US Climate Change Report Out

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Re: oil tax breaks...again? sigh.

Postby ET » Sat May 24, 2014 10:49 am

Probably something based on either this or this. Sorry, but nothing everything is always sourced. Doesn't mean it's not accurate. I'd like to file that data away myself. Sourced or not, there are costs to every federal regulation (in our supposedly "unfettered" economy), so the extensive regulatory burdens O wants to put on our energy production will certainly increase energy prices and therefore reduce income. Basic economics.

KeithE wrote:And Big Oil/Gas/Coal are plenty profitable w/o subsidies. Besides subsidies should go to new needed technologies not old established and already profitable ones.

And I have pointed out multiple times the overwhelming majority of those subsidies are available to ALL U.S. manufacturing, NOT just oil, coal and gas. You guys making this argument conveniently leave that inconvenient fact.
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If you want to take away those subsidies/tax breaks from Boeing, Caterpillar, and whomever else, then fine. Just don't try to pick and choose who gets them and then turn around and complain that there is "too much corporate money" in politics or that politicians are too beholding to lobbyists. Lobbyist and corporate money are nothing but symptoms of politicians having the power to pick and choose who gets favor bestowed upon them. You want to selectively treat the symptom instead of applying the cure.

More importantly, why should government be deciding which technologies are "needed" and which aren't? Somewhere out there, there may be something better than wind or solar (and their bird killing consequences, intensively land use requirements and NIMBY ugly aesthetics), but resources are potentially diverted to wind and solar because that's where the tax breaks are and that's what is politically favorable and buys votes.

One last note. I will again reiterate that corporations do not pay taxes, people do. This is the great deceit in progressive rhetoric on corporate taxes. They hide behind the legal fiction of a corporation to indirectly tax the workers, shareholders and consumers. They want the tax dollars those employees generate through the corporation, but they don't want those employees to be able to engage in the political process about the tax placed upon them through that corporation.

If ExxonMobile's taxes go up, that means I pay more at the pump, someone at Exxon gets paid less or someone selling a product to Exxon - whether it's office supplies or a steel worker making steel for an oil rig - doesn't get business. So advocating an increase in taxes on ANY business means every one of us pays more for whatever product they provide. Another example of visible costs versus invisible costs.
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Re: US Climate Change Report Out

Postby KeithE » Sat May 24, 2014 9:29 pm

Never said the oil, gas, coal industries were the only ones receiving subsidies. Just that they received more than alternative energy which is more in the developmental/infrastructure building phase.

Your Figure 1 (made in 2012) is a projection until 2016. I do not doubt tax subsidies are thought to be mostly “available to all firms". But in practice it is whoever lobbies (and campaign contributes) the most, gets the most. Precedence also plays a major role. Here is the breakdown by industry of tax subsidies for 2008-2010. I do not suspect it has changed much.

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Notes: This does not include direct subsidies or direct sales; just tax breaks. Coal used for electricity generation is included in the “utilities, gas and electric “ category.

The source is the Citizens for Tax Justice in this report which has a bundle of other disturbing facts about corporate taxes - read them and weep for our country.

As far as removing these Oil/Gas subsidies increasing the cost of gas significantly, that does not compute. Take Exxon Mobil: they had $4.096B in tax breaks over 3 years 2008-2010 (see page 6 of the CTJ Report linked above). That is $1.365B/year. Their profits in those years were $45.22B in 2008 and $37.88B in 2010 (could not find 2009). Their total assets as of Dec 2013 was $346.8B. They have a lot of gall continually asking for tax breaks and subsidies year after year given their wealth. So if you really want lower gas prices, their continued overpricing is what you should complain about. Informal collusion on pricing abounds. Or be like me - try more gas efficient cars. :)

