Conservative Colloquium

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Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

Chet Edwards: The Disgrace of the District (TX-17)

Posted by Tony Listi on August 19, 2008

Why the heck is Chet Edwards, a liberal Democrat, still representing the 17th District in Congress??

This district is overwhelmingly conservative and Republican. President Bush won this district by almost 40 percentage points in 2004. It is time for the 17th District to be represented by a conservative Republican like Rob Curnock. Chet doesn’t belong here.

Chet Edwards is skillful at talking moderate but voting liberal. This past session he voted 96% of the time along Democratic partisan lines with the San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi. He’s been one of the most liberal representatives in Congress. I told a woman in the last 2006 election cycle that a vote for Chet was a vote for Speaker Pelosi. She didn’t listen. Hope she’s listening now.

He voted to retreat from Iraq and cut off support to our troops in May of 2007 (HR 1591). If he and his liberal comrades had succeeded, we would not have seen the success of the surge.

Chet has a 100% pro-abortion rating from NARAL and voted to keep partial-birth abortion legal and to fund abortions with taxpayer money. The 17th District of Texas is a pro-life district. On this issue more than any other, it is a disgrace to have Chet as our representative. The Family Research Council gave Chet a rating of 18 out of 100. And Chet regards himself as a Christian, a Baptist?! Yeah, right!

He also has a very spotty record when it comes to protecting Texans’ 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

Lastly, as poor and middle-class Americans continue to suffer high gas prices, Chet voted with Nancy Pelosi to take a vacation and ignore the problem. Moreover, Chet has voted to make our energy problems worse (HR 6, Roll Call 1177), burdening industry with more regulations, wasting taxpayer dollars on the ethanol boondoggle, and cutting off our own domestic sources of energy.

Chet Edwards is too liberal for District 17. It is time for a change and that change is Rob Curnock.

Posted in Elections and Campaigns, Government and Politics, Politicians, Written by Me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

“Obscene” Profits and Salaries

Posted by Tony Listi on June 14, 2008

Well, well, looks like liberals actually do believe in the existence of something called obscenity. No, it’s not pornography. It’s not government financial support for disgusting and sacrilegious art. It’s not any of the vulgarities that characterize modern culture.

Profits and salaries are obscene! Of course! Money is obscene! How could we conservatives be so blind? Sure, one can know obscenity when one sees it.

The fact of the matter is that it is not any of government’s business how much profit any business makes, regardless of size and productive capacity. If workers at a certain company feel that they are not compensated enough or that their superiors are excessively compensated at their expense, then they are free to quit and seek another job where their talents are more justly compensated.

You see, the market works. It rewards companies that allocate their profits where such funds are most needed and deserved. A company headed by a CEO who takes a larger salary than is necessary or just is only hurting himself and his company. He is taking away funds that could be reinvested in the company to increase future earnings and maintain a competitive advantage over other firms. He is also driving good and talented people, human capital, away to other companies who will more justly compensate such people. Or at the very least (or worst?), the CEO is creating justified bitterness and complaining among employees who feel they are not receiving their fair share. This corporate cultural disruption can only hinder productivity and competitiveness.

The capitalist system works. We don’t need government stepping in and creating unintended problems.

But what unintended problems?  asks the naive liberal and statolatrist.

Glad you asked. Wealth creation (before it can even be distributed) is really a product of reinvestment of profits. The most successful and wealthy corporations reinvest their profits in human, technological, and various other kinds of capital. Thus the corporation uses its money to make even more money for all its stakeholders! Wealth grows at a rapid rate with such freedom to make wise investment choices.

Now what do you think happens when the government comes along and confiscates “obscene” or “windfall” profits from corporations? It stifles this wealth-creating reinvestment! It puts these corporations at a competitive disadvantage nationally and globally. Ultimately, it hurts the working man who depends upon the success of his employers and their ability to reinvest in him and his productivity.

What makes you think the government can more effectively reinvest the profits of companies within a particular industry or generally throughout the economy?!

