Thursday, June 19, 2008

Maurice Hinchey: Let's Make Oil Companies Publicly Accountable

Our Congressman continues to make us proud in Washington. Congressman Hinchey's press conference discussed on your world w/ Cavuto today.


Anonymous said...

It's time to return our Congressional Seat to the public. Vote Hinchey OUT!!

I'm a hardcore conservative, and I approve this message!!!!!

Old' Salty Goldwater Conservative

Anonymous said...

Why don't we make all industry, nationalized companies? I think if we actually look at the price of milk for example 4.17 a gallon. The farmers are price gouging here and nobody cares. The obscene profits of this industry has to be stopped. Look at the profits of the automotive industry it is disgusting. The housing industry is really off the wall. A socialist nation is what is advocated by the congressman from Saugerties. Everybody equal and business controlled by government. I think congressman Hinchey is out of touch with America.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me. Why don't we just thaw out Stalin and let him run the country. The democrats have always kept their communist tendancies low key, till now. What makes you think that the government who can't do a single thing for less than triple the cost of the private sector, can run the oil industry.
I have an idea why don't we stop letting investors buy oil futures on credit with only 10% cash down. Or better yet make them take delivery of the oil that they are tying up in the market. Both of these ideas are bills in congress right now, which would put a big hole in the oil bubble, without letting an even bigger bunch of money grubbing irresponsible idiots (namely government) get a hold of the oil industry which is already filled with idiots that are bleeding us dry.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that is a great idea, let the government regulate the production of oil. They have done such a stand up job regulating everything else.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

Make us proud? A government takeover of refineries is called Communism.

Anonymous said...

What next Blaber, national the telephone and Internet system too?

Oh and while we are at it lets nationalize the farming industry and the grocery stores too.

Get real!

Anonymous said...

Make us proud? I'm just glad news organizations simply tag Hinchey with, "Representitive from NY", and not give away where in NY.

Blaber, you will never see a penny of Social Security. Why do you think the government could run oil any better than SS?

Anonymous said...

It can't be worse than what the private sector has done to oil.

Anonymous said...

There are, I think, certain instances where we have no choice but for our government to step in to establish oversight and to regulate industry. Note that if we had left it up to private enterprise and the profit motive, most Americans in rural areas would not have electricity, phones or much else of civilization because there simply isn't enough profit in it. Clearly government has a duty to the nation to ensure public utilities and important resources like fuel and heating oil are delivered to the American public at reasonable prices that preserve profitablilty without obscene windfall profits that will sap too much vitality out of our national economy. There is a real danger that Americans will not be able to afford fule to get to work or to heat their homes. Does anybody really think we should allow small businesses to close because employees cant get to work or American citizens, including children and seniors, to freeze this winter because fuel is not affordable? That's not my idea of a strong and free America.

On the comments here about socialist versus conservative, let's review what the US Constitution which established the purposes of our government. In the preamble, there were identified six (6) specific functions: 1)to form a more perfect Union, 2)establish Justice, 3)insure domestic Tranquility, 4)provide for the common defence, 5)promote the general Welfare, and 6)secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

It seems to me that social security and medicare are examples of our federal government promoting "the general welfare" in a manner consistent with constitutional intent. In our nation - "the greatest on earth" - we even call assistance to the poor "welfare."

Likewise, I think there is an argument to be made for regulation or nationalization of the oil indistry to "insure domestic Tranquility" and to "promote the general Welfare."

Thanks Congressman Hinchey: Let a responsible debate begin!

Anonymous said...

Wrong it could be a whole lot worse and they have proven it in other things they have tried to regulate.

Anonymous said...

3:01, de-regulation isn't all its cracked up to be:

When we de-regulated the banking industry, we got the Savings-and-loan scandal which resulted in a federal bail-out.

When we de-regulated air travel, maintenance was cut for aircrafts and wheels came off planes and fell from the sky.

Recently, as a consequence of de-regulated credit, the loans and mortgages made to unfit borrowers led to unprecedented foreclosures, lost equity and homeownership, and property values everywhere are threatened.

I would argue that un-regulated industries have typically created a case study for personal greed at the expense of the public health and safety. Big business has always made big money from the bad judgement of American consumers on unregulated products sold on the free market.

Exhibit one: the so-called "big three" American automobile manufacturers. We have been talking about better fuel economy for our cars since forever- but it will take an act of government to force them to do it. Or, if you prefer, I suppose we can bail out Chrysler again.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

There is a huge difference between regulating an industry and orchestrating a governmental takeover of an industry.

Anonymous said...

