Posts Tagged ‘chesapeake energy’

The protests in Wisconsin. The passage of the CR in the House in the dead of night over the weekend. And the continued debate over how to balance the Texas $26 billion budget gap. We kept getting told there are no sacred cows- that all have to share in the burden and pain of budget squeezing.

But realpolitik has shown exactly where the real sacred cows are, while corporate tea party crusaders use the budget crises as a reason to bust unions, raid pensions funds, and slash health services and education budgets, they are leaving intact the tax breaks for oil and gas companies.

Let’s talk Texas first:  a new study out this morning by the Texas Tribune showed that Texans want a balanced approach to fixing the budget.  The single most popular answer was a 50/50 split of revenue enhancements and spending cuts.  However, when you asked people what they wanted to cut spending on, the answer was a resounding NO! to educationTexans say no to budget cuts cuts, NO! to health services cuts, NO! to environmental reg cuts. And when asked where to increase revenue, it was equally sticky.  The single most popular options, the only ones which get over 50% support, was to legalize casino gambling and increase alcohol taxes.  But taxing vice can only get us so far.

One of the things not touched by the poll were the enormous tax breaks we give to the natural gas industry, one which the LBB has suggested eliminating, namely a $7.4 billion tax cut to oil and gas companies using “high cost” wells- which generally means one thing: hydro-fracturing. Fracking is used on areas like the Barnett Shale and has been linked to spoiled water, a cancer cluster located in Flower Mound/Dish, and natural gas turning tap water flammable, and a garden hose into a flamethrower.

At the very least, all of the drilling is producing more air pollution than all of the cars and trucks in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. So to add insult to industry, not only is the drilling on the Barnett Shale ruining families’ homes and making people sick, but we are paying the companies billions of dollars in pork to do it, robbing school children and those who need a hand from social services.

And to kick us even more when we’re down, Chesapeake Energy has the audacity to say if their corporate welfare goes away, they’re going to have to curtail drilling on the Barnett Shale.  From the Star-Telegram’s story:

An executive with Chesapeake Energy told members of the Tarrant County legislative delegation Wednesday that the company would consider curtailing activity in Texas if the exemption is discontinued.

“We’d have to look at it on an individual well basis, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that we would reduce our activity in the state of Texas,” Adam Haynes, senior government affairs director for Chesapeake, said after his appearance before lawmakers. “It certainly affects the Barnett Shale, absolutely.” (more…)

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round upThe Texas Progressive Alliance is ready for the start of the World Series, and it presents to you its weekly highlight reel as we await the first pitch.

quizas of South Texas Chisme wonders about the US detaining a Mexican human rights activist.

WWJD on Carter Avenue? TXsharon wants to know if Chesapeake Energy or anyone in Fort Worth government has stopped to consider the answer to that question. Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Bay Area Houston wonders if the Hispanic community will dump their endorsement of Gene Locke.

WhosPlayin lost a fight with the Lewisville ISD, whose board voted unanimously to define media as print and broadcast only and give itself permission to shut out bloggers. (includes video of meeting)

The Texas Cloverleaf picks up on the “Pay to Play” system, alive and while with Rick Perry and the TABC.

Problems for the Democrats in 2010? Harry Balczak at McBlogger uncovers something that says that’s what we’re exactly heading toward.

Dembones at Eye On Williamson Posts on TX-31 Rep. John Carter’s latest hypocrisy Carter’s income disclosure problem spoils GOP tactic.

Progressive Coalition candidates for Houston city council (and a Socialist running for mayor) are the subject of PDiddie’s post at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at Texas Liberal suggested that voters in Houston consider Progressive Coalition candidates running for Houston City Council. It is hard to see how voting for Democrats year-after-year in city elections has been of great benefit to the people of Houston.

Over at Texas Kaos, libbyshaw provides a public service by providing a Republican hypocrisy score card. Check out her Texas GOP Hall of Hypocrites. You can’t tell the hyprocrites without a scorecard. Wait, you can almost. If there is an “R” beside their names, the odds are better than even….

Off the Kuff notes that a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit between Democrats and the Harris County Tax Assessor’s office over allegations of voter suppression.

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