Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cavuto On Oil Gouging

I like Neil Cavuto. He's smart, ornery and calls it like he sees it. He's also one of the only broadcast personalities my grandmother can watch without wanting to throw things through the television. This is higher praise than you might think.

Earlier today, Cavuto, taking a page from Dick Cheney's playbook, made Sen. Dick Durbin look like a petulant schoolboy over Chuck Schumer's calls to investigate oil companies for supposed price gouging. I seriously haven't seen a Democratic senator perform that poorly since the 2004 vice-presidential debates.

The interview followed on the heels of a challenge Cavuto made earlier in the week calling for Schumer to open investigations into what Cavuto calls "tax gouging." "After all, " Cavuto said, "oil companies profit works out to nine cents a gallon. Taxes total more like 40 cents a gallon."

The reason we "don't hear Schumer whining about taxes" is of course pork barrel politics and both parties' addiction to irresponsible spending. Pointing these things out is Cavuto's bread and butter, and he serves this helping up nicely.

I'm not as enthusiastic, however, about his dismissal of blended fuel alternatives (the carbon exchange possibilities of ethanol need to be looked at closely in coming years) and want to know more about why attempts in this direction have been futile so far. If Brazil's sugar fuel project, for example, isn't worth looking into, I'd like to hear why. While they may not be guilty of price gouging (I have my doubts about that, but tax gouging is real enough), the oil barons' slick fingerprints are still all over the criminally slow move toward renewable or cleaner energy. I'm not calling for the death of Big Oil; too many working Americans stand to lose everything in that scenario. I am saying, though, that you might not want to light a match around the Invisible Hand.


Anonymous Ali said...

I have a hard time understanding why we're so reluctant to develop alternative energy supplies. So much of the research is already done, and everyone is going to be hurt in the end if we run out of oil and have nothing to fall back on, so oil companies and their investors aren't doing themselves any good in the long run by resisting this stuff.

It makes my blood boil to hear that taxes are so much higher than profits, but then, most things about taxes get my blood boiling. Frickin government and their frickin legalized theft. *kicks government*

7:12 PM  

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