This is excellent news! A clear cut difference between McCain and Obama...., between the Republicans and Democrats in the House and between local hardworking people and Hinchey. McCain, the GOP in the House and hardworking people want to Take Action and DRILL domestic oil to increase supply and lower gas prices. Obama, Hinchey and the environmental elites want to tax and tax the oil companies to death......and the oil companies will pass these taxes on to the consumer.

Anonymous said...

This drilling domestically is a joke as well. The amount of oil they would produce is minimal compared to what we use and the time it would take for us to see the benefits is not even relevant to the crisis we are in right now. I would rather see our federal govenment start to mandate the use of alternative fuels especially in new construction of buildings and homes. If they want to regulate something, that is what they should regulate. Any new construction (commercial and residential) should be required to have some level of solar and geo- thermal power to augment their reliance on oil or natural gas. It is obvious we will not go in another direction unless we are forced to.

Imre Beke, Jr. said...

There is no doubt that what is being proposed by Congressman Hinchey is Socialism at its worst. The good Congressman clearly has not considered either the impact on the economy as a whole or the reaction of the voters in this District and throughout the nation. This isn't the first time he has shot from the hip only to hit his own foot.

For those complaining about the "profit motive", that is exactly what keeps our economy (and the world's!) moving. Nobody is going to do anything in any industry unless they know that there is something in it for them. The Soviets and Chinese have proven that beyond any shadow of a doubt. If you tell businessmen that whenever the Government dislikes the way they do business, their companies will be stolen from them, no one will have any motivation to innovate, create and build. That's the end of job growth in America. Our economy will be nothing but ashes.

As to the comments made by 9:31, it is quite obvious that he simply is unaware of the way in which the futures and options markets work. Oil prices are not where they are for economic reasons, but financial market reasons. In other words, this is not an issue of supply and demand. Demand has not risen relative to supply by over three times, as prices have. Speculators have pushed up crude oil prices by buying up oil futures and options, often exploiting Mideast instability to push up prices in order to create artificial profits. An announcement of any major development in the energy field (domestic drilling, major new alternative energy initiatives, increased production by the Saudis and so forth) will cause an almost immediate drop in oil prices as speculators attempt to cash out on their futures. How far in the future we will see actual results is immaterial. The drop will take place because speculators want their profits.

In point of fact, the single greatest profiteer on earth when it comes to making money from oil is the U.S. Government. The Feds make far more money from oil taxes than any oil company does in profits. So, while we are busy blaming them, we end up giving their profits to the Feds through nationalization. If Congressman Hinchey was sincerely worried about Americans not being able to buy oil at decent prices, his first step would be to call for the elimination of all Federal and State fuel taxes. That, however, is not the case. His actions demonstrate that he's worried about one thing: Federal revenues which he and his cohorts can dole out as "earmarks".

By the way, if all of you who oppose domestic drilling because of the time needed to realize any major results were consistent, you would also be opposed to alternative energy research. That, too will take many, many years before yielding fruit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 2:39 and 3:46pm for your gift of logic and common sense...smitty
And for all you Republican Coservatives, I have a quote: "There are times when the Federal Govt must intercede in the public affairs of our nation on behalf of it's population." GUESS WHO? Abe Lincoln/1860
Spoken like a 19th Century Socialist...?

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

Lincoln was referring to the suspension of habeas corpus, not governmental takeover of industry.

Imre Beke, Jr. said...

1:03 -

Just one more example of liberals twisting the words of others. Lincoln said "public affairs" by your own admission. That is, in fact, the job of Government - to administer our public affairs. Socialism is when government takes over our private affairs by nationalizing private property.

Business is NOT a public affair of the nation. Government is NOT competent to administer a business matter. Government is barely able to attend to the matters already entrusted to it. Just look at our roads and our public schools for two perfect examples.

I also notice that no liberal here has yet addressed the point that the U.S. Government already makes more money from oil than any oil company does. The first, most immediately effective step they can take would be to eliminate fuel taxes permanently. Fuel is as much a necessity as food and pharmaceuticals and should never, under any circumstances, be taxed. If that means a drastic cut in the size of government, so be it.

Also, most major corporations, including oil companies, are owned in large part by institutional investors, such as pension funds. Whenever such companies anywhere in the world are nationalized, the owners receive pennies on the dollar (or pound or yen or what have you). Nationalization would mean a major loss in pensions to retirees counting on that income. Apparently, the destruction of Social Security during the 40+ years it was raided over and over again by the Democrat controlled Congress isn't enough for Hinchey. He wants to go after private pension funds, as well.

Government is - by nature - incompetent and far more greedy than any corporation in human history has ever been. That cannot be changed for the better. To give our government another source of revenue by stealing from those who own these companies would be a disaster for us all, both from an economic point of view and from the standpoint of our civil liberties.