You think that politician in D.C. knows anything about creating, marketing, and distributing a product or service? Hate to break it to you, but most of those politicians graduated from law school, not business school or the school of hard knocks. They are mostly lawyers who are talented in using the law to coerce others and steal the fruits of their labor. They are skilled in marketing of a certain kind (read: demagoguery), but they have no know-how in producing any great physical product. I’d like to see Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and other liberals get oil out of the ground, refine it, and then distribute it worldwide! Last time I checked, they weren’t petrochemical engineers of the caliber that Texas A&M produces.

Posted in Budget, Spending, and Taxes, Economics, Energy, Government and Politics, Liberalism, Politicians, Socialism, Texas A&M, Written by Me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Petro-Dictator Noriega Supports Higher Gas Prices

Posted by Tony Listi on June 5, 2008

Petro-Dictator Hugo ChavezEverything is bigger in Texas. But gas prices shouldn’t be. And yet that is exactly what Rick Noriega and his extremely liberal friends in the Senate would like to impose on Americans!

Noriega has expressed his support for a disastrous bill (S. 3061, introduced  by ultra-liberal Sen. Boxer, but entitled the Lieberman-Warner Bill) that would more than double the price of gas and electricity. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would impose “tens of billions of dollars annually” on you and me in increased prices. By other estimates, the bill would cost trillions dollars to the US economy in total. Yeah, kick the economy when it is down, Democrats! Does that sound smart to you?

Energy is the lifeblood of the American economy; tax it and you tax the economy causing it to shrink, cutting off economic opportunities to American citizens.


Noriega claims to want to help those struggling at the pump by raising the price of gas through taxes? Talk about incoherent! Yeah, tax our gas, that’ll make it cheaper for all of us! Why would we want to send this fool to the Senate to represent us? Senator John Cornyn is the sane, rational choice.

We Texans would be especially hard hit by this bill. We take pride in the size of our state and our wide open spaces, but if Noriega has his way, the long distances between the major cities of Texas (compared to other states) will become a burden upon the average citizen rather than a badge of pride. Gasoline gives us the freedom to travel, whether it is to visit family, conduct business, or make a new start. Noriega apparently doesn’t care about our families, our businesses, and our freedom to shape our own lives. He would rather sacrifice us and our dreams at the pagan altar of Marxism-induced hysteria.

Hugo Chavez, watch out! Looks like another socialist Latin American dictator wants to seize the energy industry in a government takeover. I always knew Comandante Noriega would live up to his name.

Posted in Budget, Spending, and Taxes, Elections and Campaigns, Energy, Global Warming and Environment, Government and Politics, Political Philosophy, Politicians, Socialism, Texas Politics, Written by Me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Liberal “Innovation”

Posted by Tony Listi on April 24, 2008

Liberal Innovation

Posted in Energy, Government and Politics, Science and Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by Tony Listi on December 5, 2007

Divorce exacts a serious toll on the environment by boosting the energy and water consumption of those who used to live together, according an article published in the National Academy of Sciences by Jianguo Liu and Eunice Yu, both Michigan State University researchers.Other findings:

In 2005, divorced American households used between 42 and 61 percent more resources per person than before they separated, spending 46 percent more per person on electricity and 56 percent more on water.
If the divorced couples had stayed together in 2005, the United States would have saved 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 627 billion gallons of water in that year alone.
Moreover, the divorced households they surveyed used up more space, occupying between 33 and 95 percent more rooms per person than in married households.
“Hopefully this will inform people about the environmental impact of divorce,” Liu says. “For a long time we’ve blamed industries for environmental problems. One thing we’ve ignored is the household.”

But actually doing something about the problem is different. Lester Brown, president of the D.C.-based Earth Policy Institute, said the study’s finding made sense, but it is hard to craft public policies to address the problem of the increasing number of households in the United States and elsewhere. He noted that in many countries, such as Japan, women are choosing to marry later or not marry at all, which also expands the number of people living alone.