The rush of money to the corporate coffers, to the wealthy and to the financial sector is what is stagnating the economy. Piketty says that is the inevitable outcome of a long-standing capitalism (when return on investments is greater than the overall economic growth, capitalism malfunctions). He recommends a wealth tax to remedy. Keynes recommends government spending to create jobs when in a recession. Dodd-Frank could control the financial sector (if it ever gets implemented) to not allow highly leveraged, speculative investing that caused the financial crisis. Together they have the solution, imo. A third of a century of increased deregulation / lower taxation of the rich/corporations (i.e. supply side economics) simply has not worked for the majority of the American people and has fouled our environment/climate.
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Re: US Climate Change Report Out

Postby ET » Sat May 31, 2014 1:23 pm

But in the end Keith, whatever the tax policy.....it is you and me that pay 'corporate' income taxes, not the entities themselves. Corporations are little more than IRS middlemen who collect taxes on you and me based on the products we purchase. Raise ExxonMobile's taxes...you and I pay it at the pump, the employees pay it in lost wages or a supplier pays it in lost revenue (office supplies, computer sales, drilling equipment yet).

You want to raise taxes on oil and gas companies? Fine. However, don't turn around later and lament the struggles of the middle class or the lower class struggling to pay their utility bills or fuel their cars to get to their job after you've sucked up more of their income in the form of higher energy prices in order for you to chase your dreams of an ever-expanding idea based on the notion that "government is good". It is but a necessary evil.
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Re: US Climate Change Report Out

Postby KeithE » Sat May 31, 2014 7:22 pm

ET wrote:But in the end Keith, whatever the tax policy.....it is you and me that pay 'corporate' income taxes, not the entities themselves. Corporations are little more than IRS middlemen who collect taxes on you and me based on the products we purchase. Raise ExxonMobile's taxes...you and I pay it at the pump, the employees pay it in lost wages or a supplier pays it in lost revenue (office supplies, computer sales, drilling equipment yet).

You want to raise taxes on oil and gas companies? Fine. However, don't turn around later and lament the struggles of the middle class or the lower class struggling to pay their utility bills or fuel their cars to get to their job after you've sucked up more of their income in the form of higher energy prices in order for you to chase your dreams of an ever-expanding idea based on the notion that "government is good". It is but a necessary evil.

I’m talking about the oil and gas companies not getting tax breaks (aka subsidies); but more than that, lowering their colluded prices down to the point of reasonable profits. Remember Exxon-Mobil is getting ~$40B profits in a year and $1.365B in tax breaks. You want cheaper gas prices, reduce the allowable profits a company can make perhaps by having a progressive corporate tax with say 80% taxes on profits over $5B/year (just a suggestion)- perhaps with allowances for “creating” jobs which these high profits businesses do not do enough of. Instead you would have us believe those tax breaks (~1/30th of their profits) are going directly to lower gas prices but their much larger profits do not increase gas prices. Nonsense.

As for your talking point in bold above:
Unless you are incorporated, you do not pay “corporate” taxes - only in your mind is that so. Gas sales taxes go to the state not the gas companies or the IRS.
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Re: US Climate Change Report Out

Postby ET » Sat May 31, 2014 11:37 pm

KeithE wrote:I’m talking about the oil and gas companies not getting tax breaks (aka subsidies); but more than that, lowering their colluded prices down to the point of reasonable profits. Remember Exxon-Mobil is getting ~$40B profits in a year and $1.365B in tax breaks. You want cheaper gas prices, reduce the allowable profits a company can make perhaps by having a progressive corporate tax with say 80% taxes on profits over $5B/year (just a suggestion)- perhaps with allowances for “creating” jobs which these high profits businesses do not do enough of.

Throwing around numbers like "$40B profits" outside of the context of revenues and profit margin is nothing more than attempt to get a "wow, they make too much money" response from the economically illiterate. The last time we had such a discussion, I proved from the earnings release that their profits run from 9-11% on average. Profit margins in the 9-11% are healthy, but by no means "high". For 2012, they made $45B on $482B in revenue. So if they had $1.4B or thereabouts in 2012 in tax breaks, then that means it amounted to a bit over 1/45th of their profits, so they are hardly making out like bandits in benefiting from those tax breaks.

