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April 29, 2005

Comments

dearieme

Might I suggest use of a price mechanism, applied through taxes? Don't cry "regressive" since (1) the really poor don't drive to work, having no jobs (2) you can always rebalance the effect of one tax by adjusting other ones.

rjw

Good post - you're spot on. The obsession of the admninistration with raising supply (eg the ANWR) to the exclusion of proper policy on demand is short sighted, and also not in the US's economic or geopolitical interest. It's also bad for the rest of us if global warming really is the threat that scientists seem to think it is. But what should one expect from an oil man?

Monjo

"What are you Americans doing, drinking the stuff? (Though given what passes for beer in your country, this might not be a bad idea.)"

I remember a similar per capita consumption shown for water on the BBC a few months back. I guess the same joke would apply there too!

Surely from a purely economic PoV if fuel prices rise people use less? So the amount americans spend / barrel and the number of barrels they use will have a sort of equilibrium. The problem is for the past 35 years oil prices have not risen in any correspondance to American wages; and the US Government has no added any taxes to ensure that they would. Of course the price also varies dramatically state to state: California very high, Georgia was stupidly cheap.

Bill

You're right, but comparing a continental country like the U.S. to Germany is apples and oranges. When Clinton tried to raise taxes on carbon in 1993, he lost all the Democrats representing the rural states. When you have to drive 50 to 100 miles to the supermarket, cheap gas becomes important. (Of course, the obvious answer is to return the Great Plains to the bison and Native Americans.)

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