gas tax

Posted October 5th, 2006 by Sylvia S Tognetti and filed in Funk from the Swamp

For awhile I wondered if I was going to have to wipe egg off of my face for the casual remark with which I started off a recent post, about the coincidence between falling gas prices and election season. There are apparently other reasons gas prices go down at this time of year, for example, driving
less
. My main concern was the lack of incentives to get serious about making a transition, not only to renewable energy sources, but also to more public transportation and smarter development patterns, which won’t happen if prices hover below the breaking point, regardless of whether it is because prices drive down consumption or are manipulated to drive up consumption, or both. But apparently Bush believed there was a relationship between falling gas prices and elections in 2004. According to Bob
Woodward’s book
, he personally thanked Prince Bandar, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States, “because the Saudis had flooded the world oil market and kept prices down in the run-up to the 2004 election.” But click the link and read the rest of the review – I might have to actually read the book.

There is also some good discussion going on in the blogosphere about the merits of a gas tax. There is even a Pigou Club of those who advocate it. I haven’t asked to join the club because my support for it is contingent on having the trust and confidence that it would be spent to support a transition to alternatives instead of more highways that connect nowhere to nowhere. Funds earmarked for conservation have a
way of getting diverted to resolve more immediate budget crises. I’ll probablay come back to this after I read the history of the gas tax that Kevin Vranes provided a link to. But right now I have to pack for another trip.

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