Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘gas tax holiday’

This week’s Senate deliberations on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Bill, made for a fascinating display of high-level politics psychology, all viewable on YouTube:

Yet another display of kindergarten squabble, this time from the Senate Republican Minority – with a few exceptions – How else would you call the ridiculous request of subjecting colleagues to a whole day of reading of a 500 page document?

Per Reuters, ‘Environmental groups were jubilant, even as the bill was defeated . “Today’s vote sets the stage for a new president and Congress to enact strong legislation that will more effectively build a clean energy economy and prevent the worst consequences of global warming,” a coalition of green groups, including Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation and Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

I am not sure I can share such enthusiasm. That is placing a lot of hope in our new president, and in the Congress. It will require new anti-lobbying legislation, to minimize the power of the special fossil fuel interests, over our senators and congressmen. Also, climate change does not respond well to our human attempts at bargaining for more time. Every day counts, at this point.

Again, I ask myself the question of why? Why, would otherwise, well meaning, intelligent people engage in such destructive acts as denying their constituents the chance of a healthy place to live? All I can think of, is that these climate denying senators are the victim of terrible misinformation, on the part of lobbyists, and the Bush administration. They obviously do not understand the realities of climate science and economics. They may also be seduced into cheap populism, the same way Hillary Clinton tried to rally popular support with her gas tax holiday proposal. All in all, not a pretty picture, and one that raises issues of political ethics.

The solution, besides pushing for more Democratic representation in both houses? Maybe introducing climate change on the agendas of both Senate and House Ethics Committees? And asking that the next rounds of climate debates be preceded by introductory sessions on climate ethics.

Read Full Post »

First was this picture in the San Francisco Chronicle, of a ‘Pray-in at San Francisco gas station asks God to lower prices’. I almost choked!

Then came Hillary Clinton and John McCain‘s joint request for a “gas tax holiday“:

Hillary will impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the money to temporarily suspend the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax and the 24.4 cent per gallon diesel tax during the upcoming peak summer driving months.

I understand Hillary is trying really hard to get elected, but still . . .

I have to join Thomas Friedman in his ‘Dumb as we wanna be‘ lament:

The McCain-Clinton proposal is a reminder to me that the biggest energy crisis we have in our country today is the energy to be serious – the energy to do big things in a sustained, focused and intelligent way. We are in the midst of a national political brownout.

At the roots of this environmental policy fiasco is a lack of understanding of some basic economics principles, and malicious efforts on the part of politicians to appeal to the crowds’ dumbness. Maybe someone should take the time to explain, in plain English, why artificially lowering gas prices is not such a good idea. Robert Reich summarized it best:

McCain and HRC are proposing a tax holiday on gas – so this summer you wouldn’t pay the 18 cents a gallon that would otherwise go to Uncle Sam. Talk about dumb ideas. This will only encourage Americans to drive more, thereby increasing demand and causing gas prices to rise even higher. Driving more will also put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which fuels global warming. And this will cost taxpayers some $10 billion. It’s a cheap political gimmick that does nothing to stem the rising price of oil.

Someone needs to sit down with Americans, and treat them as intelligent people, and explain how things really work. The answer is not in lowering gas prices. The real solution is in conservation, and learning new ways to deal with gas, as in carpooling, driving less, biking, walking, taking public transportation, shopping less, better planning, living more locally, buying more fuel efficient cars, etc.

Read Full Post »