Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Giving it all away

An article by Edmund L. Andrews that appeared in the New York Times today had me shrieking out loud in rage.
The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years.

New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.
Not only that, but the Bush Administration and the House Republicans are trying to do in the windfall profits tax that the Senate passed in the fall.

When a country's aristocracy loots its own treasure houses, that country falls, hard. Africa keeps getting ridiculed for the many nations there run by predatory, selfish "presidents" who have looted their countries' treasuries. France went through several bloody revolutions because of, among other things, corrupt and inept (and spendthrift) kings. And what else are our reserves of oil and natural gas but treasures? The brazen willingness of the neocon White House and its toadies in Congress to screw us all in favor of Big Biz is emboldened because, hey, apparently forty percent of us prefer to be led around by the nose and to believe whatever we're told.

In Iowa, however, they're a little smarter. There it's only 29% who think things are just dandy.


Intrepid Liberal Journal said...

You're so right. We're on a collision course with calamity because of the corporatists and their political todies. What do you think about Brazil's recent experience? They were on the precipice of disaster in 2001 with blackouts and energy rationing. Since then they have put themselves on the path towards energy self-sufficiency. Most Americans are not aware of this and I wonder what lessons we might derive from their experience. Brazil is the largest nation in South America so it would merit our study. Of course Halliburton wouldn't profit from that.

Deirdre Helfferich said...

Brazil has been working toward energy self-sufficiency for much longer than 2001. It took them quite a while, but they paid attention to long-term gains, rather than short-term ones as we do here; I'm impressed with Germany and Sweden, myself. They've been working hard to get to alternative energy supplies and conservation as ways of life. This is what we need to do in our own country: get off the consumerism kick.