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Obama To End Big Oil, Start Carbon Credits

From those champions of Mother Earth at Reuters:

Obama eyes active role in oil markets

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Barack Obama would take an active role in U.S. oil markets as president, tackling concerns about the dominance of large oil companies and eyeing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a potential weapon to combat high prices, his top energy adviser said.

Jason Grumet, the presidential hopeful’s key energy and environmental policy aide, told Reuters this week that an Obama administration would crack down on any competition lapses in the sector that have resulted from big corporate mergers.

Grumet also said Obama would seek to link a future U.S. carbon emissions trading system with the European Union’s scheme as soon as possible while focusing attention on China and India in forging a global warming pact…

He said an Obama administration would examine “whether these mergers and consolidations have decreased competition in a way, concentrated market power in a way, that is undermining to consumers.”

Grumet declined to identify specific companies and would not comment on whether Obama would seek to break up dominant players. Leading U.S. oil firms include ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and ConocoPhillips.

“It is premature to try to articulate what the remedy is,” Grumet said. “There are indications that there could be some problems there and … the (Bush) administration has been a bit asleep at the switch, so we would be digging into those questions aggressively.”

With oil prices at record highs, Grumet said Obama would seek to tax the “windfall” profits that oil companies are making – a threat that Clinton has also made

Obama would also consider tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down prices while recognizing that such a move is normally meant to aid in the case of an acute supply disruption, Grumet said…

Grumet said Obama was extremely concerned about high oil prices as well as speculation in the markets. But he rejected claims that environmental restrictions were to blame for insufficient oil refining capacity, saying oil companies had kept it that way in order to make refining profitable.

Obama has said a key factor in bringing oil prices down and fighting climate change will be tackling the transport sector and increasing the fuel economy of cars.

Grumet said Obama supported a global carbon market and would seek to link a U.S. emissions trading system with the established European one “as soon as possible,” though he would make establishing a U.S. program to fight warming and agreeing to an international climate change treaty his top priorities

Given Mr. Obama’s extensive expertise in these fields, the markets will surely find this tremendously reassuring. (At least Mrs. Clinton claims to have played the cattle futures market.)

And certainly this is the ideal time to start forcing us to deal in “carbon credits.” (Of course the reality is that they want to push these things through before too many people realize what a scam it all is.)

By the way, isn’t forcing people to drive smaller, lighter and therefore less safe cars “blood for oil”?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 20th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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