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Miracles do happen...A politician with principles?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by NigelM, May 22, 2013.

  1. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    #1 NigelM, May 22, 2013
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
    I received an e-mail from Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL 16th District) today which surprised cynical old me. Congressman Buchanan made his fortune from traditional car dealerships and (IIRC) he still owns the biggest Ford dealership in SW Florida; but....he did come to see the Model S shows at Sarasota Yacht Club twice where Larry and I squawked at him about EVs each time. Here's the text of the mail:

    There's manyareas where I don't agree with Congressman Buchanan's views, but I'm plenty impressed that he stood up on this one. Now, if only we could get a few more of our leaders in Washington to agree on this point....
     
  2. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    The cynic in me says it sounds like rhetoric?
     
  3. StephenM

    StephenM Active Member

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    This is impressive, but the cynical side of me will believe it when the actual voting occurs.
     
  4. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    According to the quote above the vote has already been held. And I assume the result from the vote is public, so it should be available somewhere on the Interwebs, right? I’ve tried Googleing, but I can’t find it. Anyone who knows where it is?

    It’s not super important for me personally, but it could serve as point of departure for further discussion.
     
  5. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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  6. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Ha! Was I lured into appreciating a 5 year old vote?
     
  7. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    Yeah, sorrry about that.
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I don't follow this area much, so forgive me if this is dumb... But if we end tax breaks for big oil, won't that drive gas prices up ever further?
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I'll see if I can find the source but had heard in the past it would add maybe a penny to a gallon of gas.
     
  10. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    Ok, I think I’m lost in translation… So is the quote in the OP about that five year old vote, or about something that happened recently?
     
  11. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    He specifically mentioned $18 billion in the letter, which was a vote from five years ago. His site buchanan.congress.gov talks about his views, which are still consistent with that vote.
     
  12. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    #12 SwedishAdvocate, May 22, 2013
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
    Thanks! Well in that case: Since according to Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL 16th District) only a handful of Republicans voted for the measure, and since: “The measure passed the House /…/ by a vote of 236-189" it would seem to me that voting and/or campaigning for the Dems would be the way to go if you want to “eliminate /…/ wasteful and unnecessary tax subsidies for Big Oil".

    - - - Updated: - - -

    It’s too bad though that you guys as I understand it really only have two choices to vote for. In Sweden we have eight. Ok, I take that back. In reality one could argue we ‘only’ really have seven... And that’s in spite of a rule that says that all parties must get more than 4% of the popular vote in order to be represented in our one and only Parliament. Personally I think that’s too high. I honestly cant see any reason for any such percentage barrier.

    We also have proportionate elections which also helps to get as close as possible to one citizen – one vote.

    …unfortunately Sweden is also a constitutional monarchy which of course really, really seriously sucks! So in that sense of the word I am (again) …of course a Republican!
     
  13. RichardC

    RichardC Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter

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    It's a good question.

    Probably not. The tax breaks are a direct result of payments channeled back through lobbyists to politicians and PACs. Removing them would be a very small step in the right direction toward cleaning up the unholy alliance among the oil industry, lobbyists and politicians in Washington.

    Conversely, if prices did go up that would actually be a good thing. Current gas prices do not reflect even a fraction of the cost of the environmental harm associated with the exploration, production and consumption of coal, oil and gas. (We are foisting those costs on our children and grandchildren.) The fact that millions of North Americans believe that regularly driving an SUV that gets about 10 miles per gallon is a reasonable lifestyle choice serves to confirm that gas prices are currently much too low. Doubling the price of gas, to the levels charged in Europe, would be a good start (and could easily be accomplished by a carbon tax, which taxed pollution and reduced taxes on income). However, such a tax is currently unlikely to be implemented due to the aforementioned corruption of the North American political systems.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It's actually much worse than that in North America. In the US the people with money decide who is going to be on the ballot, so there is in substance no choice at all. It has effectively become a sporting event where both teams have the same owner (lots of noise and trash talk, but few substantive differences). Lawrence Lessig describes the situation quite well in the following TED talk:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html
     
  14. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Not dumb; worthy of asking. But in addition to the points that dsm and Richard made (it would be a tiny rise, and to the extent that it is significant it would send the proper signal to the market), gas prices often go up for other reasons. The difference here is that the money from the price increase would go back to the taxpayers, while generally gas prices going up just sends more money overseas. I'm not worried about a small rise that results in corresponding taxpayer savings.
     
  15. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Hi Nigel,

    Me too.

    After receiving Vern's email I sent him a lengthy response, praising his political courage and requesting his further support of advanced technologies that are alternatives to oil, such as electric vehicles and solar.

    Larry
     
  16. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Gas prices will go up as far as people's ability to pay, period. This is no different than pricing a new cell phone. If you eliminate Apple's tax breaks will iPhone prices go up? If they do it won't be because of an increased tax burden. It would be because the company thought the market would bear the increase. If they are wrong then they will lose market share to Samsung, Motorola, etc. That is how markets are supposed to work. Now in the case of oil companies, there's no doubt they collude on prices between themselves. But if prices get too high then investment goes up on alternatives so they have to tread a fine line.
     

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