tagged w/ Subsidies
S&R offers an in-depth examination of energy subsidies for two different technologies: wind turbines and nuclear plants.
A tale of two technologies and their subsidies: Neither Berkshire East's wind turbine nor Yankee Rowe nuclear power plant represent full cost acceptance by their respective industries. Both represent generous government subsidy, albeit on different scales. Both impose external costs, some economically intangible yet psychologically tangible, beyond their physical structures. Both suffer from an American governmental myopia that has failed to produce a coherent energy policy since World War II. And both technologies cost utility ratepayers or taxpayers a boatload of money.S&R offers an in-depth examination of energy subsidies for two different... more
As Congress debates what actions to take to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” perhaps no programs are less worthy of government support than those which subsidize Big Oil, Gas, and Coal. Read on....
"Every year Congress gives the fossil fuel industry over $10 billion in subsidies. That’s your tax dollars lining our pockets, begging a fortune destroying your kids future."
Please sign petition at link.As Congress debates what actions to take to avoid the so-called “fiscal... more
Markets will not solve this. People will and giving indigenous people and local farmers the tools they need. Put a price on carbon and use that money to give it back to consumers. Giving corporations the ability to continue to pollute while pushing people off their land and using climate change as a way to profit (geoengineering is one way) while continuing to pollute will take us nowhere but back.Markets will not solve this. People will and giving indigenous people and local... more
A 2005 shot of Brendan Margison surfing in front of the now-damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Photo: Aichner
AFTER A MONTH OF SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR REACTORS AT SAN O, THE HAZARDS OF NUCLEAR ENERGY SPELL POTENTIAL DISASTER IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAA 2005 shot of Brendan Margison surfing in front of the now-damaged nuclear power... more
Every five years, the federal farm bill sets our nation's food policies -- it's the single biggest factor in determining what ends up on your plate.
Right now Congress is only providing minimal support for healthy, local and organic foods while expanding wasteful subsidies and giveaways that support the wealthiest agribusinesses -- at the expense of family farmers. This year's bill could be even worse.
The Senate Agriculture Committee just released a draft version of the 2012 Farm Bill which preserves these handouts while cutting vital conservation programs. The House version of the bill be even worse.2
It's incredibly important that Congress get this right -- so CREDO Action is teaming up with Environmental Working Group to stop the giveaway to Big Ag and support food and farm policies that protect our environment and expand access to healthy food.
Tell the Senate: Stop the giveaway to Big Ag. Pass a Farm Bill that supports local, healthy and organic food.
The Farm Bill affects everything from the food you eat to conservation and nutrition programs. And right now, vital nutrition programs that help feed low-income children and decades-old conservation programs that protect wetlands, grasslands and soil health could be on the chopping block.2
Meanwhile, Big Ag is working hard to keep open the spigot that sends billions of dollars a year in subsidies to growers of commodity crops like corn, soy and cotton. More than 74 percent of that money goes to wealthy agribusinesses, not to small-scale family farmers who need them.
The bill that emerges from the Senate Agriculture Committee will likely be the best version we can hope for right now -- as it will only get more unbalanced in negotiations with the House. It's vital that the committee members hear from you now.
Tell the Senate: Stop the giveaway to Big Ag. Pass a Farm Bill that supports local, healthy and organic food.
Thanks for supporting a healthy food system.Every five years, the federal farm bill sets our nation's food policies --... more
Over the past five years, Big Oil raked in more than half a trillion dollars in profits, while at the same time lying off more than 10,000 American workers.
In 2011 alone, the big five oil companies raked in $137 billion in profits.
The big five oil companies will receive more than $43 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies over the next decade.
Act, S. 2204 Taxpayer subsidies to the richest oil companies
Rich, Powerful oil companies are attacking Americans way of life...grabbing record-shattering profits, and then getting a second payday in the form of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.
They not only do not pay taxes...they want to steal money that is not theirs....
The majority of Americans are not the 1%, we are not big oil and we do not like big oils abuse of the environment, its workers, and its abuse of monetary power during elections. To ask us to pay for this abuse is like robbery after a rape. Stop this bully, break them up and take away the power they have over our system...Take back America for the people.
