Sunday, July 30, 2006

Prophets and profits

This article is a good example of what I was trying to say in an earlier post.

Oil execs are sitting on a huge pile of money. Oil companies are making billions in profits. So what?

So far we have very little of that money being spent on alternative energy sources. $100 million is a number I've read. So, what's the deal guys? I've been sticking up for you so far. I'm against this crazy idea of a windfall profits tax....for now.

Maybe that's what we need. There's a lot of debate going on about what they should be spending all this money on. The environmentalists want it spent on clean energy (which uses more energy), and the liberals want to tax it for midnight baskeetball.

Almost everyone agrees that government subsidies to oil companies are unfair. A huge tax on oil profits would devistate the world economy by lowering oil production. So then what? Perhaps a huge freaking tax that has but one loophole: Alternative energy. If we had a dollar for dollar tax cut (only to offset windfall taxes) for money spent on alternative energy research we could solve this thing in a few years. Perhaps, if they want to keep their subsidies, we could index those to alternative energy projects that see some success. A sort of pass/fail test for government money, so to speak.

As always, these are just my thoughts on the subject.


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