As the title suggests, I was disgusted with the Anti-business rhetoric that was allowed to spew, unchallenged from the energy expert Terry Tamminen. Christopher Hayes made no effort to constrain Mr. Tamminen to his area of expertise and instead allowed his podcast to become a bully pulpit for an enviromentalist and socialist agenda.
Let me point out several areas where Mr. Tamminen show his true colors:
1) He noted that the oil industry gets tax breaks for the depletion allowance and for R&D and he considered that a subsidy of big oil.
The R&D tax credit is a well-established tax credit used by almost every Fortune 500 company to reduce the cost of R&D because it is rightly assumed that R&D benefits everyone in the long run. In that industry the R&D goes to finding ways to reduce the cost of producing oil and thereby benefitting the final consumer.
The depletion allowance was scoffed at by both host and guest as an improper way of giving the oil companies a tax break, and they both went so far as to distinguish their industry from farming. Farmers didn't create their land either. They bought it from another farmer or the government and then coaxed the land to produce their crop of choice. The oil companies bought or leased their land from the government or another landowner and coaxed it to produce oil. So if a depletion allowance is bad for the oil industry, it should also be disallowed for farmers.
2) Again playing to the environmentalist agenda, they went after Canada's mining of the tar sands and noted that we spend energy (natural gas) to extract the oil. That oil is then used to produce portable energy. I have to ask, "Would it be OK if they used nuclear or hydroelectric energy to extract the oil?"
I agree that there exist hidden costs to burning fossil fuels and I think those should be explored in a rational and thoughtful way. I don't agree that allowing Mr. Tamminen to give his side unchallenged was rational or thoughtful.
Jul 19 2010 - 8:29am