Friday, August 15, 2008

Frank Pallone to play Robin Hood!

I did my usual scan of the price at the pump this morning in order to decide which station I'll stop at on my way home to save a lousy $.03 and was pleased to see that the prices are continuing to fall; $3.83 for premium over at Hess in West Long Branch on Rt 36, how exciting. Of course, I'm really not that old and I do recall paying $1.17 or so for 93 back in December of 97 when I bought my first TransAm so seeing triple the price irks me.

Alas, I fear not! Frank Pallone is coming to my rescue.

On Frank Pallone's recent interview with NEIL Cavuto, Frank laid out his position on gas prices and off-shore drilling. No surprises here, Frank mad the usual D argument "we should just tax the rich and give to the poor" and then bashes the Rs for providing tax credits to the oil industry. In the end, there are only loser, we the tax payers who happen to be we the consumers.

Frank seems to be all for off-shore drilling "just not in environmentally sensitive areas", which begs the question, how is the middle of the Atlantic "environmentally sensitive", I mean, surely the Piping Plover doesn't have a home out there since it has a nice home on the beaches here, the same beaches we the tax payers are prohibited from using for the bird's benefit. Sure there could be an oil spill 50 miles out and oil could wash up on the beach but then again, I have to point out the obvious, there is plenty of off-shore drilling going on in the Gulf of Mexico and those southern states don't have gallons of oil washing up on shore... in fact, if they did, I suspect some of my redneck friends down in Texas with broken down cars on blocks would be scooping up the free oil at the beach.

I also have to ask again.... it's offshore drilling - how/why is 50 miles or so out "off the shore of New Jersey"? They are federal waters to the best of my knowledge, why don't we just say it's off the coast of Long Island (where they are still paying over $4.50/gal for 93 according to some friends out east on the island) and let Long Islanders decide?

Regardless.... I find the interview funny, especially when Frank keeps calling NEIL the name "Nick".

The interview follows to save you the click:


This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," August 6, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, the energy crisis, some say it is solved? Well, forget Congress. Would you believe that Paris Hilton might have the answer to America's energy crisis?
(LAUGHTER)
CAVUTO: I want you to take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARIS HILTON, ACTRESS: OK. So, here's my energy policy. Barack wants to focus on new technologies to cut foreign oil dependency. And McCain wants offshore drilling. Well, why don't we do a hybrid of both candidates' ideas? We can do a limited offshore drilling, with strict environmental oversight, while creating tax incentives to get Detroit making hybrid and electric cars. Energy crisis solved.
Bye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: I just want to say officially on this show, I want to make Paris Hilton president of the United States, because, clearly, she gets it. Why can't Congress?