Next week on the Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act, S. 2204, end wasteful handouts.
Can you say the word...
"Corruption"...is payment for services or material which the recipient is not due... this may be called bribery or a kickback. How much money do politicians get paid in a kickback to think this is could ever be, just or fare. Stand up for the truth, support humans, quit acting as if Corporations are more important than people.
Create support...make those that worship, money and Corporations go on record...do not let them hide behind lies and money...
DBK 3/25/2012Over the past five years, Big Oil raked in more than half a trillion dollars in... more
If we’re going to take control of our energy future and can start avoiding these annual gas price spikes that happen every year — when the economy starts getting better, world demand starts increasing, turmoil in the Middle East or some other parts of the world — if we’re going to avoid being at the mercy of these world events, we’ve got to have a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. Yes, oil and gas, but also wind and solar and nuclear and biofuels, and more.
President Obama gave a speech at the University of Miami on Thursday discussing his energy plan — assuming that one can use the word “plan” to describe a strategy devoid of any judgment. Obviously, all-of-the-above = more of everything = more fossil fuels = Hell and High Water.
The president has come a long way from his 2008 declaration that this is “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Now it’s more like “Après nous, le Déluge” (see “JPL bombshell: Polar ice sheet mass loss is speeding up, on pace for 1 foot sea level rise by 2050“).
Just a year ago, “all-of-the-above” was actually a standard Republican talking point, so much so that Democrats routinely mocked it (see Markey slams oil-above-all” approach). It is certainly true that when the president says it, he means it, whereas the Republicans merely say it and then bitterly oppose all of the clean energy programs that Democrats put on the table. I’m not sure future generations will notice the difference.
Obama’s all-of-the-above energy speech took a none-of-the-above approach to environmental problems: It ignored them all, including the most important of them all, global warming.
Obama is currently in the midst of a failed presidency from a historical perspective because of his abandonment of the climate issue, which is the only issue future generations are going to care about if we don’t act now, as I’ve said many times.
Obama will probably get only one serious shot at redemption, the grand bargain on tax and the deficit at the end of this year (see “Bipartisan Support Grows for Carbon Price as Part of Debt Deal“). Speeches like this provide no evidence whatsoever that Obama even understands the stakes anymore.
Here are two other places in the speech where he repeats his new slogan:
OBAMA: But over the long term, an all-of-the-above energy strategy requires us having the right priorities. We’ve got to have the right incentives in place. I’ll give you an example. Right now, $4 billion of your tax dollars subsidize the oil industry every year — $4 billion. They don’t need a subsidy. They’re making near-record profits. These are the same oil companies that have been making record profits off the money you spend at the pump for several years now. How do they deserve another $4 billion from taxpayers and subsidies?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Preach it, Mr. President! (Applause.)…
OBAMA: I said this at the State of the Union — a century of subsidies to the oil companies is long enough. (Applause.) It’s time to end taxpayer giveaways to an industry that has never been more profitable; double down on clean energy industries that have never been more promising — that’s what we need to do. (Applause.) This Congress needs to renew the clean energy tax credits that will lead to more jobs and less dependence on foreign oil.
The potential of a sustained, all-of-the-above energy strategy is all around us. Here in Miami, 2008, Miami became the first major American city to power its city hall entirely with solar and renewable energy. Right here in Miami. (Applause.) The modernization of your power grid so that it wastes less energy is one of the largest projects of its kind in the country. On a typical day, the wind turbine at the Miami-Dade Museum can meet about 10 percent of the energy needs in a South Florida home, and the largest wind producer in the country is over at Juno Beach. Right here at this university, your work is helping manufacturers save millions of dollars in energy bills by making their facilities more energy efficient. (Applause.)
This is politics over principle pure and simple. Cutting a few billion dollars to the uber-profitable fossil fuel industry is a great applause line, but it’d be like making your entire anti-smoking cutting subsidies to the tobacco industry.
