Tuesday, May 10, 2011
California tries to enter the 20th Century.
The Republican Party tries to hold them back.
It's easy to think that America no longer produces oil, but the fact is we just consume massively more than we produce. We have been in this situation since the 1970s.
According to several sources on the Internet, California is the only oil producing state in the union that does not charge the oil companies for extracting oil out of our land. This is not a Red State/Blue Thing. Texas has an oil extraction fee and uses the revenue to fund schools. Alaska uses theirs for a little socialist trick called the Alaska Permanent Fund, where everybody in the state gets a check for at least a grand every year for doing nothing, courtesy of the oil companies being "robbed" by the gummint.
Extraction fees are the standard across the world, except in California. This is an odd legacy from the days when Standard Oil ran our state like it was a company town.
AB 1326, an assembly bill now being considered in California, is more along the lines of the Texas model than Alaska model. Here is a paragraph I lifted from a recent e-mail from a colleague.
*****The measure " requires that California apply a 15% oil extraction fee on the value of each barrel of oil, California's common resource, extracted onshore and offshore. Following Texas' example of devoting this oil revenue to its appropriated for non-capital purposes in the following amounts: K-12 shall receive 30% (approximately $1.08 billion). The California Community College System (approximately 3,000,000 students) shall receive 48% (approximately $1.72 billion). The California ~State University System (approximately 412,000 students).shall receive 11 % (approximately $400 million). The University of California System (approximately 200,000students) shall receive 11 % (approximately $400 million). This will reduce college and university tuition fees, and restore cut class sections. The funding increases will pay to rehire professors, laid-off teachers, and reduce K-12 class sizes.’ The update (as of May 6) on this tax measure as a bill– AB 1326 – is it was approved on a partisan 5-3 vote in the Assembly Higher Education Committee (Democrats supporting, Republicans opposing) and is now headed to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. It would require a two-thirds vote in both Houses of the Legislature for gubernatorial consideration. *****
As you can see, the lion's share goes to the community college system, which would be a boon to Matty Boy and other people whose paychecks come from community colleges. I don't know if these percentages are "fair", but I know that a revenue system can't be fixed until it is implemented. If you are a California citizen, please call your representatives and ask them to support AB 1326, most especially if your representative is Republican. The oil companies have been taking the oil out of our soil for more than a century now, and it's time we saw some revenue from them for taking an important resource from our commonwealth.