Boxer Indifferent to Effect of Higher Oil/Gas Taxes

      If you’re an oil executive or just drive a car, you have to be especially concerned about Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) feelings about oil companies.

     Although a global warming/cap-and-trade bill that she co-sponsored – which would have been also very costly for oil companies – was defeated by Senate Republicans on June 6, Boxer is willing to resort to any means necessary to be “free of” oil companies.

     That includes making gas prices increase across the board for Americans, she said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” June 11.

       “I don’t think you go after one business or another, but you got to treat everybody fairly,” Boxer said. “What happened is – in the Bush administration years, they gave $17 billion in additional cuts to the oil companies. We’re saying – we ought to take that back and invest it in technologies.

     “And I heard you earlier saying that would be passed on to the consumer,” Boxer added. “The oil companies pass everything on to us, you know. Tax-breaks, no tax-breaks – we’ve got to get off this addiction and when we do, we’ll be free of them. That’s how I look at it.”

     According to American Petroleum Institute President & CEO Red Cavaney, the oil companies have made their fair share of investments into “renewable and alternative” sources of energy – far more than the federal government has under the legislative direction of Boxer, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

     “Over the last five years in North America alone, we have invested $12 billion in renewable, alternative and advanced non-hydrocarbon technologies,” Cavaney said in a February 2007 speech to at the National Press Club. “In fact, when you add up all of the various types of emerging energy technologies, our industry, over the five years, has invested almost $100 billion – that’s more than two and half times as much as the federal government and all other U.S. companies combined.”

      Earlier on the show, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough made the assertion that these tactics don’t work. He said if you tax oil companies at a higher rate, they will just pass the cost on to the consumer. He likened it to socialism.

     “Something about socialism – it just never works. We keep trying to tweak it, it just doesn’t work,” Scarborough said following a report that the Senate Democratic measure to tax oil companies more was blocked by Senate Republicans. “It does look really good on paper. I’m tired and lazy, I don’t want to work – you work for me. That looks good on paper to me.”

     On June 10, one of Boxer’s colleagues, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, suggested on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that a windfall profits tax should be imposed on the oil companies and should be mandated as alternative energy investments or as a rebate to consumers.