[Ed. Note: In this three-part series, Douglas Southgate, an economist and professor at Ohio State University, addresses key issues at the heart of Ecuador’s claims of “reckless environmental damage” against Chevron, and, through them, international oil companies (IOCs). Part II and Part III will address two other charges: that the small, South American nation has benefited little from energy-resource development, and that environmental damage is the responsibility of foreign firms alone. These postings are timely in light of a recent article in The New Yorker, a new book about the construction of a trans-Andean pipeline, and other literature in which IOCs’ actions in Ecuador are criticized.]
Part I in this series challenges the charge from the Ecuadorian régime’s (and its U.S. backers) that:
(1) Ecuador was an innocent seduced by the siren song of Big Oil, and became a vassal to their interests;
(2) Ecuador’s relationship to its oil potential was merely passive; and
(3) Oil development monies did not benefit Ecuador.
The health of our businesses is (or should be) a concern for all of us. As 2012 is still in its infancy, let’s take some time to reflect on new and upcoming regulations. Why? Because regulations are a part of the reason we are stuck between 8 and 9 percent unemployment and why business leaders are so uncertain of our economic future and unwilling to invest in it to create jobs. It’s a vicious circle.
This vicious circle has consequences, as explained by Cynthia Magnuson of the National Federation of Independent Business. She indicated that Washington’s recent policies have worsened the three top concerns among employers: healthcare costs, corporate tax complexity, and increased government regulations. Another business leader suggested that we “need to drain the regulatory swamp.”
Over the past three years, that swamp has gotten deeper.…
If you haven’t heard from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), you probably will.
Ominous, scary ads are running nationwide warning of the crushing blow to American jobs if Congress fails to extend the Production Tax Credit (‘PTC’), the 20-year ‘temporary’ subsidy most credited for market growth in the wind sector. The PTC is due to expire at the end of this year.
Most of the ads target particular House members who, so far, have resisted the industry’s demands for their PTC earmark. The pressure is particularly heated right now as Congress negotiates the payroll tax holiday bill, which is viewed by many as the last best chance to attach an extension of the PTC before November’s presidential election.
AWEA is also leaning on its friends to do its bidding. Politicos from wind-friendly states like Iowa, and Kansas have written letters to members of the Congressional conference committee that’s now hashing out the tax bill.…