From the star of "A Simple Life," a very simple, alarmingly, deceptively simple
solution: Drill now until all of those fuel-efficient cars are ready.
With us
now, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, who opposes additional
offshore drilling.
Congressman, Paris Hilton gets it. Why don't you?
REP.
FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, I think the Paris Hilton ad was funny, but
the bottom line is that the Democrats have tried over and over again to pass
legislation that would allow for more drilling, that would basically allow the
Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be used to try to bring down lower prices.
And
the Republicans have simply refused to vote for any of these things that would
achieve energy independence.
CAVUTO: All right. When you say allowed for more
drilling, Nancy Pelosi skipped town and started your five-week recess,
specifically forbidding a vote on more drilling.
PALLONE: Well, the -- what
we have said is that, right now, a number of the oil companies have about 80
percent of the reserves that are out there that could be drilled. And we have
said let them drill on those leases that they now have, be they offshore or on
land.
CAVUTO: So, you go -- you go back to that...
PALLONE: And, if they
don't, then...
CAVUTO: All right, Congressman, you go back to that
same...
PALLONE: ... you know, then they lose their lease.
CAVUTO: All
right. You go back to that same canard. I don't want to debate that.
What I
want to go back to here is this notion -- Paris gets it -- Barack Obama, by the
way, lately, seems to get it -- be open for drilling. Be open for these
alternative energy forms. Be open for conservation. We can all fill our tires, I
guess, do all that stuff, but be open to it all. Jump ball, have at it, everyone
decide that all of the above works for us, and don't pick and choose what you
like or don't like. Just do everything.
PALLONE: Well, the problem is that
almost everything that you've mentioned, Nick (sic), has been tried by the
Democrats and put up as legislation to move, and the Republicans have simply not
allowed it to pass, and have voted against it, whether it's...
CAVUTO: When
have you wanted to -- wait, wait, wait. No, no, no. When have you wanted to
expand drilling beyond what it is now? Update me.
PALLONE: No, we don't want
to drill into those offshore areas that are environmentally sensitive. That's
certainly true.
But something like 82 percent of the offshore sites now could
be drilled with the leases that the oil companies currently hold. And what we're
saying is, if they don't drill, they lose their lease.
CAVUTO: All right,
now, I'm going to tell you -- you know what I'm going to do, Congressman? I
respect you and all, but I'm going to tell you this once, and only once, because
I think we go around in circles talking on this issue.
The leases that are
out there, many would happily turn in for more promising leases at a moment's
notice, and have begged Congress to provide them that wherewithal to swap out
the leases.
PALLONE: No, I don't think that's true. I think that they don't
want to drill, because they want the price to go up.
CAVUTO: All right, they
don't want to.
By the way, one thing I do know about companies, Congressman,
they love to make money. And if they can dig up more oil to make more
money...
PALLONE: But they are making money hand over fist. And the problem
is that they won't drill, because they like the fact that...
CAVUTO: OK. They
-- they -- right -- they...
PALLONE: ... that it's scarce, and that they can
charge more.
CAVUTO: If it's -- if it's a -- if it's a commodity that you
argue we're running out of, and -- and they know they're running out of it, then
something tells me it would behoove them to get more of that commodity, so they
can keep making money.
But that's neither here nor there.
PALLONE: Well, I
don't agree...
CAVUTO: Congressman, what I want to ask you...
PALLONE: ...
because, then, the price goes down.
CAVUTO: Oy.
PALLONE: They don't want
the price to go down.
CAVUTO: What I want to ask you, Congressman, are you
for or against Barack Obama's windfall profits tax plan, that is, in other
words, to take some of the profits from the oil companies and use it to
fund...
PALLONE: Absolutely.
CAVUTO: ... a rebate for America?
PALLONE:
And they should be used for renewables. I think that's a very good idea. And,
again, we have -- we have had that on the floor, and the Republicans opposed
it.
CAVUTO: Well, maybe they opposed it because it was a stupid idea, right?
I mean, is it possible...
PALLONE: No, it's a good idea...
CAVUTO: Well,
then what makes the oil companies...
PALLONE: ... because it means that you
could take that money for renewables.
CAVUTO: All right.
Now, have long
have you been in Congress?
PALLONE: Twenty years.
CAVUTO: All right. So,
you just missed the wonderful Carter experience with the windfall profits tax,
right?
PALLONE: What I'm saying is that, if you take that big subsidy that
the Republicans and Bush gave to big oil, it's about, you know, something like
$12 billion over the period of years, and, if you took that back, and gave it to
renewables to give people a tax credit or an incentive to do solar energy or
wind power...
CAVUTO: No. Well, you know, Congressman, that's a little
different.
Now, you and I agree on this much. And I think many Republicans
are beginning to grudgingly say, do away with credits and subsidies for an