My company has had a couple of rounds of voluntary buyouts over the last decade and pursued cost-cutting initiatives in order to attempt to get to consistent profit margins in that range.

KeithE wrote: Instead you would have us believe those tax breaks (~1/30th of their profits) are going directly to lower gas prices but their much larger profits do not increase gas prices. Nonsense.

No, I would have you recognize or acknowledge that taxes are like any other cost of business....it's embedded in the cost of the product. If you increase the taxes on Wal-mart, Exxon, IBM, UPS or whomever, then that cost is passed along to consumer, shareholder, or employees in some form.

KeithE wrote:As for your talking point in bold above:
Unless you are incorporated, you do not pay “corporate” taxes - only in your mind is that so. Gas sales taxes go to the state not the gas companies or the IRS.

Sorry, you're wrong. I'm quite aware the tax on gasoline - which, by the way, constitutes far more of the price of a gallon of gas than the profits of the oil company - but we're talking corporate income tax here. You're trying to redirect the argument to avoid an obvious fact. If you raise the income tax rate on business, then you raise the cost of business. That gets passed along to every customer, shareholder and employee in some form or another. An increase in income taxes is no different to the bottom line that an increase in the price of gas, or business travel or office supplies.

You're welcome to try and get such a tax policy passed. Just don't show up here whining and moaning should a bunch of companies decide to move to other countries where the tax system is more favorable. Of course, then you won't have any money to tax, which means I guess you'll be accusing them of "evading taxes" by moving to Singapore or Tokyo or London.
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Re: US Climate Change Report Out

Postby KeithE » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:49 am

ET the only thing you might be correct about in the above is that the tax on gasoline (which varies by state from $0.31 to $0.71/gal - $0.184 of the being Federal) may affect the price of gasoline more than the profits of an Gas/Oil company.

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But that is not what we were talking about.

Your claim was - taking away subsidies currently given to the fossil fuel industries would greatly increase the cost of gas at the pump and therefore is justifiable in your mind. The fact that profits are 30x as much as subsidies (in the case of Exxon-Mobil) does not move your focus away from protecting those subsidies onto limiting excess profits (10% profit margins are excessive in such a big market). Thus is your implicit trust in the corporate world and free market - based pricing (although subsidies are accepted if it fits your fancy -i.e. none of this green stuff)

However, you claim subsidies to alternative energy R&D / climate research (‘billions and trillions’ in your original post) are taking taxpayer money and giving it to those involved in “saving the planet”. Totally wasteful (and exaggerated) in your mind.

ET: about the billions and trillions of dollars being redistributed from taxpayers to scientists and whomever else wants to share in the wealth in the name of saving the planet.


Furthermore you claimed that cutting CO2 by 70% would increase the price of gas by 77% ~$6.10/gal.
ET: But let's keep these real-world figures out front since they are the most direct way we will pay for all this...uhhh...doo-doo.
A U.S. Energy Information Administration economic forecasting model indicates that a proposed 70% cut in CO2 emissions will cause gasoline prices to rise 77% over baseline projections, kill more than 3 million jobs, and reduce average household income by more than $4,000 each year.


With no other factors considered, that means gas would go from $3.50 today to $6.10 or so. $4000 in reduced income. Doesn't mention the increase in electricity prices certain to come with more regulatory bovine fertilizer.


You quoted the US Energy Information Administration but could not produce that quote - probably came from some RW group in denial of Global Warming/Climate Change meant to rally their troops (with false or rigged claims). (Btw, that sounded fishy from the EIA I had read, so I searched hard but could not find it in any of the US EIA extensive website.) Adding potty talk does not make your case.

Truth is the total energy cost in the future will likely be lower if we turn to renewable sources. Read here.

Once the infrastructure for energy supply has been established, the costs for the renewable system are markedly lower compared to a continued fossil fuel system.

