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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Why pump prices need to stay high

Why pump prices need to stay high

The Christian Science Monitor
Mon May 12, 4:00 AM ET


Driving less? More than two-thirds of car owners already are. It's a natural reflex to $50-$70 tank fill-ups. But US drivers may also know it's time to pay a price to curb global warming. That may be one reason they reject the campaign stunt of urging a holiday for the federal gas tax.

US politicians can't have it both ways. Most seek the type of solutions for climate change that would raise energy costs, yet they are now trying to prevent the very kind of high pump prices that help drive conservation and green technology.

Next year, Democrats in Congress plan to pass antiglobal-warming measures that are sure to drive up consumer costs. Rather than prevent $4-a-gallon gas now, legislators should welcome it. One courageous lawmaker, John Dingell (D), who heads the House energy panel, even proposes a 50-cent hike in the gas tax.

World oil markets are doing the US a favor by imposing a form of tax that challenges energy profligacy and disregard for the planet's future. A gas price threshold has now been reached to influence behavior. SUV sales are down. Mass transit ridership and carpooling are up. More people want to live closer to work.

What do these lifestyle-altering trends signal? That Congress must impose a "carbon" tax on fossil-fuel use, from electric utilities to home furnaces to gas-guzzling vehicles.

Such a tax is a better tool than the alternative favored in Congress: a "cap and trade" system that would force only industries to curb greenhouse gases while allowing cleaner companies to sell permits to more polluting ones. The system is complex, inflexible, and easily abused.

A carbon tax (with progressive rebates for the poor) would directly make lawmakers accountable for taking action on global warming, while providing revenue for innovation in clean energy. In a February report, the Congressional Budget Office found a carbon tax would be five times more effective in reducing carbon emissions than a cap-and-trade market.

Is there a model for a carbon tax? Yes, Sweden has had one since 1991. While it has not been perfectly implemented, the Nordic nation of 9.2 million people has seen a 9 percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions – more than required under the Kyoto treaty – while maintaining a healthy economy and becoming a "clean tech" leader. A German environmental group finds Sweden has done the most of all countries to protect the climate. It also helps that the country relies on nuclear and hydro power for all its electricity.

Sweden, of course, has done more than simply tax fossil fuel. It's created bicycle lanes, encouraged "green" cars and buses, favored heat pumps over oil furnaces, put a toll on driving in Stockholm, and invested in renewable energies and recycling of waste heat, among other steps. The government now taxes vehicles based on carbon dioxide emissions rather than weight, helping Sweden become the leader in Europe in reducing carbon emissions from new cars.

The initial reason for a carbon tax was Sweden's dependency on imported fossil fuel. Now its success in improving national energy security has made it a global model for achieving climate security.

Most of all, Swedes still welcome the tax. Americans can accept a similar sacrifice rather than trying to roll back prices at the pump.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 04:21 PM
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 04:31 PM
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Man induced climate change is a hoax. That is all.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 04:34 PM
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 05:08 PM
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its bullshit all bullshit it aint right



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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 05:19 PM
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I think that the work that the folks in Sweden have done to improve things is great. But, I get frustrated with reports that imply that the US should do these things, just as rapidly. When you compare countries that are the size of New Jersey to the entire United States, you see what I'm talking about. In addition, the US has so many states and counties that it takes forever for all of them to agree and then implement any major change. An example are smoking laws. I currently live in Pennsylvania but I'm from New England originally. People are still smoking up a storm in bars and restaurants here in PA. Many restaurants don't even have non-smoking sections. Yet, in most of New England, smoking is banned in public places. PA has brought this up year after year and still, no change. I can't imagine that if PA can't pass a public health issue like banning smoking that any other issue would move any faster. See what we're up against?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 05:29 PM
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I'm beginning to worry how much tax I'll have to pay to exhale. Maybe I can trade for some excess capacity not being used by someone with COPD.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit188 View Post
I think that the work that the folks in Sweden have done to improve things is great. But, I get frustrated with reports that imply that the US should do these things, just as rapidly. When you compare countries that are the size of New Jersey to the entire United States, you see what I'm talking about. In addition, the US has so many states and counties that it takes forever for all of them to agree and then implement any major change. An example are smoking laws. I currently live in Pennsylvania but I'm from New England originally. People are still smoking up a storm in bars and restaurants here in PA. Many restaurants don't even have non-smoking sections. Yet, in most of New England, smoking is banned in public places. PA has brought this up year after year and still, no change. I can't imagine that if PA can't pass a public health issue like banning smoking that any other issue would move any faster. See what we're up against?
Dude it's all in the $$. Make it expensive enough and you will see consumption drop.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit188 View Post
I think that the work that the folks in Sweden have done to improve things is great. But, I get frustrated with reports that imply that the US should do these things, just as rapidly. When you compare countries that are the size of New Jersey to the entire United States, you see what I'm talking about. In addition, the US has so many states and counties that it takes forever for all of them to agree and then implement any major change. An example are smoking laws. I currently live in Pennsylvania but I'm from New England originally. People are still smoking up a storm in bars and restaurants here in PA. Many restaurants don't even have non-smoking sections. Yet, in most of New England, smoking is banned in public places. PA has brought this up year after year and still, no change. I can't imagine that if PA can't pass a public health issue like banning smoking that any other issue would move any faster. See what we're up against?
You pay Federal income tax right? Does the size of the U.S. prevent that from being legislated and collected?

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" - Seneca
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cmitch View Post
Man induced climate change is a hoax. That is all.
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