Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Billions for Big Oil, Not One Cent for Katrina Victimshttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

W and his Bush League minions are pushing for billions more in giveaways to Big Oil:
U.S. Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 — 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.
Short of imposing new taxes on the industry, there may be little Congress can do to reverse its earlier giveaways. The new projections come at a moment when President Bush and Republican leaders are on the defensive about record-high energy prices, soaring profits at major oil companies and big cuts in domestic spending.

Indeed, Mr. Bush and House Republicans are trying to kill a one-year, $5 billion windfall profits tax for oil companies that the Senate passed last fall.

Moreover, the projected largess could be just the start. Last week, Kerr-McGee Exploration and Development, a major industry player, began a brash but utterly serious court challenge that could, if it succeeds, cost the government another $28 billion in royalties over the next five years.
(Source: New York Times, Feb. 14, 2006 [emphasis added.])
I wonder whether anyone else in the Gulf Coast region needs money as desperately as the highly profitable oil industry? Oh, yeah, almost forgot:
Hotel Aid Ends; Evacuees Seek Housing Again
NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 13 — Thousands of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina became transients again on Monday, wheeling their entire lives onto the street on luggage carts or dragging bulging garbage bags through hotel lobbies, when the federal government stopped paying their hotel bills.

In the largest single step in its phaseout of emergency housing assistance for victims of the hurricane, the Federal Emergency Management Agency ended the hotel payments for 12,000 families across the country, including 4,400 now living in New Orleans.

Most will get apartment rental assistance or trailers. Federal officials acknowledged Monday that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of mobile homes might never be used to house hurricane victims.
(Source: New York Times, Feb. 14, 2006)
I wonder which Republican Pioneer-level donor has the mobile home concession? No doubt that donor makes plenty of speeches condemning wasteful government spending and giveaways to the undeserving. Oddly, I've never heard any of them apply these talking points to giving away gas and oil owned by the American people for free to the oil companies, who then charge us massive sums to buy back our own gas and oil...

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