Ned Lamont on Energy & Oil
LIEBERMAN: This is an outrage. People are being cheated. Last December, in the midst of the heating oil season, I submitted legislation that would impose a 50% Excess Profits Tax on oil companies for really undeserved profits and return that money to low- and middle-income consumers to help them pay bills.
SCHLESINGER: With all due respect, Joe, been there, done that. The last time we did, interest rates was to 14%, you couldn’t get a mortgage, oil prices skyrocketed, and it just didn’t work. Pres. Reagan repealed that Excess Profits Tax, and immediately oil prices fell to a 20-year low, and stayed therefore about 20 years. So that’s not the solution.
LAMONT: Front and center to deal with energy prices is that we’ve got to deal with our dependence on oil, with incentives and conservation to allow that to happen.
LIEBERMAN: The Energy Bill has the most substantial incentives for energy conservation and alternative energy that Congress has ever adopted.
LAMONT: The real problem with that energy bill was along with production incentives, that was the time to put efficiency standards, to put together a comprehensive energy plan that would have meant real energy independence. For Sen. Lieberman to sign onto that bill we lost that opportunity.
Look what Jimmy Carter did 20 years ago. We doubled the fuel mileage standards of our automobiles. We greatly increased the fuel efficiency of our appliances, and the price of gasoline went down for the next 20 years. We got a little fat and happy and we started driving SUV’s again. But now is the time to deal with conservation in a serious way. And Sen. Lieberman’s support of the Dick Cheney energy bill was a mistake.
Clean energy is not only important to our economic and national security, but the future of the planet hangs in the balance. By 2025, China & India will double their oil consumption.
I support an overarching plan for clean energy and energy independence: basic research, higher mileage per gallon standards, disincentives for high polluting and gas guzzling users and incentives for high mileage, and clean energy alternatives. Energy independence and the environment must be an integral part of every public policy decision.
A: 9/11 was a terrible tragedy, but also it was a new start for this country, and we missed an opportunity to get serious about energy independence, energy conservation and global warming-they’re all tied together. Instead, Bush passed the energy bill. It was a terrible piece of legislation loaded with tax giveaways to the oil producers and the nuclear lobby. This bad piece of legislation was overwhelmingly opposed by the environmentalists out there and supported by Sen. Lieberman. First and foremost, we ought to be looking at conservation, we ought to have tax incentives for conservation and we ought to make that a national priority. Secondly, we ought to have tax incentives for renewables. That’s how we’re going to free ourselves from, as Tom Friedman said, paying for both sides of the war on terror with our addiction to foreign oil.