Friday, December 3, 2010

Wait And See Turns Tail, Horse Trades - Taxes, Texas, Taxes

What are they gonna do? Shoot oil at us? - State Republican Committeeman on the eve of Deepwater Horizon blowout, April, 2010

Washington, D.C. - In a stunning reversal of policy, the Obama Administration announced yesterday it will hold off on authorizing offshore drilling on the east coast from Virginia to Florida and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

It was a policy that had radically altered the previous administration's five-year energy plan to drill in certain areas of Alaska and offshore in California.

To a native son of an OPEC nation like Texas, it doesn't make sense until you look at what else is on the table where they trade horses for money, marbles and chalk.

On the same day, the President had an intimate conference in the Roosevelt Room with Congressional leadership, then adjourned for even more in-depth discussions with key Democratic and Republican leaders in an informal back office conference with staff.

At issue is the extension of income tax cuts arranged in 2001 and across the board budget cuts designed to curb the runaway national debt. Will they be permanent and will the tax cuts be extended for people who gross more than $250,000 each year?

Good question.

Either way, you don't develop a massive new oil field within the amount of time this administration has left to run. People who put that kind of money on the pass or fade line – after all, it's one of the most spectacular gambles in the world – need to know what to count on and clearly this is not one those times.

So, what happened to the President's bold new energy initiative, the one he announced two years ago that was supposed to shift the nation from a dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one of domestically produced oil and alternative energy sources?

A blowout on a foreign-built platform chartered by a foreign-owned petroleum company threw the deal into a tailspin.

Suddenly, the President had a whole new idea. “We need to know the facts before we allow deep water drilling to continue,” he said when he suspended all Louisiana and Texas offshore deep water projects. A U.S. District Court in New Orleans slapped that one down, but the offshore fields of Virginia, Florida, and the eastern Gulf remained – for awhile.

The rest is going to be history and it's unfolding before our eyes.

The key to a Texan's perception of matters is to keep in mind that the technology that makes it all possible was developed here, in the east Texas oil fields at Longview, by LeTourneau Technologies, Inc. If it wasn't for that kind of entrepreneurial gamble, there would be no such problems to deal with and that's a fact.

Looks like it's going to be a long couple of years, to say the least.

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