industry that's making a lot of money. I don't think a lot of even conservatives
would even...
PALLONE: But they didn't vote for it. They voted against it,
Nick (sic).
CAVUTO: I want to get to the issues here and not talking
points.
So, let me ask you this. If the Republicans were to agree to cut a
lot of the subsidies and tax breaks that oil enjoys, as long as we stopped this
debate over drilling, you look to more drilling, you look to some of the things
that you want to do, they look to more -- to more alternatives...
PALLONE:
Well, we can't drill in environmentally sensitive areas, where it's going to
mean that you have an oil spill that impacts the beaches.
CAVUTO: Tell that
-- then how are you explaining to your constituents, who are paying through the
nose for gas, and a majority of whom say, even in directly affected states like
Florida and New Jersey, that they would happily put up with more drilling if it
meant...
PALLONE: No, I don't -- I don't think that's true.
CAVUTO: ... if
it meant -- well...
PALLONE: I mean, you should know -- you should know, Nick
(sic), that I represented a district that's along the beaches and has billions
of dollars in industry coming from the beaches, and my constituents do not want
us drilling.
CAVUTO: Well, I talk to people who live near the beaches, and I
have -- and they have heard that a lot of these offshore plans are 50, 60 miles
offshore. They can't see it from their beautiful condos...
PALLONE: No, if
you look at the areas, for example, in California or in the Gulf of Mexico where
they drill...
CAVUTO: No, no, no. Congressman, you're telling me now that you
are against more drilling offshore.
PALLONE: ... there's no
tourism.
There's no -- you -- you...
CAVUTO: Barack Obama has said that he
is open to drilling more. You're saying no. Barack Obama says that, if it could
be included in a list of things that you want to do, he would be for it. Nancy
Pelosi says she doesn't want to do it.
PALLONE: Well, Obama didn't say
that.
CAVUTO: You just said that you don't want to do.
PALLONE: He said
that he doesn't want to drill in those environmentally sensitive areas, but that
he would be willing to negotiate. But he doesn't want to do that. And I
certainly would not encourage him to drill in those environmentally sensitive
areas that might impact the beaches or our tourism.
CAVUTO: So, this whole
thing, Congressman, can go away by taxing the oil companies, tapping the excess
profits they have -- never mind they pay a ton in taxes as it is -- but you're
-- you're arguing, look, they're making money hand over fist. Let's take more of
that money.
You weren't around for the Carter years. I -- I have looked at a
little, you know, bit of history here. That experience did not seem to go
gangbusters. You're willing to try that...
PALLONE: Yes, but what I'm saying
is, you take that money you give it to renewables.
CAVUTO: Wait a minute.
You're willing to try that again -- well, who...
PALLONE: You give that to
renewables like solar and wind power.
CAVUTO: You are now going -- you're
Robin Hood now. So, you are going to take from one group, assume that it will
work better with another group, and you're going to pick and choose the
industries you think will benefit?
PALLONE: Well, what I want to do is to
give, like, incentives to homeowners and commercial properties to put in
renewables, whether it be solar or wind power or whatever, use that excess
profit for that, to give them, you know, some kind of subsidy or tax break if
they put solar panels on their homes...
CAVUTO: Congressman, I wish we had
more time.
PALLONE: ... or they retrofit...
CAVUTO: Here's -- here's where
I see the block, sir. And I see it with Republicans, too. They won't give on
these tax credits for an industry that I don't think needs it. You won't give on
drilling that your constituents clearly -- clearly want to see.
PALLONE: No,
I want drilling to take place...
CAVUTO: Well, you just said you
don't.
PALLONE: ... just not in environmentally sensitive areas.
CAVUTO:
This is like what the meaning of the word "is" is.
I'm telling you, what
you're against is doing the things that your party, in lockstep, rejects,
because it doesn't think it's a good idea, or environmentalists have you by a
stranglehold.
PALLONE: Well, I represent a district in New
Jersey...
CAVUTO: And, by the way...
(CROSSTALK)
PALLONE: ... that has
tourism along the beaches. So, this is very important to my district.
CAVUTO:
There are a lot of Florida -- there are a lot of Florida areas that have
tourism, and they, too, have been looking at the price at the pump, sir, and
said, you know what, drill away, drill away.
PALLONE: I don't believe
that.
CAVUTO: But there's got to be a middle ground here...
PALLONE: I
don't believe that people in those areas are for it.
CAVUTO: OK.
OK.
There's got to be a middle ground. I'm saying, if Republicans drop their
push for tax credits, would you drop your resistance to what's happening on the
other front?
PALLONE: No. We can't have drilling in areas where there are
going to be spills that are going to destroy the beaches.
CAVUTO:
OK.
PALLONE: No, that's not acceptable.
CAVUTO: All right. Well, and away
we go.
All right, Congressman, thank you very much. Appreciate
it.
PALLONE: Thank you, Nick (sic). I appreciate being on.
CAVUTO: All
right.
Well, it's Neil, but we're friends.

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