Let me end with Salon’s Andrew Leonard on the speech:
By Joe Romm on Feb 27, 2012
More at the linkIf we’re going to take control of our energy future and can start avoiding these... more
Socialism is something that both the RIPublicans and the Democrats support, just for different reasons and for different demographics. Maybe if people on the right would actually THINK, rather than spout talking points they would see that this is true and necessary for America's or any nations survival.Socialism is something that both the RIPublicans and the Democrats support, just for... more
Mark Bittman has provided the ultimate Thanksgiving guide for anyone interested in making our broken food system work again. His exhaustive list of the 25 people or groups for which he is most thankful is a must-read.* It starts with nutritionist and food system reform pioneer Marion Nestle and ends with "anyone who's started a small farm in the last five years, and anyone who's supported one; anyone who cooks, and especially anyone who teaches others to cook." That covers a good portion of Grist readers, I'd like to point out. So good on all of you, too. Heaven knows, I'm thankful for you.
In the glass-half-full spirit, I thought I'd take a moment to point out some recent news developments for which we should also all be thankful.
The collapse of the deficit supercommittee
There are, no doubt, many reasons to be thankful for this. After all, we can cut our national debt by $7.1 trillion by doing absolutely nothing, so it's not clear why we need a bunch of old men sitting in a room to come up with ways to cut less by performing all sorts of budgeting gymnastics. But, more to the point, it also follows that no deal in the supercommittee means no Secret Farm Bill. Or at least it means that reformers might still get a chance to weigh in on farm policy, in hopes of moving it away from large, wealthy corporate farms and towards farms who need and better deserve the support.
The Secret Farm Bill, which is no longer a secret thanks to the Environmental Working Group, won't be entirely scrapped, I'm afraid. But at least it will probably move back to the more open House and Senate Committee process and will likely require a standalone vote from the full Congress. That fact alone may turn back the most egregious elements of Big Ag's attempted raid on the treasury. A more public process may ensure that such brilliant maneuvers as cutting the subsidy criteria from $1 million all the way down to $950,000 might be seen as the accounting tricks they truly are. That eligibility cut was admittedly a fiendishly clever move on the part of farm state representatives. After all, "No farm subsidies to nine-hundred-fifty-thousandaires" doesn't have quite the ring that "No farm subsidies to millionaires" does.
Marion Nestle does a nice job of summarizing the contents of the Secret Farm Bill, which will likely form the basis of the 2012 Farm Bill, warts and all. At least reformers know what they're up against.
More at the linkMark Bittman has provided the ultimate Thanksgiving guide for anyone interested in... more
Last week, we wrote about the likelihood that the $300 billion 2012 Farm Bill would take shape weeks before 2012 even begins, in the form of a dashed-off bill swept into the larger "super committee"-driven deficit-cutting process. As this week starts, that troubling prognosis remains.
In fact, last week, several congressional aides told agriculture trade publication Agweek that lawmakers planned to "work through the weekend to try to complete a Farm Bill proposal for the super committee in charge of deficit reduction by November 1." But so far, nothing decisive has been announced.
This might explain why the food and farming advocacy site Food Democracy Now sent out an email this morning with the subject line "24 hours to stop the Secret Farm Bill." The site asked subscribers to call a short list of senators and congressmen and tell them to say "‘No' to the Secret Farm Bill," because "rushing this vital piece of legislation behind closed doors is unfair and undemocratic."
Sustainable food advocates have been struggling to adjust to this new reality. As the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) described it last week:
No hearings, no amendments, no debate. Under this scenario, we may have very little idea about what is in the Farm Bill until after it has passed ... It's hard to overstate how messed up this is. We now have an environment where highly paid lobbyists thrive and citizen's voices, along with real reforms, evaporate.
Oxfam American chimed in with a list of reasons Occupy Wall Street supporters aren't likely to appreciate this rushed Farm Bill:
1. It was negotiated to satisfy high powered industry lobbies that pay lots of money to influence the Ag Committee.
2. It's a giveaway to big industrial farms at the expense of family farmers.
3. It promotes unhealthy, unsustainable farming practices at the expense of sustainable farming.
4. It targets conservation and nutrition programs for cuts disproportionately.
The bill's details remain unclear, but we know it will involve $23 billion in cuts. One Republican senator from Iowa went on record last week saying he believed the committee would cut $15 billion from farm subsidies and $4 billion each from conservation and nutrition. Another House conservative told the press that the cuts would "reduce farm subsidies about 20 percent and cut conservation spending about 10 percent. Nutrition programs, including food stamps, would be cut about 1 percent."
