Senators recently debated a bill (Lieberman-Warner) that would have effectively given Washington control of our nation’s energy supply. In order to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, the federal government would have decided which companies could produce energy. In short, it would have adopted Waters’ solution and given the government virtual control of energy production.
Would bureaucrats do a better job developing energy sources?
Yes, oil companies are indeed making big money. They’re also paying out plenty in taxes. Exxon Mobil paid $9.3 billion in worldwide taxes in the first quarter of this year. That’s an astounding 49 percent of its first-quarter gross income. (Full disclosure: Some oil companies have contributed to The Heritage Foundation. Their combined donations last year accounted for a paltry one-quarter of 1 percent of our revenues.)
Oil companies make big money by doing the increasingly hard work of getting petroleum out of the ground and turning it into gasoline, something everybody wants. The government, meanwhile, manages to lose money selling something else everybody wants -- food.
Federal policies already make food and energy far more expensive than need be. That’s one reason United Airlines had to hike the price of its lunches. Any new federal scheme to further regulate our energy production would simply make matters worse.