This does not even take into account the additional cost savings from lessening the impacts of climate change!

Not proven, I know, but likely.

I hope you realize that the fossil fuel costs are increasing dramatically as we drill and frack our way into diminishing, harder-to-extract resources.

Image
The price of gasoline that we pay has followed this trend.
Image
dipping downward only when demand was down after the 2008 crash. (btw, that $2.30/gal price is probably closer to what we would be paying if Big Oil took reasonable profits)

Meanwhile Renewables are getting cheaper.

Right now, energy from clean sources is more expensive than fossil fuel energy. However, the cost of most forms of renewable energy has been dropping, some of them quite dramatically. Clean Edge reports that the cost of solar PV has fallen by 50% in the last five years. At the same time, the cost of fossil fuels has been rising as global demand increases. Both trends are likely to continue. Wind power is already at grid parity in some parts of the world and as global gas prices rise, it will become increasingly competitive. Renewable energy will eclipse fossil fuel energy in due course, and those countries that are investing now will be better placed to manage the transition.

That’s the key thing that needs to be communicated here: renewable energy is expensive now, but it means lower bills in future. If it leaves us dependent on ever more expensive gas, it is ultimately more expensive not to invest.


Right now, the US is subsidizing climate research/alternative energy at a $22B/year (much improved from Bush days) while continuing and even increasing subsidies to already supremely profitable oil/gas/pipeline industries at $24B/year (not warranted, imo) and the utilities/gas/electricity industries at $31B/year (some warranted,imo). There is likely overlap (some of the $22B is probably mixed into the other subsidies)
Image

Instead of sarcastically putting down those who are trying to “save the planet”, our kids living in 2050 could enjoy lower-priced and cleaner energy, if we put the infrastructure in place to distribute wind, solar, biomass, geothermal energy as the fossil fuel has enjoyed for decades and immensely profited from. Having the US install the Keystone pipeline to move expensive and dirty tar sands oil is really dumb.

I generally do not like notional graphs but here is the true picture:
Image
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Keith's dinging my retirement funds....

Postby ET » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:17 pm

I had to drop in on this topic again.....
KeithE wrote:I’m talking about the oil and gas companies not getting tax breaks (aka subsidies); but more than that, lowering their colluded prices down to the point of reasonable profits. Remember Exxon-Mobil is getting ~$40B profits in a year and $1.365B in tax breaks. You want cheaper gas prices, reduce the allowable profits a company can make perhaps by having a progressive corporate tax with say 80% taxes on profits over $5B/year (just a suggestion)- perhaps with allowances for “creating” jobs which these high profits businesses do not do enough of.

Let's do some more math. So you would cap profits at $5 billion. I'll even take away their tax breaks. So for 2012 in our example, Exxon would make about $43.6 billion in profit on $482 billion in revenue. Your "generosity" allows them to keep $5B. We tax the remaining $38.6B at 80%, leaving them with $7.7B, meaning they would report profits of $12.7B on earnings of $482. That's a 2.6% profit. The historical inflation figure normally used for planning long-term returns on investment is 4%, which means investing with ExxonMobile would be a good way to lose money over the long term.

Pulling up the investors for ExxonMobile, I find that - previously unknown to me, but the irony of it makes my point all the more relevant - that 3 of the largest mutual funds invested in ExxonMobile are ones that I invest in through my company's 401(k) plan. That means that your plan attacks my retirement planning and reduces my ability to save for retirement. Instead of that part of my money growing, it's being flushed down the toilet. If I left my money invested there, you would essentially be taxing me for continuing to invest in Exxon (and probably any other large corporation - Apple, Microsoft, Kroger....)

Yes, in absolute dollars the money I have invested in Exxon through my 401(k) is probably close to infinitesimal compared to their revenue, but I'm arguing principle here, not dollar signs and decimal points for one worker.

