$482 Billion Deficit on Gerlach’s Watch
July 31, 2008
MALVERN, PA – On Monday, President Bush predicted that the next President would inherit a record $482 billion deficit in 2009. According the New York Times, this staggering figure doesn’t even account for military costs in Iraq and Afghanistan, another economic stimulus package, or losses in tax revenues [The New York Times, 7/30/08]. While Washington continues to spend billions of dollars a month in Iraq, give tax breaks to people making over $300 thousand a year, and subsidize the oil companies, Americans are contending with the rising price of gas, a stagnant economy, and soaring healthcare costs.
VOTE CHECK: Big Oil Agenda
Jim Gerlach has accepted over $100,000 in campaign contributions from Big Oil and repeatedly voted to subsidize the oil and gas industry.
Gerlach Voted for Final Energy Bill that Gave Billions to Oil, Gas and Nuclear Industries
In 2005, Gerlach voted for the energy conference report that exempts oil and gas industries from some clean-water laws, streamlines permits for oil wells and power lines on public lands, and helps the hydropower industry appeal environmental restrictions. One obscure provision would repeal a Depression-era law that has prevented consolidation of public utilities, potentially transforming the nation's electricity markets. It also includes an estimated $85 billion worth of subsidies and tax breaks for most forms of energy -- including oil and gas, "clean coal," ethanol, electricity, and solar and wind power. The bill included $2 billion for "risk insurance" in case new nuclear plants run into construction and licensing delays. And nuclear utilities will be eligible for taxpayer-backed loan guarantees of as much as 80 percent the cost of their plants. The bill passed, 275-156. [HR 6, Vote #445, 7/28/2005; Washington Post, 7/30/05; Passed 275-156; R 200-31; D 75-124; I 0-1]
Gerlach Voted Against Bill that Would Repeal Big Oil’s Tax Breaks
In 2007, Gerlach voted against H.R. 2776, a bill that would add energy derived from waves, tides, ocean currents, free flowing rivers, free flowing canals, and other marine sources to the list of qualified energy sources for the purpose of claiming renewable energy credits, unless diversionary structures such as dams or impoundments are used (Sec. 102). This bill also repeals the 9 percent tax deduction for income attributable to "the sale, exchange, or other disposition of oil, natural gas, or any primary product thereof" (Sec. 301). The House passed the bill 221-189. Republicans voted 9-178 (Vote # 835, 8/4/07). NOTE: This bill was appended to the end of an omnibus bill H.R. 3221, which passed the House 241-172 and Gerlach voted in favor of H.R. 3221. Republicans voted 26-163 (Vote # 832, 8/4/07).
For a Second Time, Gerlach Voted Against Bill that Would Repeal Big Oil’s Tax Breaks
In 2008, Gerlach voted against H.R. 5351, a bill that would extend tax credits for wind facilities, closed loop and open loop biomass facilities, geothermal and solar facilities, small irrigation power facilities, landfill gas facilities, trash combustion facilities, and hydropower facilities for three years (Sec. 101). The bill creates new "clean renewable energy" bonds and designates a $2 billion limit on those bonds, which would be allocated to qualified projects of public power providers and cooperative electric companies (Sec. 104). It also prevents tax deductions to major integrated oil companies for income resulting from the domestic production of oil and gas (Sec. 301). The bill passed the House 236-182. Republicans voted 17-174 (Vote # 84, 2/27/08).