Advocates for sustainable and local food movements have rushed out two bills of their own, to be included in the larger Farm Bill process. The Local and Regional Food Bill would bolster support for family farms, and "expand new farming opportunities and rural jobs, and invest in the local agriculture economy." The Beginning Farmer Bill would help new farmers get access to capital (the lack of which is a well-known roadblock for beginning farmers) using microloans, matched savings accounts, and similar strategies.
Whether these additions have a chance of passing, or are simply symbolic, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, California food, farming, conservation, and environmental groups have been lobbying hard to have some say in the proposed Farm Bill. But the state -- whose agricultural industry is said to produce more than 400 different crops, employ 800,000 people and generate annual revenues of $37.5 billion -- will most likely continue to be left out of the discussion. One reason is that California farms don't produce the bulk of those commodity crops -- like corn, soy, and wheat -- that farm bills tend to concentrate on.
More at the linkLast week, we wrote about the likelihood that the $300 billion 2012 Farm Bill would... more
What if rising sea levels are yet another measure of inequality? What if the degradation of our planet’s life-support systems -- its atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere -- goes hand in hand with the accumulation of wealth, power, and control by that corrupt and greedy 1% we are hearing about from Zuccotti Park? What if the assault on America’s middle class and the assault on the environment are one and the same?
Money Rules: It’s not hard for me to understand how environmental quality and economic inequality came to be joined at the hip. In all my years as a grassroots organizer dealing with the tragic impact of degraded environments on public health, it was always the same: someone got rich and someone got sick.
In the struggles that I was involved in to curb polluters and safeguard public health, those who wanted curbs, accountability, and precautions were always outspent several times over by those who wanted no restrictions on their effluents. We dug into our own pockets for postage money, they had expense accounts. We made flyers to slip under the windshield wipers of parked cars, they bought ads on television. We took time off from jobs to visit legislators, only to discover that they had gone to lunch with fulltime lobbyists.
Naturally, the barons of the chemical and nuclear industries don’t live next to the radioactive or toxic-waste dumps that their corporations create; on the other hand, impoverished black and brown people often do live near such ecological sacrifice zones because they can’t afford better. Similarly, the gated communities of the hyper-wealthy are not built next to cesspool rivers or skylines filled with fuming smokestacks, but the slums of the planet are. Don’t think, though, that it’s just a matter of property values or scenery. It’s about health, about whether your kids have lead or dioxins running through their veins. It’s a simple formula, in fact: wealth disparities become health disparities.
And here’s another formula: when there’s money to be made, both workers and the environment are expendable. Just as jobs migrate if labor can be had cheaper overseas, I know workers who were tossed aside when they became ill from the foul air or poisonous chemicals they encountered on the job.
The fact is: we won’t free ourselves from a dysfunctional and unfair economic order until we begin to see ourselves as communities, not commodities. That is one clear message from Zuccotti Park.
Polluters routinely walk away from the ground they poison and expect taxpayers to clean up after them. By “externalizing” such costs, profits are increased. Examples of land abuse and abandonment are too legion to list, but most of us can refer to a familiar “superfund site” in our own backyard. Clearly, Mother Nature is among the disenfranchised, exploited, and struggling.
Democracy 101: The 99% pay for wealth disparity with lost jobs, foreclosed homes, weakening pensions, and slashed services, but Nature pays, too. In the world the one-percenters have created, the needs of whole ecosystems are as easy to disregard as, say, the need the young have for debt-free educations and meaningful jobs.