Source: Juliet Eilperin, “Divorce Found to Harm The Environment With Higher Energy, Water Use,” Washington Post, December 4, 2007.

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Posted in Christianity and Politics, Energy, Global Warming and Environment, Government and Politics, Politics and Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

New oil refineries needed

Posted by Tony Listi on November 26, 2007

November 26, 2007
H. Sterling Burnett – Holiday travel season is now upon us, and as if just on cue, gas prices spike and hit the headlines. Consumers complain about the prices at the pump, while politicians complain about the increasing U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil.Obviously, there is a lot of pressure to do something. So what can and will Congress do? Apparently, faced with calls to reduce dependence on foreign oil and cut pump prices, Congress will do the opposite.

A recent report shows the energy bill being negotiated between the House and the Senate would dramatically increase energy (including gasoline) prices. Economic research firm CRA International found that congressional proposals would more than double the cost of petroleum products – if you don’t like oil at $100 per barrel you will really hate it at $200 per barrel.

It should come as no surprise that Congress would make matters worse. After all, they are partly to blame for our current situation. Building new oil refineries or expanding existing ones is among the most affordable, effective and reliable ways to increase supplies and lower prices. Yet emissions controls and mandates for specific gasoline blends have forced many refineries to close and made building new oil refineries very difficult. In fact, no new ones have been built in the U.S. for nearly 30 years.

For example throughout the 1990s, the oil industry spent nearly 25 percent of capital investment – more than $100 billion – to comply with environmental regulations. For some plants, compliance with ever-increasing standards was simply too costly. For instance, oil refiner Premcor shut two Illinois oil refineries because it could not afford required upgrades. Modifications in one refinery alone would have cost $70 million.

Clean air regulations have also discouraged building new facilities. For example, construction of a new refinery in Arizona has been delayed since 1997 over concerns of its impact on air quality and the proposed site, even though the plant received the required air permits. Now, even under the best circumstances, the plant will not be operational until 2011.

Gas prices are also affected by the government’s blender – in order to fulfill various air pollution reduction plans, gasoline sold in the U.S. has been fractionated into about 17 different boutique fuels. With three grades of gasoline, refiners produce more than 50 separate blends. This is expensive, as each blend must be transported separately, which limits pipeline and storage capacity. Moreover, it is difficult to replace supplies when there are disruptions and when refining capacity is taken off-line to clean tanks and pipelines when switching between winter and summer blends. Gas prices spike as a result.

Some argue that industry could increase capacity at existing plants, and that is being done. To help meet growing demand, the industry expanded capacity and improved operating efficiency at the remaining refineries. For example, refineries that operated at 78 percent of maximum capacity in the 1980s produce more than 90 percent of their potential output now. Yet demand still outpaces domestic supply.

To fill the gap, the United States has increased imports of refined gasoline. From 1992 to 2004, the U.S. annual average of weekly gasoline imports more than doubled from 4.7 percent to 9.7 percent of gasoline used.

In an effort to curb demand for gasoline, Congress is also considering mandating annual use of 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2025. Refiners have responded to existing and proposed ethanol mandates by canceling 40 percent of planned expansions, reducing potential new output from 1.6 million barrels per day to less than 1 million barrels daily.

Yet since ethanol produces less energy per volume than gasoline, the new mandate would replace less than 16 percent of current gasoline demand – much less than the one third-increase in gasoline use estimated over the next 20 years.

The Energy Information Agency estimates energy use will rise 19.2 percent to 24.8 million barrels per day by 2020 while refinery capacity will rise only 9.4 percent. This means refining capacity will only be 100,000 barrels a day more in 2020 than it was in 1981.

The economic impacts of higher energy prices would be profound: a loss of $1 trillion in economic output and up to 5 million workers unemployed. Absent government intervention in the market, refinery capacity would be expected to expand, reducing consumer prices. More economical and secure energy supplies are available if government gets out of the way.

H. Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow and D. Sean Shurtleff is a student fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

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