Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Oil industry desperate to keep cars on welfare

Grist: "The Kochs make their money largely in fossil fuels. They, and other backers of conservative pressure groups, oppose the gas tax because they see it as a disincentive for driving. The Kochs especially hate public transportation because it gives their consumers an alternative to driving. Taxing emissions is the way to recover some of those costs from the polluters themselves. Taxing just gasoline is a poor substitute for taxing CO2, but it’s a start. The gas tax should be set high enough to bring in more revenue than we need for highway construction and maintenance, because it should also give us money to compensate for the cost of car pollution. That extra revenue should go towards programs that liberate us from dependence on cars, like mass transit. Without an adequate gas tax, we’re all subsidizing driving, first by paying for the roads with general tax revenues and then again by sticking society with the health care and lost business costs from smog and climate change."