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Headlines More Freebies for Halliburton and Friends

voiceofreason

Seeker of Truth
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In a letter to Speaker Hastert, Rep. Waxman writes that after the
energy legislation was closed to further amendment in the recently concluded conference, a $1.5 billion provision benefiting oil and gas companies, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas, was mysteriously inserted in the text.

The text of the letter is below:

The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H232 Capitol
Washington, DC 20515-6501

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I am writing to draw to your attention a provision in the Energy Conference Report that
raises serious procedural and substantive concerns. At its essence, this provision is a
$1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas. The
provision was inserted into the energy legislation after the conference
was closed, so members of the conference committee had no opportunity to consider or
reject this measure. Before the final energy legislation is brought to the House
floor, this provision should be deleted.

The provision at issue is a 30-page subtitle called "Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional
Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources." This subtitle, which was taken from the
House-passed energy bill, was mysteriously inserted in the final energy legislation
after the legislation was closed to further amendment. The conferees were told that they
would have the opportunity to consider and vote on the provisions in the conference
report. But the subtitle was not included in the base text circulated to conferees, and
it was never offered as an amendment.

Instead, the new subtitle first appeared in the text of the energy legislation only
after Chairman Barton had gaveled the conference over. Obviously, it would be a serious
abuse to secretly slip such a costly and controversial provision into the energy
legislation.

On the merits, the subtitle is an indefensible giveaway to one of the most profitable
industries in America. The provision establishes a $1.5 billion fund, up to $550 million
of which would be dedicated direct spending, which is not subject to the normal
congressional appropriations process. Although the name of the subtitle refers to
"ultra-deepwater and unconventional natural gas," it appears that the $1.5 billion fund
created by the subtitle can in fact be used for many oil and gas projects. According to
the language of the subtitle, oil and gas companies can apply for funds for a wide
variety of activities, including activities involving "innovative exploration and
production techniques" or "enhanced recovery techniques." While oil and
gas companies could be required to contribute to the costs of their projects, the
subtitle expressly provides that the Department has discretion to reduce or eliminate any
such contribution.

The subtitle appears to steer the administration of 75% of the $1.5 billion fund to a
private consortium located in the district of Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Ordinarily, a
large fund like this would be administered directly by the government.
The subtitle, however, directs the Department to "contract with a corporation that is
constructed as a consortium." The leading contender for this contract appears to be the
Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) consortium, housed in
the Texas Energy Center in Sugar Land, Texas. Halliburton is a member of RPSEA and sits
on the board, as does Marathon Oil Company. The subtitle provides that the consortium
can keep up to 10% of the funds - in this case, over $100 million - in administrative
expenses.

The subtitle further provides that members of the consortium, such as Halliburton and
Marathon Oil, can receive awards from the over $1 billion fund administered by the
consortium.

In short, the subtitle provides that taxpayers will hire a private consortium controlled
by the oil and gas industry to hand out over $1 billion to oil and gas companies. There
is no conceivable rationale for this extraordinary largess. The oil and gas industry is
reporting record income and profits. According to one analyst, the net income of the top
oil companies will total $230 billion in 2005. If Congress has an extra $1.5 billion to
give away, the money should be used to help families struggling to pay for soaring
gasoline prices - not to further enrich oil and gas companies that are rolling in
profits.

In recent years, Congress has been repeatedly embarrassed by the mysterious insertion of
provisions in omnibus legislation. Last year, for example, we learned only after House
action that the 3,000 page, $388 billion omnibus spending bill allowed members and staff
of the Appropriations Committee to examine the tax returns of ordinary
Americans. We should not allow this to happen again. The Energy Conference Report
should not be brought to the House floor until this objectionable provision is deleted and there is ample opportunity for members to read the legislation and delete any
other problematic provisions.

Thank you for your attention to this problem.

Sincerely,

Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Minority Member

cc: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

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This is another crime by the Bush Administration...
 

JLXC

WTF's Official Conspiracy Fanatic
Premium
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#2
While not shocking, it is saddening. Also, the absolute lack of anyone who could do something about it, doing anything about it, forces people into a "who cares" mindset. If there's nothing you can do about it... why not just quit bitching and accept it?

To paraphrase a bit...

"If you steal a candy bar, you are a thief,
If you steal a car, you are a criminal,
If you steal hundreds of millions of dollars, you are a financial genius."
 
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#3
You know what the problem is? It's not that we really don't care. I mean, we all can see just how fucked up it is that someone (or a party of someones) in our governmental representative body lacks the moral courage to do what's right and instead tries to once again..blah blah blah..right?
Here's where we've gone wrong: The majority of Americans don't know enough of how government works because we want everything spoon fed to us and if it doesn't affect what's right in front of our faces, we don't think about it. Well, take it a step further and you'll realize that people have a difficult time comprehending exactly WHY this situation is fucked up other than that it sounds like a sneaky, sleazy thing to do. But how many people can actually figure out how this could/would affect the everyday American going to work and paying his bills and choking on her taxes? Not many, I would venture.
So..we see something that we think is a bit fucked up...but we don't really know what to do about it other than say..."that's fucked up"...or what it really means.
Raise your hand if you think "I HATE BIG MONEY"...now put your hands down if you truly know what you're talking about, and be really honest with yourself. If you truly know why you hate big money, if you TRULY know how things like Halliburton affect this nation and understand the role they paly - right, wrong, or indifferent - then good for you. For those of you with your hands still up, keep reading.
It's less of a matter of people being deceptive and morally inept than it is about them not being held accountable for their actions. America is a place where there are no consequences for your actions and someone else is always to blame.
Holy shit that was a lot longer than I intended it to be.... :sword:
 

JLXC

WTF's Official Conspiracy Fanatic
Premium
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#5
voiceofreason said:
Why not? Because, I'm not a spineless-quitter-loser, like you...that's why...
First off no flaming outside of B&T dumbass. Second, you misunderstood me pretty good there, unless you're just joshing around, which it doesn't look like. I'm bitching about people who think that, not saying I do. Read it.