And the same goes for teacher's pension funds, police and firefighter pension funds and who knows how many others. Got retirement funds invested in mutual funds? Anybody ever bothered to visit some place like Yahoo Finance or even a prospectus to see where your funds are invested and what is causing them to grow (or shrink)? Somewhere it can be found that the money for those retirements - either self-invested like a 401(k), Roth IRA, or a company pension plan is invested in such companies as Exxon, Apple, etc. If it's a fund that has "500" in the name, you can be almost 100% certain it's got money invested in the huge corporations that pay their CEOs millions of dollars a year. For all I know, our ministerial brethren here may have their Guidestone money or other ministerial retirement invested in mutual funds that own shares in Exxon and other large companies.

Side bar: Fannie Mae made $84B (RECORD PROFITS!!) on only $125B in revenue in 2013. That's twice the profit on one quarter of the revenue compared to Exxon. Five year return - 31.7%. Exxon: 7.5%.

Anybody out there want to invest their retirement money in a company returning a negative rate of return when inflation is considered? Or only earning 2.7%? I suggest you ask your financial planner what he thinks about continuing to invest in a "fund" (ExxonMobile in our little example) that returns less than 3% and the implications for retirement under such an ROI. I know some of you guys are at retirement or nearing retirement and I know you've had discussions in your life on investing and what ROI percentage you should target.

KeithE wrote:Instead you would have us believe those tax breaks (~1/30th of their profits) are going directly to lower gas prices but their much larger profits do not increase gas prices. Nonsense.

Of course its nonsense, but I never said that. I have said "If you increase the taxes on Wal-mart, Exxon, IBM, UPS or whomever, then that cost is passed along to consumer, shareholder, or employees in some form" and will be spread in various ways. Never have I said a tax break of any kind is directly related to the price of any product.
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Re: Keith's dinging my retirement funds....

Postby KeithE » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:54 pm

ET wrote:I had to drop in on this topic again.....
KeithE wrote:I’m talking about the oil and gas companies not getting tax breaks (aka subsidies); but more than that, lowering their colluded prices down to the point of reasonable profits. Remember Exxon-Mobil is getting ~$40B profits in a year and $1.365B in tax breaks. You want cheaper gas prices, reduce the allowable profits a company can make perhaps by having a progressive corporate tax with say 80% taxes on profits over $5B/year (just a suggestion)- perhaps with allowances for “creating” jobs which these high profits businesses do not do enough of.

Let's do some more math. So you would cap profits at $5 billion. I'll even take away their tax breaks. So for 2012 in our example, Exxon would make about $43.6 billion in profit on $482 billion in revenue. Your "generosity" allows them to keep $5B. We tax the remaining $38.6B at 80%, leaving them with $7.7B, meaning they would report profits of $12.7B on earnings of $482. That's a 2.6% profit. The historical inflation figure normally used for planning long-term returns on investment is 4%, which means investing with ExxonMobile would be a good way to lose money over the long term.

Pulling up the investors for ExxonMobile, I find that - previously unknown to me, but the irony of it makes my point all the more relevant - that 3 of the largest mutual funds invested in ExxonMobile are ones that I invest in through my company's 401(k) plan. That means that your plan attacks my retirement planning and reduces my ability to save for retirement. Instead of that part of my money growing, it's being flushed down the toilet. If I left my money invested there, you would essentially be taxing me for continuing to invest in Exxon (and probably any other large corporation - Apple, Microsoft, Kroger....)

Yes, in absolute dollars the money I have invested in Exxon through my 401(k) is probably close to infinitesimal compared to their revenue, but I'm arguing principle here, not dollar signs and decimal points for one worker.

