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June 08, 2012 12:29 AM UTC

Fiscal Responsibility, Jared Polis Style

  • by: Colorado Pols

A story from the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Dennis Webb we wanted to ensure got a mention:

A Democratic Colorado congressman Wednesday succeeded in convincing the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives to strip a $25 million oil shale subsidy from an energy and water appropriations bill.

The amendment by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., to remove the funding for oil shale research to reduce the federal deficit passed 208-207.

In Colorado, voting on the amendment split along party lines, with Democrats Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter also supporting it and Republicans Scott Tipton, Doug Lamborn, Mike Coffman and Cory Gardner voting no…

“We shouldn’t be throwing good money after bad on oil shale research that won’t produce energy for the foreseeable future,” Polis said. “Dumping another $25 million of taxpayer money into oil shale research makes no sense when there isn’t commercially viable technology that will turn it into oil and many energy companies consider it such a low priority.”

The Sentinel’s Webb reports that Rep. Jared Polis is not targeting the boom in drilling shale formations like Colorado’s Niobrara for crude oil, but the thus-far vaporware process of commercially extracting kerogen from “oil shale.” The commercial viability of oil shale production is a function of market pricing relative to the higher cost to extract kerogen compared to other forms of energy production. Simply put, if the price of energy reaches a level that makes oil shale kerogen a viable source, it will be developed, no taxpayer dollars necessary.

Interestingly, this is the exact argument the Colorado Republicans who voted against this bill make about publicly funded research into renewable energy–which they of course oppose. The problem is, how is oil shale kerogen any less risky or speculative a research investment than renewable energy? Especially since “oil shale” isn’t renewable?

By a surprising bipartisan vote of 208-207, here’s their answer.


23 thoughts on “Fiscal Responsibility, Jared Polis Style

  1. and what you choose to do with them.

    You can waste everyones’ time making silly ass kiddie porn accusations designed to stifle someones testimony



    You can spend your day finding consensus on how to save the taxpayers 25 million dollars.

    Good job Rep. Polis.  A study in contrasts indeed.

  2. today I watched Jared for a short while on CSpan delivering some very good remarks in opposition to a “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Health Care Act. Man, I like this guy. I hope he doesn’t get bored and/or disheartened

    1. He knows how to efficiently buy the voter and that’s the guy you really want …. he’ll take care of you in the very best sense of the word nanny state.

      1. Don’t talk to us about buying government positions asshole.  Your party is so corrupted by money that you don’t think twice about spending $34 million dollars to hold onto a $200k governors job.

    1. Colo Republican Reps don’t believe what they say they believe. He saved $25 million in tax cash being paid to oil corps in the process. Nice day’s work.

      1. if every member of congress did something like that each day Congress might actually work again.  Instead, he prefers they just talk about it, cash the checks, and blow sunshine up our asses.  

        He has a radically different, and somewhat disturbing, view of government than normal people.

        1. If every member of the House did that, they would cut the $5T deficit by $10.875B.

          Or, .2%

          Wow.  Imagine the possibilities!

          Kumbaya, indeed.

          If you really think $25M makes a difference, it’s you that’s blowing smoke.

          1. Hiking would have to say if Jared had an R in front of his name.  

            Point is, in a GOP majority congress with an approval rate that has recently soared to 17%, Polis got something useful done that required working across the aisle. There’s really nothing here for Hiking to bitch about.  If a D rescued a little old lady in a run away wheel chair from becoming road kill, the usual wingnut suspects would find a way for that to be either a bad thing or at least not good enough.  

            1. because he is a man of high standards. No sir, Rep. Polis clearly did not take out enough of the bullshit O&G corporate welfare that we put in !  He hasn’t wiped our asses enough to clean up this mess THAT WE MADE.  What a complete failure !

        2. what I was going to say about every member of Congress doing the same thing.  $25M times 435 members would be $10.875 billion.  If that much was found every year for recurring charges by every member of Congress, it would be over $500 billion in annual savings after 10 years.  Wouldn’t solve everything but it would mean doing a good job.

    2. Unlike the NRA, which will fight tooth and nail against any bill containing the letters “G-U-N”, for example, it seems the Oil Lobby didn’t think fighting for an amount that is little more than a rounding error in their current $4 billion annual take from the taxpayers was worth it.

      Heck, in 2009, ExxonMobil alone, spent more than that on lobbying!  

    3. You could look at this a few ways:

      1) he’s helping to prevent winners and losers by not giving government money away to an industry that has been saying the same things for over a century while providing no results and that destroyed a Colorado community;

      2) he’s cutting government waste like the time Tipton opposed public transportation funding totaling $9 million for his district, because it included $15K for wifi on the buses;

      3) he’s representing the wishes of his constituents.

  3. He’s one of the few in Congress who actually stands for the people and not the big corporations. Honestly, this guy speaks the truth 95% of the time, which is more than you can say for 99% of congressmen. He’s also the only guy in Congress that actually understands technology…wish we had more Congressmen like him.

  4. Recall that ”Black Sunday’ hit after the subsidies of the Carter administration (synfuels) was pulled by that damn liberal tree-huggin’ commie Ronald Reagan.  Subsidies are exactly the WRONG way to go with this vaporware, never been produced commercially, rock.  Oil companies already control over 3 million acres of the richest oil shale lands in the Green River Formation where they have been busy for decades with still no viable path to production.  There is little other to conclude than CO’s GOP congressional members are just BigOil puppets.  Or too stupid to know better (I am going with two of each…).

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