Extreme disparity and deep inequality generate a double standard with profound consequences. If you are a CEO who skims millions of dollars off other people’s labor, it’s called a “bonus.” If you are a flood victim who breaks into a sporting goods store to grab a lifejacket, it’s called looting. If you lose your job and fall behind on your mortgage, you get evicted. If you are a banker-broker who designed flawed mortgages that caused a million people to lose their homes, you get a second-home vacation-mansion near a golf course.
If you drag heavy fishnets across the ocean floor and pulverize an entire ecosystem, ending thousands of years of dynamic evolution and depriving future generations of a healthy ocean, it’s called free enterprise. But if, like Tim DeChristopher, you disrupt an auction of public land to oil and gas companies, it’s called a crime and you get two years in jail.
In campaigns to make polluting corporations accountable, my Utah neighbors and I learned this simple truth: decisions about what to allow into the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat are soon enough translated into flesh and blood, bone and nerve, and daily experience. So it’s crucial that those decisions, involving environmental quality and public health, are made openly, inclusively, and accountably. That’s Democracy 101.
More at the linkWhat if rising sea levels are yet another measure of inequality? What if the... more
"On the same day that Democrats railed against letting oil and gas companies keep their tax breaks in the debt deal, the Obama administration handed out $12.4 million in research grants to help the industry improve the way it drills for oil and gas."
Because as we all know, Big Oil can't afford their own research!
Question to Mr. Obama,
How many times are you going to make us pay for the same gallon of gasoline?
I hope you received a big off shore birthday present for this gift of my money to Big Oil!
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/02/obama-s-energy-department-gave-research-funds-as-democrats-criticized-oil-tax-breaks.html"On the same day that Democrats railed against letting oil and gas companies keep... more
Will Boehner back out of this also?
A WAR TIME EFFORT, EQUALLING THE MANHATTAN PROJECT, AT LEAST, WOULD MAKE US ENERGY INDEPENDENT IN A COUPLE OF YEARS ONLY!
Energy in general, and the cost of oil/gasoline in particular, with their exhaustive drain on consumer purchasing power and adding prohibitively to the cost of most production, has been a NATIONAL CRISIS for some time now. Why then, is this most essential issue still being dallied with, and treated like something that we have to get around to, sometime, when it's "really" necessary.
While the "greatest" country in the world is dragging it's feet on the issue, Europe and China are racing ahead with plans to build enough high tech solar power collectors to power all of Europe: ( http://inhabitat.com/worlds-largest-solar-project-sahara-desert/ )
The priceofoil.org lays out how the subsidies which are given to the oil industry in exchange for large campaign contributions to legislators, are preventing the development of, and move towards clean sustainable energy. In other words, legislators are holding the entire nation, and our entire population, hostage to bankrupting oil dependency in exchange for campaign c ontributions. To make matters worse, they're giving Big Oil large sums of your money, and only getting back pennies on the dollar in campaign contributions. It's estimated that the various forms of subsidies given to oil this year tally in the range of 90 billion dollars! ( http://priceofoil.org/thepriceofoil/clean-energy/ ) ( http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0309/Budget-hawks-Does-US-need-to-give-gas-and-oil-companies-41-billion-a-year )
One can only conclude from all of this information, that the absence of campaign finance reform and the end of corporate personhood, which permits and fosters legislative corruption and the legislative betrayal of this country, for forty pieces of silver in the form of campaign contributions, is what is preventing this country from solving it's energy crisis and holding us hostage to foreign oil! And if this isn't a breach of legislative fiduciary to the people of the United States, can anyone clarify what is?A WAR TIME EFFORT, EQUALLING THE MANHATTAN PROJECT, AT LEAST, WOULD MAKE US ENERGY... more
Only the congressional progressive caucus evidences that they "get" what the people demand, and what needs to be done to begin healing our economy; and it's not further fattening of the corporations and wealthy, like force feeding a goose to produce foie gras!
Only THEY, insist that we must remove all military from Iraq and Afghanistan, as the keystone to spending reduction. That, coupled with cuts in subsidies, tax abatement, closing loopholes and taxing those who have stolen, and now have, all of our money, we have no deficit or debt problems.
