US needs election before new round of energy legislation

The US needs an election before the next round of energy legislation. Congress, with its consumption mandates and production subsidies, has done enough damage already.

Alas, Senate Democrats are reported to be meeting with the aim of taking up an energy bill next year.

According to the New York securities firm Bradley Woods & Co., leaders of important Senate committees have been discussing an energy project of this type.

That the effort would have to be bipartisan is comforting. Democrats don’t control enough seats to end a filibuster.

And one idea thought to be under discussion is harmless: incentives to increase the energy efficiency of buildings and manufacturing.

Another idea, though, is more troublesome: A clean-energy standard specifying the amounts of low-carbon energy utilities must use in the generation of electricity. Congress still doesn’t appreciate how much economic havoc it creates with consumption mandates.

In an election year, anything can happen. Purrs about bipartisanship now will become growls of political predation as November comes into view.

Fiscal stresses elevate the risk. If lawmakers start talking about energy, tax mechanisms like expensing of intangible drilling costs and the foreign tax credit will come under threat yet again.

Populism is thick in the political atmosphere. Oil and gas companies are popular villains.

Sponsors of subsidized energy such as ethanol, wind, and solar always want more money. Taxing fossil energy to pay for energy follies can appear sensible to the unenlightened.

Neither the industry nor the country needs another round of deal-making and difference-splitting over bad ideas like these.

On energy, the US has turned toward centralized decision-making. The consequent costs are high, the benefits low.

In the fever of an election year, the US can’t legislate itself away from the energy problems it has created. It needs a hard course correction back toward market freedom and individual choice. It must choose between fundamental values in conflict.

For that it needs an election, until which Congress should pretend the subject doesn’t exist.

(Online Dec. 16, 2011; author’s e-mail: bobt@ogjonline.com)

Related Articles

Twists of activists’ dogma freshens view of global warming

07/02/2015

Fresh perspective on global warming, a topic that needs it, comes from a geologist.

Emerging producers offered guidelines for governance

06/26/2015 Like most worthy endeavors, governing oil and gas activity at the national level is easier said than done—especially where oil and gas never before...

New king reshaping Saudi oil industry; extent still unclear

06/19/2015

A new ruler is making important changes in the state-run petroleum industry of the world’s most influential oil-producing nation.

Energy prominent among US rules due in next 12 months

06/12/2015

Energy figures prominently in a regulatory blitz taking shape as the Obama administration approaches its end.

Political, technical problems seen for energy-subsidy reform

06/05/2015

Fossil-energy subsidies receive more talk than action, too much of it politically opportunistic.

Oil-demand curve’s flattening adds to pressure on OPEC

06/01/2015 When leaders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meet in Vienna on June 5, they should heed a stern signal from the oil market.

Coast Guard cadets summoned to battle climatological foe

05/22/2015 Confusion evident in President Barack Obama’s commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy raises a question bearing on American foreign policy:...

OPEC production well above quota for second month

05/15/2015

Supply data out this week provide a useful reminder about behavior of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Quick supply change a vital factor in oil market recovery

05/08/2015

Large among questions hanging over an oil market groping for balance is the behavior of short-fuse supply.

White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Wed, Oct 7, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.

register:WEBCAST


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected