Shaheen's Gas Tax Commercial Talks about the Problem, But Does Not Provide Solutions

By Marshall Cobleigh, former NH Energy Chief

As is usual with poll driven politicians Jeanne Shaheen is running television commercials and writing op-ed pieces addressing the dominant problem facing America sky rocketing gasoline prices, but providing no real solutions. Even worse anyone who knows her history also knows that during her entire career she has been a big part of the problem.

Long time NH residents know that she and I were weekly regulars on Channel 9's Close Up program for ten years and I have many of the tapes of those programs. Those tapes show Shaheen fighting fiercely to hamstring nuclear licensing regulations. They also show her fighting against building an oil refinery in Rochester after the Durham location failed.

In today's world China is scheduled to build 50 Nuclear Reactors by the year 2020; Russia has scheduled to build 26 nuclear reactors; and India is scheduled to build enough nuclear reactors to meet 1/4 of the electricity needs of its one billion people. Meanwhile thanks to Shaheen's and others opposition  the United States has not built a nuclear plant in 31 years. In that same period Europe gets 35% of its electricity from nuclear power; France gets 78% from nuclear power; Lithuania gets 70% from Nuclear and Slovakia gets 56% from nuclear power.

Its the same story when you come to building new efficient refineries. While Shaheen was fighting to hamstring refinery licensing America last built a new refinery when Jerry Ford was President. 

Jeanne Shaheen and the democrats propose tighter regulation of illegal oil price manipulation, ending all speculation on oil futures and a windfall profits tax on oil company profits. Doesn't Jeanne Shaheen remember that when Democrat President Jimmy Carter tried a windfall profit tax it was a miserable failure. Domestic oil production plunged 795 million barrels. Carter and the Congressional democrats predicted tax revenue from their windfall profits tax of $393 billion dollars. It brought in an actual revenue of $80 billion. The non partisan Tax Foundation states that the oil industry since 1981 has had a cumulative $1.12 trillion in profits but it paid $1.65 trillion in taxes.

Shaheen like a stopped clock is often correct once or twice a day and her call for an investigation of possible oil price manipulation makes some sense. However ending all futures trading is ridiculous, it could penalize homeowners, farmers and all kinds of traders, as well as cripple our economy.

We do not need another democrat in Washington. Lets look at the figures Congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri put together. They clearly tell us who caused gasoline prices to sky rocket:  

  • Refinery Increased Capacity House Republicans supported 97%--Democrats 96%opposed.
  • Oil Shale Exploration  Republicans 90% supported--Democrats 86% opposed
  • Coal to Liquid Republicans 97% supported--Democrats 78% opposed.
  • Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) exploration  Republicans 81% support-Democrats 83% opposed
  • ANWR Exploration - Republicans 91% support-Democrats 86% opposed

    A few facts about these issues that Shaheen and the democrats oppose:

    • ANWR is larger than the area of 5 states, Mass. Delaware, Conn.,R.I. and New Jersey and the drilling would be done in an area 1/6th the size of Dulles Airport.
    • Drilling is now being done 60 miles off of Florida, but that drilling is being done by China in cooperation with Cuba. Meanwhile Congress has a moratorium on off shore drilling and we are at the mercy of the mideast shieks.
    • Louisiana has 3200 oil rigs offshore and a a flourishing fishing industry.

    Does this record make you want to send Jeanne Shaheen to the Senate so that she can make it tougher to drill and refine oil and make gasoline prices continue to rise. Yes Jeanne Shaheen always addresses the big issues that her political polls show the American people care about, but her voting record clearly show that she is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    When Jeanne Shaheen started in politics we imported 1/3rd of our oil. Now we import 2/3rds of our oil. Since she and other democrats started fighting for tougher regulations on energy production America's domestic oil production has decreased from 9 billion barrels a day to 5 million barrels a day.

    Jeanne Shaheen talks a good game about high gas prices and alternative energy sources, but her record shows clearly that she has done nothing constructive to solve the problem. Her television ad is a fraud. Its what you do, not what you say that pays off at the gas pump.