"The broad sketch proposes to end the Bush-era tax cuts on high income earners, enact a surtax on millionaires and billionaires, increase the the estate tax and eliminate corporate tax loopholes and subsidies for oil and coal companies. It also aims to create a public health insurance option, end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and invest $1.45 trillion in "job creation," energy, housing and education programs.", as reported in the Raw Story.
Why then, "would ( it ) have a hard time winning over more than a handful of Democrats in the Senate."? Because all of the other Democrats are apparently on the take as much as the Republicans are! Any legislator who does not wholly support the progressive caucus budget, are conspicuously, NOT, advocates for the people!
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/04/11/house-progressives-offer-budget-tax-the-rich-end-the-wars-slash-oil-subsidies-invest-in-jobs/Only the congressional progressive caucus evidences that they "get" what the... more
Michele Bachmann has become known as the Queen of the anti-government Tea Baggers, protesting health care reform and slamming every other government handout as “socialism.” But what her followers don’t know is that Rep. Bachmann is also a queen of another kind—a welfare queen. That’s right, the anti-government insurrectionist has taken more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts thanks to corrupt farming subsidies she has been collecting for at least a decade.
And she’s not the only one who has been padding her bank account with taxpayer money.
Bachmann, of Minnesota, has spent much of this year agitating against health care reform, whipping up the tea-baggers with stories of death panels and rationed health care. She has called for a revolution against what she sees as Barack Obama’s attempted socialist takeover of America, saying his presidential policy is “reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom.”
But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with living on the government dole. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006. The farm had been managed by Bachmann’s recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or “socialized”—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse.
However, Bachmann doesn’t think other Americans should benefit from such protection and assistance. She voted against every foreclosure relief bill aimed at helping average homeowners (despite the fact that her district had the highest foreclosure rate in Minnesota), saying that bailing out homeowners would be “rewarding the irresponsible while punishing those who have been playing by the rules.” That’s right, the subsidy queen wants the rest of us to be responsible.
Bachmann’s financial disclosure forms indicate that her personal stake in the family farm is worth up to $250,000. They also show that she has been earning income from the farm business, and that the income grew in just a few years from $2,000 to as much as $50,000 for 2008. This has provided her with a second government-subsidized income to go with her job as a government-paid congresswoman who makes $174,000 per year (in addition to having top-notch government medical benefits). “If she has an interest in a farm getting federal subsidy payments, she is benefiting from them,” Sandra Schubert, director of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, told Gannett News Service in 2007, when the subsidies to Bachmann were first publicly disclosed.
But Bachmann isn’t the only welfare recipient on Capitol Hill. As it turns out, there is a filthy-rich class of absentee farmers—both in and out of Congress—who demand free-market rules by day and collect their government welfare checks in the mail at night, payments that subsidize businesses that otherwise would fail. Over the past couple of decades, welfare for the super-wealthy seems to be the only kind of welfare our society tolerates.
(much more at link)
why should the richer of the two classes continue to get buckets of money when im watching families cut back more and more as they cant find jobs... as they resort to quick and easy fast food... as their health declines.... crazy times in an capitalist monarchy.Michele Bachmann has become known as the Queen of the anti-government Tea Baggers,... more
Paul Ryan’s budget proposal eviscerates green technology projects, but leaves massive subsidy loopholes for the oil industry.
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed FY 2012 budget resolution is a backward-looking plan that would benefit big oil companies at the expense of middle-class Americans. It retains $40 billion in Big Oil tax loopholes while completely eliminating investments in the clean energy technologies of the future that are essential for long-term economic growth.
This budget would lock Americans into paying high, volatile energy prices. It would ensure that millions of clean energy jobs are created overseas -- not here in the United States. It is a path backward to Bush-Cheney Big Oil energy policies that cost jobs and harm American competitiveness. In short, the Ryan plan ensures that we lose the high-stakes competition for the $2 trillion worldwide clean tech market.
Ryan claims in an April 4 Wall Street Journal op-ed that his plan “rolls back expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy, calling instead for a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation and exploration.” This is false. Ryan’s proposal actually violates his assertion in two ways......
