supply shortages.

When you raise taxes on the producers of a commodity, you get less of that commodity. When supply decreases and demand stays the same, you get a shortage. The price of that scarce commodity rises. If you respond to the rising prices by fixing the prices lower, you get line-ups outside of gas stations. This is what we saw in 1973 with price controls on gas.

Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute explains why price controls on oil and gas didn’t work in 1973:

Let’s begin with a review of what happened the last time Congress tried to protect consumers from “Big Oil.” When Richard Nixon enacted his strict retail price-control regime in 1971, service stations ran out of gas and motorists were forced to wait in staggeringly long lines to get what fuel remained. Burned by the fiasco, Congress adopted the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 (EPAA), which essentially removed price controls from the pump and instead applied them upstream into the wholesale domestic oil market.

Indeed the gasoline lines and physical shortages disappeared, but the cap on profits from domestic oil production discouraged investment in new domestic supply, increased reliance on imported oil, and increased the upward pressure on world crude prices. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) tightened the wholesale oil price controls established in the EPAA and exacerbated the economic dislocations associated with it.

Read the whole article. As Santayana urged, we need to learn from history and from the mistakes of other socialist countries, so that we do not repeat their mistakes.

Now on to the secular religion of global warming. Gateway Pundit completely destroys the idea that the earth is even warming:

Arctic sea ice growth finished the year in 2008 at the same level as 1979.
The oceans have been cooling since 2003.
Sea ice is growing at the fastest pace on record.
Greenland’s glaciers are stabilizing.
There are growing fears of a coming freeze worse than the ice age.
Alaskan Sea Glaciers are advancing for the first time in 250 years.
And, for the second straight year the Earth is, in fact, cooling… not warming.

I stole this graphic from his post as well:

US Climate Map October 2007-November 2008

Warning! Now is a good time to stop reading, as I am about to become mean and snarky.

<snarky>So what we have here is a faith-based initiative introduced by Obama in order to appease his favored secular special interests groups, who  substitute recycling for the rigorous demands of traditional, reality-based religion and morality. Do we really need a religious nut in the White House catering to this crowd of anti-science fanatics? Should these dogmatic eco-fascist fundamentalists be influencing the policy of the most powerful nation on earth with their anti-reality delusions? Should we really be acting on the religious doctrines of non-scientists like Al Gore and his Big-Environmentalism-backed propaganda films, which are even now shown to our children in public schools as fact, fact, fact? What happened to the separation of church and state?</snarky>

For my Christian readers, Jay Richards of the Acton Institute did a great lecture on basic economics for Christians and another great lecture on what Christians should think about global warming.

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3 Responses

  1. John Hess says:

    I read your article, but your logic is flawed. oil and gas companies are not going to just raise prices to make up for the tax increase, the tax increase will cause much, much less wells to be drilled, thereby reducing supply, and the lack of supply, will cause the price to go up.

    there is no conspiracy here, simply supply and demand.

  2. [...] his thoughts on Obama’s plan to raise taxes on oil and gas usage, Wintery Knight cites Jerry Taylor’s research that shows why similar price control programs didn’t work [...]

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