And the same goes for teacher's pension funds, police and firefighter pension funds and who knows how many others. Got retirement funds invested in mutual funds? Anybody ever bothered to visit some place like Yahoo Finance or even a prospectus to see where your funds are invested and what is causing them to grow (or shrink)? Somewhere it can be found that the money for those retirements - either self-invested like a 401(k), Roth IRA, or a company pension plan is invested in such companies as Exxon, Apple, etc. If it's a fund that has "500" in the name, you can be almost 100% certain it's got money invested in the huge corporations that pay their CEOs millions of dollars a year. For all I know, our ministerial brethren here may have their Guidestone money or other ministerial retirement invested in mutual funds that own shares in Exxon and other large companies.

Side bar: Fannie Mae made $84B (RECORD PROFITS!!) on only $125B in revenue in 2013. That's twice the profit on one quarter of the revenue compared to Exxon. Five year return - 31.7%. Exxon: 7.5%.

Anybody out there want to invest their retirement money in a company returning a negative rate of return when inflation is considered? Or only earning 2.7%? I suggest you ask your financial planner what he thinks about continuing to invest in a "fund" (ExxonMobile in our little example) that returns less than 3% and the implications for retirement under such an ROI. I know some of you guys are at retirement or nearing retirement and I know you've had discussions in your life on investing and what ROI percentage you should target


We can wicker the details of corporate high end profit taxes, but where you are off base is:
1) inflation have been under 3% since 1990 and recently at 2.3% (not 4.0%) so Exxon-Mobil's profit margin (2.6% by your calculation) would remain above inflation with my softly given “suggestion” of a marginal corporate tax rate of 80% about $5M.
Image
2) your investment in Exxon-Mobil (small percentage of any mutual fund) would not be “flushed down the toilet”
3) speculation not profit results are what drives stock prices these days; admittedly such a change in corporate taxes would cause negative speculation on those high profit corporations.
4) you could always change your investment to smaller firms where the job growth is
5) Fanny Mae should get the same treatment as any large business since it has been publically traded since 1968 and subject to corporate federal taxes (but no state taxes from what I can gather). You just do not like it because it was once a govt entity.

Point 3) which I bolded is where you are really off base in your imagined effects on individual finances. If you believe past profits (e.g. P/E ratio) correlate strongly with future stock investment results, you are sorely misinformed. Read this empirical study which says:
The problem with attempts to use valuation metrics to predict future returns is that there is no reason why the trendline in stock prices needs to follow some neat, consistent, predictable function over time–not even over the long-term.

The basis for the claim that stock prices follow neat, consistent, predictable trendlines is the assumption that certain critical variables are mean-reverting–for example, P/E ratios, profit margins, growth rates, and so on. Unfortunately, these variables aren’t actually mean-reverting, not in any sense ordained by nature, and certainly not with the level of consistency that would be required for the valuation metrics to be able to make high confidence return predictions out of sample.

The claim of mean reversion is just the perception of someone who looks back and takes an average of relevantly-different individual cases. There is no reason why such an average has to be closely obeyed as we go forward into the future, where we encounter new cases with inevitably new sets of details and contingencies. When we test a hypothesis out of sample, we frequently find that the average of prior samples isn’t closely obeyed. All of these bearish valuation metrics provide a real-world example of the point. Sure, they work great to predict returns in the historical data that they’ve been fitted to. The problem is, they don’t work in the future data, the data we actually care about.


Future speculation drives the market not past profitability. In truth the stock market is a gambling game of hunches that has worked out very well for the wealthy (those able to invest) since 2009. Market is up 104% since Jan 2009.

ET wrote:
KeithE wrote:Instead you would have us believe those tax breaks (~1/30th of their profits) are going directly to lower gas prices but their much larger profits do not increase gas prices. Nonsense.

Of course its nonsense, but I never said that. I have said "If you increase the taxes on Wal-mart, Exxon, IBM, UPS or whomever, then that cost is passed along to consumer, shareholder, or employees in some form" and will be spread in various ways. Never have I said a tax break of any kind is directly related to the price of any product.


