Amendment 5 to HR 5325
June 5, 2012
This is the final amendment I will offer on this subject – taken along with the others it removes government from subsidizing energy companies – this one pertaining to fossil fuel industries.
The coal, oil and natural gas industries are profitable and proven and have never had any trouble finding investors to pay for legitimate research.
Once again, I pose the question, why are taxpayers, then, being forced to subsidize research and development for energy companies that have every incentive to pay for it themselves -- if they actually believe it will bear fruit. If it pans out, these technologies have enormous economic value and will richly reward all those who invest in them -- and if they don’t, taxpayers shouldn’t be left holding the bag.
Today the fossil fuels industry has opened a new chapter of clean, cheap and abundant natural gas recovery through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – a process developed almost entirely through private capital.
Our dismal energy situation today is not because of not enough government – it is because of too much government, and the American people have finally figured that out.
We have done enormous damage not only to our energy policy, but to our entire economy by subsidizing inefficiencies, hiding true costs and slanting the competitive field.
If left alone -- prices convey an entire world of data. Imbedded in the price above your local gas station is information on political conditions in the Middle East, refinery capacity in Benecia, bribery rates in Venezuela, what the guy down the street is selling it for, to name just a few. Accurate prices are essential for consumers and investors to make rational decisions about the highest and best use of their dollars.
When government interferes in these decisions through subsidies, it corrupts the data that is necessary to assure that every dollar in the economy is spent to its highest and best use. So it’s not just the cost of the subsidies – it’s the misallocation of resources that those subsidies cause – and that is perhaps the most serious drag of all on our economy.
When government plays this game, risks are masked, inefficiencies go undetected and uncorrected, capital flows from productive to non-productive use and perhaps the most dangerous for a free society, the government begins picking winners and losers. The productive sector becomes more and more beholden to government – and less and less beholden to its customers.
I am told on generally reliable authority that this is what the Republican party is supposed to believe in. The Republican House should stand by these beliefs, and stand by the voters who elected us based on those beliefs.
Amendment offered on June 5, 2012 by Congressman McClintock to H.R.5325 (Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act).