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/protecting-big-oil-at-the-expense-of-consumers/Paul Ryan’s budget proposal eviscerates green technology projects, but leaves... more
Rep. Graves Calls GOP’s Billions In Oil Subsidies ‘Market Manipulation;’ Forgets That He Voted To Extend ThemIn February and again in March, Republicans in the House of Representatives, on a largely party-line roll call, voted to extend tens of billions in taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies. At the sparsely attended “Continuing Revolution” Tea Party rally on Thursday calling for more budget cuts, we talked to a number of attendees about their thoughts on Republicans giving so much taxpayer money away to already ultra-profitable oil companies. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) was among the many lawmakers to vote twice to extend over $50 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the oil companies:
– House Vote 153 on H.J.Res.44: Graves voted to extend billions in oil subsidies.
– House Vote 109 on H.R.1: Graves voted to extend billions in oil subsidies.
However, when we caught up with Graves yesterday, he said he had no idea that the vote had taken place. He didn’t seem to remember voting for them. In fact, after pressing the congressman, Graves called the idea of giving oil companies taxpayer subsidies “a manipulation of the market place”:
FANG: Four billion dollars in oil subsidies that the Congress just passed to extend for the next ten years maybe forty billion for the next ten years to oil companies. Do you agree with that type of subsidy given the state our budget and deficit?
GRAVES: Uh, when was that passed? I’m not aware of what you’re speaking.
FANG: It was in the continuing resolution debate. I think the Democrats raised a point of order to vote on it and it passed.
GRAVES: Hm. Yeah as far as subsidies, I mean I believe in the free market system all together, the capitalism system one hundred percent. Let the markets determine who is going to succeed throughout the market place.
KEYES: Do you think those subsidies are an aberration of the free market?
GRAVES: I mean they definitely influence the market place. Its somewhat of a manipulation of the market place if products aren’t willing, aren’t able to succeed on their own because of consumer demand and likeness of that product then why should government get in there and manipulate it?
Republicans have convinced the media and the Tea Party movement that they are concerned about the deficit. Even as the GOP has voted in lockstep to balloon the deficit with billions in tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires, they have used concerns about the deficit to justify cutting food stamps, Pell grants, the Weather Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other consumer and middle class protections. The billions in oil subsidies Graves voted to protect — then forgot about — is part of the same ideology of soaking the poor to help the rich.
http://thinkprogress.org/2011/04/02/graves-oil-subsidies-forgot/In February and again in March, Republicans in the House of Representatives, on a... more
These subsidies are nothing more than payola for supporting industrial fossil fuel intensive GMO agriculture. No wonder some of these farmers don't want to stop planting these crops for their GMO masters. Making over 200,000 a year in planting their crap and trashing the planet seems like a good trade off for them. Are you really a farmer then, or simply no better than a greedy selfish Goldman Sachs vampire?
And I am not as nice about this as the EWG when it comes to Congress. If you aren't a farmer who actually works the land you should not get one. Period.
"This would be a good place to point out that just five crops – corn, cotton, rice wheat and soybeans – account for 90 percent of all farm subsidies. Sixty-two percent of American farmers do not receive any direct payments from the federal farm subsidy system, and that group includes most livestock producers and fruit and vegetable growers.
Among the members of the 112th Congress who collect payments from USDA are six Democrats and 17 Republicans. The disparity between the parties is even greater in terms of dollar amounts: $489,856 went to Democrats, but more than 10 times as much, $5,334,565, to Republicans.
One reason for the disproportionate number of Republican lawmakers benefiting from farm subsidy programs is the current scarcity of rural Democrats in Congress – casualties of the Tea Party wave that swept into office in November of 2010. (This was despite the Democrats’ decision to bow to the wishes of the subsidy lobby by passing a status quo 2008 farm bill in a misguided bid to hang on to those seats.)
Several new members of Congress who won with tea party support have been less than eager to talk about farm subsidies ever since the news broke last year that they, or their families, personally benefit from those very taxpayer dollars.
