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Posted by on Feb 7, 2007 in Politics | 30 comments

Boom Times: Busting Big Oil

In an email from the Hillary campaign team was the following problem statement:

It’s time to end our country’s dependence on foreign oil. Unstable prices at the pump are a burden for families. Our dependence props up extremist regimes that threaten our national security. And the threat to our environment from burning fossil fuels is very real.

Hillary is proposing a plan that puts “some of the oil industry’s windfall profits into a fund that would help develop practical new sources of renewable energy”… and Polimom has some worries about this.

In boom times (like now), the oil and gas industries (Big Oil) are the boogeymen — clear targets as they reap record profits, but the other, less-profitable years pass unremarked.

Here along the Gulf Coast, though, we’ve been through the bust years, too — years where the prices went so low that exploration was frozen, projects didn’t go forward, and the industry laid off people in droves. In Houston in the 80s, in fact, there was a terrible downturn, and the values of houses plummeted as folks had to leave, leading to a regional depression.

I don’t recall hearing any outcry about helping the oil industry then.

If we’re going to target the oil and gas industries in times of high prices, are we then planning to close their gaps when prices are low … as they will no doubt be again?

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