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loriyacht (34.91)

Increase The Gas Tax to pay for Alt Energy

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November 23, 2008 – Comments (7)

We have a historic opportunity here.  Less than 6 months ago, we were paying over $4 a gallon for gasoline.  Now, it's just under $2 and seems really cheap. 

We should add 10 to 20 cents tax to each gallon which the money going directly to alt energy investment, research, electrical infrastructure buildout, offset tax credits for business and homeowner investment in solar panels, etc. 

The US pumps about 388 million gallons of gas a day.  So, at the 10 cent rate we'd realize about $38,000,000 per day and at 20 cents $76,000,000 per day.  If the price of gas started to rise again, it could be eliminated of course.  I believe that the American people, red or blue, want to get us off our addiction to oil and, after paying the crazy prices of the summer, wouldn't really mind this tax at this time knowing that it would be directed at eliminating this noose around our economy.

If you like the idea, send it to your congress-people and senate-people.  Please.

 

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 23, 2008 at 9:45 AM, leftfield4sure (< 20) wrote:

Historic opptunity yes I am on board with that.Adding a gas tax I will give this a possible consideration at the state level that is;remembering once something is in place it may be difficult to remove.Alternative energy is a great two fold economy build,one being energy independence-more American based output that is footed in this country thus controled here not in a foreign country(economy).Two; an infastructure build creating jobs here the undertaking is massive and could effect all segements of the American economy read up on the green super highway,the rebuilding of the power grid has to be first ahead of the supply of this alternative energy producing jobs that inject money into American Manufacturing to lower or maintain the cost of energy resulting in basicaly a dividend to the American people for their investment.Id say downright revolutionary in its implications;perhaps even providing that magical hope the belife that the game is on take you position we can do this!

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#2) On November 23, 2008 at 11:13 AM, MarketBottom (28.57) wrote:

I would hope it would turn out better than the INFORMATION SUPER HIGHWAY. Alternative wind and solar are only a supplement, as both are not dependable.

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#3) On November 23, 2008 at 11:57 AM, jgseattle (26.56) wrote:

I did not do the math but the easier way to see a gas tax is every penny raise or fall in gas prices is $1.3.-1.7B in savings or spend per year.  (depends on miles driven)

I hate to say this since I am a BIG beliver in alt energy and in I do not like deficit spending, but now is not the time to create such a regressive tax.

I do like the pay-go policy, but right now we need stimulus and if you take with one hand to give with another the stimulus is limited. 

 

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#4) On November 23, 2008 at 12:29 PM, Option1307 (30.38) wrote:

Valid point, but this will never fly. People are broke with or without "cheap" gas and are very reluctant to increase taxes on anything.

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#5) On November 23, 2008 at 1:29 PM, garyc27 (< 20) wrote:

I agree with the idea of increasing the tax on motor fuels while the price of oil is lower and appears to most likely further decline.  I agree with MarketBottom that both wind and solar are unreliable. 

 

Wind Power Problems:

Denmark (population 5.3 million) has over 6,000 turbines that produced electricity equal to 19% of what the country used in 2002. Yet no conventional power plant has been shut down. Because of the intermittency and variability of the wind, conventional power plants must be kept running at full capacity to meet the actual demand for electricity. Most cannot simply be turned on and off as the wind dies and rises, and the quick ramping up and down of those that can be would actually increase their output of pollution and carbon dioxide (the primary "greenhouse" gas). So when the wind is blowing just right for the turbines, the power they generate is usually a surplus and sold to other countries at an extremely discounted price, or the turbines are simply shut off.

 Europe, wind turbines produced on average less than 20% of their theoretical (or rated) capacity.  In the U.S., the Searsburg plant in Vermont averages 21%, declining every year. This percentage is called the load factor or capacity factor. The rated generating capacity only occurs during 100% ideal conditions, typically a sustained wind speed over 30 mph. As the wind slows, electricity output falls off exponentially.  In high winds, ironically, the turbines must be stopped because they are easily damaged. Build-up of dead bugs has been shown to halve the maximum power generated by a wind turbine, reducing the average power generated by 25% and more. Build-up of salt on off-shore turbine blades similarly has been shown to reduce the power generated by 20%-30%. Solar Power Problems:Drawbacks of solar energy include high initial cost, and the need for large spaces. Also, for most solar energy alternatives, productivity is subject to the whims of air pollution and weather, which can block sunlight. Above all, as a nation, we need a comprehensive energy plan that includes fossil fuels, renewable fuels such as; wind, solar, and bio-mass, and nuclear energy.  Before any tax is implemented, there must be; 1) Legal assurances that such tax will be used only for the purpose of research; and 2) a timetable with benchmarks to assess our ability transition from fossil fuels to more eco friendly fuels based on that research.

  

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#6) On November 23, 2008 at 7:29 PM, Gingerbreadman55 (26.44) wrote:

Oil Problems:

Dependant on countries we call names like "axis of evil" or who "harbor terrorists" etc etc

Requires big tankers to ship, danger of piracy

Comes from nations who can band together to keep prices high if they want

Major oil spills <-->

Peak Oil <--- note the"best case" timeline

Oh, and CO2 and all that other good stuff

 

I currently attend a big university for engineering, one of the top in the country actually. They are driving over and over into our heads the energy problem that faces the world. If oil dependancy (and decline of) is such an important thing that I have one seminar each year dedicated to it, I imagine this is pretty real.

I'm not saying wind and solar are perfect, nor nuclear. But we have to deal with it to make it better (if possible). It may even be that the era of cheap ENERGY is going away, and soon the norm may be that even the rich have to worry about how long they leave their lights on or how much they heat their homes.

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#7) On November 24, 2008 at 10:16 AM, Gemini846 (35.43) wrote:

I'm surprised that states didn't want to jump on this when things were booming. We saw gas in 2005 spike up to $2 and I was wondering then why they didn't make it % based rather than a flat $/gal. At $2/gal a 35c tax is 17.5% but at $4/gal its 8.75%.

Since gas taxes normally go to thing like roads (I know states re-appropriate money) and the costs of roads are dependant on petroleum this only makes sense. Maybe some of these bridges that are falling apart could be repaired with this tax money.

I don't think anyone would care about paying 10c more at the pump. HOWEVER there are 2 factors here:

1) We don't trust our government with the money because they have a bad history of not doing as they should.
2) We don't trust our government with the money because they have a bad history of not doing as they should.
3) Possibly also.. we don't trust our government because they move money around for thier pet projects and interests rather than funding the things the tax is designed to pay for.

We don't want more taxes. We DO want fiscal responsibility. The problem is that most people can't keep thier own house in order much less someone elses money.

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