Spin City

“House passes energy bill full of tax breaks”

This was Friday’s (7/29/05) headline in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Let me preface my remarks by saying I am one of the paper’s biggest fans. I’ve had the opportunity to travel a bit in this fair country and can say with confidence that the DemGaz, as it is affectionately known, is one of its finest. However, its usually balanced reporting was accosted by this diatribe of an “article.”

Excerpts:

“A national energy plan that would send billions of dollars in tax subsidies to energy companies passed the House on Thursday despite criticism from many lawmakers that it would do nothing to dampen high prices or lessen dependence on Middle East oil.…”

“…The White House said Bush, who had challenged Congress to end four years of stalemate over energy legislation, looked forward to signing the legislation. The president has acknowledged the measure will have little impact on oil or gasoline prices….”

The slant is so steep the reader should don repelling gear.

To be fair, much further into the article you get some actual information concerning the bill, including the fact that all 4 of Arkansas’ representatives (3D, 1R) voted in favor of the measure. It also speaks to the amendments and major provisions of the legislation including: a.)Subsidies for wind, geothermal, and solar industries b.) New efficiency standards for commercial appliances c.) Rep. Blanche Lincoln (D) pushed for (and got) tax incentives for biodiesel and energy made from landfill gas and municipal trash d.) and a call for doubling the use of corn-produced ethanol in gasoline to 7.5 billion gallons a year by 2012.

As a free-market capitalist, I much prefer the usually more effective method of encouraging change in industry with tax breaks and incentives rather than government mandates. How else will we encourage big oil to begin working on future energy solutions? And as for the bill not affecting the price-at-the-pump, might I ask… What would? What solution would drop our gas prices any significant amount overnight? Nothing, and since that can’t happen we should ignore the situation? NO, we have to start somewhere. I’m sure the bill is far from perfect but it’s a start.

It seems liberals have a problem understanding the adage of “a stitch in time saves nine”, Social Security anyone?

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