Friday, May 14, 2004

Oil industry officials testifying before the Senate environment and public works committee insisted the reason I paid $1.92 for a gallon of gas yesterday was environmental regulations.
They had charts and everything.

Neither witness said how much of the current price of gas was directly attributable to the regulations. Mr. Slaughter presented a chart showing that crude oil accounts for 46 percent of the price, taxes 24 percent and marketing and distribution 11 percent. That leaves 19 percent for refinery costs, but the chart did not explain what portion could be linked to environmental regulations.

A few troublesome Democrats mentioned that the Emperor's thingy was showing.
While questions from Republicans on the committee, including the chairman, Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, focused on ways regulations might be streamlined to encourage more production, Democrats challenged the industry representatives to explain how oil companies could ask for fewer rules while they were enjoying such high profits.

Senator Inhofe wields his magic gavel....
The difference of approach led to a confrontation between Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Mr. Inhofe and Senator Wayne Allard, Republican of Colorado, as the hearing was concluding after a single round of questions.

Ms. Boxer asked for a second round, only to be rebuffed by Mr. Inhofe, who said he wanted to adjourn. She then asked if, "without objection," she could enter into the record newspaper articles that reflected the robust first quarter earnings reports. Mr. Allard objected, saying that the articles were welcome but that a speech from Ms. Boxer was not.

When she tried to respond, Mr. Inhofe lowered his gavel and ended the hearing.

.......and poof!! Ms. Boxer doesn't exist.

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