Wow, Do I Feel Betrayed–Massive Omnibus Spending Bill


Wow, do I feel betrayed. The promises by the Republicans on how they were going to handle the budget apparently were just used to fool the voters. They really did not mean what they said. The new budget deal doesn’t even address President Obama plans to send reparation money to the UN.  From the Daily Signal posting “What’s Wrong With The Massive Omnibus Spending Bill” one of the segments of the bill is “Energy”. I have on several occasions posted that US crude oil should be allowed to be sold outside the US. If the spending bill is enacted, that will happen. However, I would give that up for a reversal of the other provision such as extending tax credit for wind production. But my biggest regret is that the Republican promises to block the use of monies for the President’s climate change schemes did not happen . Read the following:

If you were to put a jelly bean for each energy provision on a two-sided scale, the side being good free-market provisions and the other being corrupt energy provisions, the bad side of the scale would be hitting the floor.

The good provision is a very good provision, indeed. Lifting the crude oil export ban would generate more jobs for Americans, supply the United States and the world with more affordable energy, and provide important geopolitical benefits for Washington and its allies.

But the numerous bad provisions waste taxpayer money and provide targeted tax credits to politically connected companies. They include:

  • A five-year extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC). The wind PTC, which has been around since 1982, artificially propped up an industry, advanced special interests, and allocated labor and capital away from more competitive uses in the marketplace.
  • A five-year extension of the solar investment tax credit (ITC), which companies can now take when they begin construction rather than when they start producing power. Solar companies would be better off in the long run without the ITC. They would understand their true price point to be competitive in the short and long run.
  • A ramp up in Department of Energy spending for renewables, energy efficiency provisions, fossil fuels, and nuclear. The Department of Energy has ballooned by subsidizing and forcing energy technologies into the marketplace. The private sector has demonstrated countless times that it is far better equipped than government to allocate resources and develop commercially viable technologies.
  • A handout for the oil industry. The legislation would provide a targeted tax credit for small, independent refiners and allow independents to exempt 75 percent of transportation costs when calculating their Section 199 manufacturing deductions. This is nothing more than obvious compensation for lifting the ban on crude oil exports. Further, the energy tax provisions in the omnibus speak to the need for the federal government to stop using the tax code to pick winners and losers for all energy sources and technologies.
  • A three-year extension of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The massive amount of land owned and managed by the U.S. government has resulted in land mismanagement, stifled opportunities for recreation and resource production, and poor environmental stewardship. Reauthorizing the LWCF is a recipe for prolonging mediocre and often poor federal control of America’s land. Permanently eliminating the LWCF is recognition that improved economic growth and environmental quality are born not out of Washington, but in the states.

Absent from the text are provisions that would block the Obama administration’s climate change regulations, regulations that will drive up energy costs no climate benefit. Instead, the federal government has hundreds of millions of dollars to dole out internationally through the Climate Investment Fund and Strategic Climate Fund. Notably missing from the omnibus spending bill is a provision prohibiting spending on the Green Climate Fund.

This is no compromise, but instead a large extension of government intrusion in energy markets where it does not need to be.

Read the whole posting by the Daily Signal. The Energy area is not the only part of this bill that makes me feel I have been played for a fool.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

cbdakota

 

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