Anonymous said...

Damn, this subject is wearing Cahill out. I wonder if he was a faithful viewer (or is on DVD) of "Family Ties" with Michael J. Fox? In just about every way, physically, mentally, and certainly politically, he is Alex P. Keaton. As I recall, Alex was good for quite a few laughs every Thursday after "Cosby."

Anonymous said...

9:03, I reject your premise that the purchase of gasoline and fuel oil is a private business transaction in which government has no proper role. We are not just talking about toys for children made in china - this is about a precious natural resource that is internationally traded. We have no other entity to which we can turn to protect global natural resources, protect and advocate for consumers here in America to ensure we get fair value for the products and services we pay for, and to regulate the cost and availablity of energy.

Anonymous said...

Hi all; Not often that I agree with Imre or Rich, but this country does not need a take over of any public corporation. Socialism or communism- not really-But if we go back to Eisenhower- I believe he coined the phrase, "creeping socialism" . In this 21st Century, we are not sure where we are going, but we are stepping down a steep hill, that might not allow us to go back to the top and start over. It all began with Reagan, and appears to be ending with Bush. Scandal after scandal, Even Dobbs a former Fox newscaster, now on CNN is openly considering reasons for impeachment of Bush, but our Honorable Congressman Hinchey decries this thought. For a local blog to take on the various national problems, Kudos, but beyond that, it is time to really sit down and think what might occur if we really resolved to take over the oil companies. The recent problems with Fannie Mae, and Sally Mae are just the beginning. As one who believes that the sun will come out tomorrow, I can wait. The problem: Is it worth waiting for?
take care- my three cents
Shelly Z

Imre Beke, Jr. said...

11:37 -

You can reject any premise you wish, but I never wrote about whether or not government has a role in regulating gasoline and fuel oil purchases. The subject at hand is Congressman Hinchey's proposal to nationalize the entire oil industry. This is not simple act of regulation. It is the theft of private property: not just the corporation but oil refineries, land, equipment, ships, tanker trucks, entire chains of gas stations and much more.

Yes, I know that when government exercises eminent domain it is supposed to pay a fair price. The problem is, it never does. Just ask the residents of New London, Connecticut or the former owners of Minnewaska (which is a pefect example of eminent domain followed by mismanagement).

Again, the most ominous aspect of this is the wholesale destruction of the value of assets in the pension funds and mutual funds on which many seniors rely. If you nationalize for pennies on the dollar, many of those funds will go belly up and others will lose significant parts of their value.

Furthermore, government can do a great deal to regulate the cost of energy downward (without nationalizing anything) but Congress has refused to do so. They can prohibit speculation in oil futures and options on the commodities markets. They can pass legislation eliminating the fuel tax and compelling the 50 states to follow suit. They can make it easier for oil refineries to be built by eliminating useless and expensive over-regulation.

The reason they do not do so is because their ability to spend our money on earmarks is more important to them than whether or not we freeze this winter.

I again repeat my challenge to our liberal friends to address the fact that the U.S. government makes more money from oil and gasoline than any other entity on the planet. Will you or will you not request immediate relief from Congressman Hinchey and his colleagues in the form of a permanent elimination of all fuel taxes?

That is the litmus test. If your motivation is the ability of the American people to purchase fuel, and you know that Congress can immediately and permanently offer relief, how can you refuse to make that request of our Representatives in Washington?

Anonymous said...

Sorry boys but some NEO CONS have not grasped their own history.

Both Hamilton and Lincoln had the basic insight that the resourses and the power of the national government should facilitate and contribute to a vibrant free market.

Add to that Lincolns simple maxim that we{The State}will do collectively, through the government those things that we cannot do individually or privately.

Inother words we should be guided by what works and not absolutisms.

And Rich ,it had nothing to do with habeas corpus...smitty

Anonymous said...

Smitty, do you just like to hear yourself talk, or write? Hinchey has already denied he called for nationalizing Oil.

Anonymous said...

Yes Rich I do but apparently not as much as you and I can seem to make a point with fewer words and less manure...smitty

Anonymous said...

Many utilities were once publicly owned across the country. Then electric companies, water facilities and hospitals were privatized so now we pay and pay and pay while they bilk even more money from the government with tax break after tax break. That's our money too.

Not-for-profit utilities have a place in a society that values its families and communities. Imagine working families, retirees, and the younger generation just starting out - not having to work 2 jobs just to heat their homes, fill the gas tank or pay such a high cost for food. More time for being responsible members of the community and raising their kids right.

You may feel you are above it all and that the current profiteering doesn't affect you or your family but the shit has only just begun to hit the fan.