Leading newspaper calls for 50 cents per gallon federal gas tax

by William Yeatman on August 17, 2004

in Blog

The Christian Science Monitor (Aug. 13) has endorsed a policy of increasing the price of gas by means of a 50 cents per gallon federal tax.

It says, While the higher oil prices have dampened economic growth, they do serve two useful purposes.  They’re another wake-up call that available crude-oil reserves are expected to decline by mid-21st century.  And they’re a reminder that the best incentive for switching to alternative energy sources or better conservation is to keep oil prices highand, most of all, steadily high.

The editorial concludes, Imagine if the US had had a decade of a 50-cent or higher add-on to the gas tax.  Fewer people would have bought SUVs.  Roads would be less crowded.  Suburban sprawl would be slower.  Air pollution would be less.  In all, the US would be further along in moving away from an oil-based economy, which it needs to do quickly.  So go ahead and wince once at the high oil prices. But then think twice about how the collective sacrifice of a higher gas tax could bring about a shift from oil by choice and foresight, rather than by last-minute necessity.


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