Directly or not, you sure griped about taking away tax breaks when you said:

ET wrote:If ExxonMobile's taxes go up, that means I pay more at the pump, someone at Exxon gets paid less or someone selling a product to Exxon - whether it's office supplies or a steel worker making steel for an oil rig - doesn't get business. So advocating an increase in taxes on ANY business means every one of us pays more for whatever product they provide. Another example of visible costs versus invisible costs.


And somehow your griping focussed of the loss of tax breaks and not on reduction of their profit which is 30 times that of their tax breaks.

Quite clearly Exxon-Mobil and all established/profitable businesses do not need or deserve tax breaks/subsidies. New technology sometimes warrants tax breaks/R&D subsidies especially if it holds promise of betterment for all citizens.
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Re: US Climate Change Report Out

Postby ET » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:50 pm

Keith, my friend, you are the consummate engineer, always stuck in the weeds of decimal points and charts and graphs. You can dissect the decimal points and significant digits to the nth degree. Unfortunately, decimal points and charts don't make a philosophical argument for what allows you to selectively plunder the labors of other people just because you don't like them, their company or how much money they make.

In the years to come, what profit margin Exxon makes will have very little impact on my life. Handing over power to progressive politicians to decide how much they can make is far more problematic and is far more likely to make the lives of Americans more miserable than anything Exxon can do. Latest example....the single-payer VA health care system - the kind of system progressives want to foist on all of us.

I don't trust you or any other politician with the power to manipulate the earnings and profits of companies to your liking, whether they proclaim the name or Christ or not. You have no business possessing such power and won't ever be entrusted with it, if I have anything to say about the matter.

In the end we simply have two different views of the world. One of us seeks justice in the process and lets the chips fall where they may. The other wishes to look at the outcomes and then manipulate the process until the desired result is achieved. One of us defines justice as a process. The other defines justice based on the outcome. My view has its flaws, but none so problematic as the government coercion that is a requirement in yours.

And now...back to our original topic for those interested in continuing it....
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Re: US Climate Change Report Out

Postby ET » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:55 pm

KeithE wrote:Instead of sarcastically putting down those who are trying to “save the planet”, our kids living in 2050 could enjoy lower-priced and cleaner energy, if we put the infrastructure in place to distribute wind, solar, biomass, geothermal energy as the fossil fuel has enjoyed for decades and immensely profited from. Having the US install the Keystone pipeline to move expensive and dirty tar sands oil is really dumb.

I generally do not like notional graphs but here is the true picture...

So why do European countries have such higher energy prices if the above graph is true? I have also profited immensely from fossil fuel. I pay far lower prices for the energy I consume than the "greener" countries in Europe. I get to travel freely and for relatively low cost compared to the folks who live in nanny-states of Europe and have to drive glorified lawn mowers to go places.

I suppose your statement about "dirty tar sands oil" means you'd rather get your oil from Saudia Arabia, Iraq and Iran than from Canada. So noted, but don't be whining about us "buying oil from countries that hate us". Besides, wind and solar don't do much to propel my vehicle(s) down the road to get me to work or anywhere else I want to go.

How accurate do you think your "crystal ball" is in predicting "lower prices and cleaner energy" 35 years from now? How accurate do you think ANY prediction 35 years out will be?

Here's my prediction: If the price of energy decreases, we will use more of it - basic economics. This is reflected in CAFE standards. What were they supposed to do? Decrease our "reliance on foreign oil". What did they actually do? They made driving cheaper, which meant that one could drive more for less money and own more vehicles and it cost less to use them. Gas consumption increased, not decreased. The same will hold true with energy. As America grows and wealth in this country increases, the energy requirements will increase as those on the lower end of the economic scale gain more gadgets that consume electricity or move into large homes that consume more. Yet there is only so much land that can be allocated for wind and solar production. The footprint of such "farms" will grow and grow and grow. They're consumption of "open space" will far outpace the land requirements of a coal, nuke or natural gas plant.

Your graphic states that renewables are "innovation based" and not "resource based", but you've got to have the land resources in order to have some place to build those bird fryers and dicers.
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