EWG doesn’t believe that the payments to lawmakers are improper or illegal. But the fact that so many more Republicans in Congress receive so much more in farm subsidies than their Democratic colleagues does highlight the GOP’s controversial decision to spare those programs from the budget ax – even as it slashes funding for so many others. Consider:
•In January, David Rogers of Politico, and Phillip Brasher at the Des Moines Register, reported that the Republican Study Committee proposed to eliminate the meager federal funding for an organic food growers’ program without even mentioning the the possibility of cutting spending for entitlements that send checks out to largest producers of corn, cotton and other commodity crops – regardless of need.
•Then last week (March 21), National Journal reported that the Republican-led House Agriculture Committee is backing cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – previously known as food stamps – in the face of record enrollment levels triggered by high unemployment. But not even minimal reductions were proposed to the excessive payments to wealthy farms.
The GOP-led support for subsidies also comes at a time when big commodity farms clearly don’t need taxpayer funding.
The farm sector is white-hot, and has generally fared extremely well as recession gripped the rest of the economy. Farm income and prices for commodity crops are soaring. In 2008, $210,000 was the average household income of farms that received at least $30,000 in government payments that year. But according to the House Agriculture Committee and the Republic Study Committee, payments to those farms should stay in place while the record 43 million Americans enrolled in SNAP – millions of whom are unemployed for the first time – face slashes in the help they get to put food on the table.
It’s important to note that two of the Republican senators who collect subsidies – Charles Grassley of Iowa and Richard Lugar of Indiana – have been long-time leaders in the effort to reform federal farm programs. Both have fought to right the gross inequity of sending 74 percent of taxpayer-funded payments to the largest and wealthiest 10 percent of farm operations and landlords. The top-heavy support for the biggest operations puts smaller family farms at a serious disadvantage and works against a more diverse and resilient food production system that could stand up against wild swings in weather or global markets – and provide Americans with a healthier food supply.
Of course, Democratic members of Congress have historically been subsidy recipients too, notably former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Charles Stenholm of Texas and former Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.
Nor is the phenomenon of lawmakers receiving farm subsidies limited to the federal level. Recent media reports have shown that direct payments are even more common in state legislatures in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho and South Dakota.
At EWG, we believe that farmers deserve a reasonable safety net to protect against damage from drought, storms and fickle markets. But the American public’s investment portfolio in agriculture needs to change. It’s indefensible to provide subsidies to well-off farmers and landowners, especially in the face of a booming farm economy and a federal budget squeeze. Meanwhile, farmers seeking modest federal support to protect water, land and wildlife are being turned away for lack of funds.
We’re also committed advocates for government transparency, and it’s deeply disturbing that the public’s ability to see who gets what from the federal farm subsidy system has been curtailed by the Obama administration. Under the Bush administration, the rules allowed the public to see through shell corporations and paper entities to identify the part owners of subsidized farms and show where the money ended up. The transparency pertained to lawmakers as well. For this analysis EWG was forced to resort to harvesting data from members’ disclosure forms. That was an arduous but ultimately worthwhile task when advocating for greater accountability and transparency, and it didn’t use to be necessary.
Some Congress members (or their families) collecting federal farm subsidies are major players in the annual farm subsidy drama, others have only bit parts in terms of the amount of subsidies they receive. Overall, the distribution of subsidies among members of Congress reflects the highly distorted distribution of farm subsidies among farmers and landlords in the United States – between 1995 and 2009, 10 percent of subsidy recipients collected 74 percent of all subsidies.
The current salary for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year, and members enjoy robust health benefits. But whether major or bit players, members of Congress who receive farm subsidies are part of a system that cries out for reform and poses stark choices between helping wealthy landowners or doing right by struggling farm and urban families and the environment."
continuedThese subsidies are nothing more than payola for supporting industrial fossil fuel... more
"ATLANTA -- The head of the Atlanta-based Southern Co. does not expect an earthquake that triggered a nuclear crisis in Japan will delay construction of two more nuclear reactors in Georgia."
Not if I can do anything about it. I'm ready to protest, how about you?
http://www.ukrivers.net/nonewnukes/header2.jpg"ATLANTA -- The head of the Atlanta-based Southern Co. does not expect an... more