Page 18 ■ Thursday, March 22, 2012
NATION & WORLD
Obama to Congress: Kill oil industry’s tax breaks
By KEN THOMAS Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pump prices on his mind, President Barack Obama says Congress should kill tax breaks for the oil and gas industry and help develop alterna- tive sources of energy. Obama said March 17 in his weekly ra-
the subsidies when Democrats controlled Congress earlier in his term. Republican presidential candidates
dio and Internet address that he expected Congress to consider in the next few weeks ending $4 billion in tax subsidies, a move he has failed to persuade lawmakers to make during his term. He said the vote would put them on record on whether they “stand up for oil companies” or “stand up for the American people.” “They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century or they can place their bets on America’s future,” Obama said. Industry offi cials and many Republi-
cans in Congress contend that cutting the tax breaks would lead to higher fuel prices, raising costs on oil companies and affect- ing their investments in exploration and production. The measure is considered a long shot, given that Obama couldn’t end
have accused Obama of delaying drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and in a na- tional wildlife refuge in Alaska and faulted him for not advancing the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refi neries. They have also criticized policies pursued by the Environmental Protection Agency as inhibiting energy development. Obama said there is no quick fi x to
BAKKEN BREAKOUT WEEKLY
high gas prices, which climbed to $3.83 on March 16 according to AAA, but he pushed back against critics who say he is opposed to more drilling. He said the U.S. is producing more oil than at any time in the past eight years and has quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs. “If we’re truly going to make sure we’re not at the mercy of spikes in gas prices ev- ery year, the answer isn’t just to drill more — because we’re already drilling more,” Obama said. He said his administration was trying to develop wind and solar power, biofuels and usher in more fuel- effi cient vehicles to make the nation less dependent on oil.
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Schweitzer says GOP wrong on oil development
By MATT GOURAS Associated Press
Schweitzer is touting another round of lucrative state oil leases — and also tak- ing aim at Republican critics. The Montana Land Board on March
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Brian
19 approved a recent round of leases for oil rights to on state land. The state will get $3.5 million for the right to drill on 273 tracts. Schweitzer says the state continues to
do well, although not as well as next door neighbor North Dakota. The governor says Republicans run-
Call 250-8 210 or 1-888-557-2250
ning to replace him are wrong to blame Montana’s taxes or regulations for the disparity. Schweitzer argues North Da- kota has more activity because it has more oil. Former congressman Rick Hill agrees that geology is a big reason. But he ar- gues some burdensome regulations are slowing all areas of the state’s economy — including oil.
Coast Guard prepares for Arctic drilling protests
Coast Guard chief of staff in Alaska says the agency is preparing for pos- sible protests of petroleum drilling in Arctic waters at a port where sup- port vessels may be staged. Capt. Buddy Custard told a legis-
lative committee March 16 in Juneau that the Coast Guard in June will de- ploy small boats in Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands as a law enforce- ment presence. Custard says protests in New Zea- land that targeted a Shell Oil drilling ship leads the Coast Guard to believe that Dutch Harbor may also see pro- tests. He says the Coast Guard will be
ready if protests get out of line. The Juneau Empire reports June
is one of the Dutch Harbor’s busiest fi shing months and the Coast Guard wants to make sure protests don’t in- terrupt commerce.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The
Louis Alonzo is refl ected on a pump as he fi lls up a tank at a gas station in La Habra, Calif., March 16. Gasoline prices rose again March 16 and are now averaging more than $4 in six states plus Washington, D.C.
Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said his constitu- ents have been hard hit by an increase in gasoline prices and were “fed up with the way the president is handling this is- sue, and rightfully so. The most forceful thing the president has done about high gas prices is try to explain that he’s against them.” Gardner said the $800 billion stimulus spending sought by Obama promoted en- ergy companies that went bankrupt, wast- ing taxpayer money.
In the weekly Republican address, Rep.
on what won’t work — and overregulating what would — is it any wonder gas prices have more than doubled on the president’s watch? Make no mistake, high gas prices are a symptom of his failed ‘stimulus’ poli- cies,” Gardner said. Obama is expected to keep up a drum- beat on energy this week, traveling to four states over two days to push his adminis- tration’s “all of the above” energy strategy. The trip includes stops in Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio.
“After spending money we don’t have
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