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U.S. energy policy - Oct 3

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

Energy Vacation (Bush energy bill)
(animated satire)
Mark Fiore, Working for Change
"An indefinite holiday from sound energy policy!"
(28 Sept 2006)
Caveat: the Democrats aren't much better. -BA

Gas Pump Politics

Nicholas von Hoffman, The Nation
Do the Democrats lose 50,000 votes every time the price of gasoline drops a penny? We'll have the answer to that question in a few weeks, but in the meantime cheaper gasoline raises some interesting questions.

The first of which is whether or not the Republicans have arranged to lower them to prevent what had seemed to be defeat in November. Certainly, the timing of the price drop might cause even the credulous to entertain a suspicion or two.

You may be sure that the Republicans are delighted to see gasoline fade from the list of voter irritations. You may also be sure that the Republicans would have arranged for prices at the pump to swoon if they could, but can they?

Not likely. To make the price of gasoline come down in Ohio, where the GOP is in big trouble, the prices have to drop everywhere. No special walled-off Ohio oil market, or even an American oil market, exists.

...The Democrats, posing as the champions of the great unwashed as they do, dare not show their apprehension at the slump in gas prices even as they watch votes melt away. Nevertheless, every time gas prices drop, people kid themselves into believing the oil is going to flow forever and that we can go on living as we have forever.
(3 Oct 2006)
Related: Oil Prices...Again (Jeff Vail):

While I think that I presented several very plausible manipulation scenarios, over the past week there has been one theory (not one of mine) that has clearly risen above the rest: a change in the composition of the Goldman Sachs commodity index led to a massive sell-off in oil-complex futures.

California: Barrels of Money Fuel Oil Tax Fight

Dan Morain, LA Times
The battle over Prop. 87 pits a film producer against the industry. A spending record is ----
SACRAMENTO - Five weeks before election day, California oil companies and a rich Hollywood producer are waging an $85-million battle over an initiative that would impose up to a $485-million-a-year tax on the oil industry.

In any other state, the $45 million that oil producers have shelled out to block Proposition 87 would be a political gusher of historic proportions. But in California this year, there's an equalizer: Stephen L. Bing, movie producer, heir to a real estate fortune and one of the biggest financiers of Democratic and environmentalist causes in the nation.

Bing has given $40 million to the campaign in favor of the initiative, which he helped launch. The sum is an unprecedented donation by an individual in a single initiative fight.

Venture capitalists and others have contributed an additional $5.7 million to the Yes-on-87 campaign, pushing the overall total toward $91 million. The fight almost certainly will set a spending record for one initiative.

The oil money dwarfs the industry's spending in other states over the last six years. It's more than oil and gas interests have donated to federal candidates and national parties in any single campaign for more than a decade, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C.
(3 Oct 2006)
Related: Chevron fuels Prop. 87 opposition.

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