Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Full Tank of Political Hypocrisy

I recently had a post about why $5 per gallon gas would be good for America, because the higher the price and the longer gas stays expensive, the greater the conservation, and the greater the chance we'll someday see viable alternatives. In today's Washington Post, Robert Samuelson has an excellent, related article ("A Full Tank of Hypocrisy"):

It's one of those delicious moments when Washington's hypocrisy is on full and unembarrassed display. On the one hand, some of America's leading politicians condemn high gasoline prices and contend that they stem from "gouging" by oil companies. On the other, many of the same politicians warn against global warming and implore us to curb our use of fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

Guess what: These crowd-pleasing proclamations are contradictory. Anyone fearful of global warming should cheer higher gasoline prices, because much higher prices represent precisely the sort of powerful incentive needed to push consumers toward more fuel-efficient vehicles and to persuade the auto industry to produce them in large numbers. Bravo for higher prices!

And Samuelson concludes,
Americans want to stop global warming. They want to cut oil imports. They want cheaper energy. Who will tell them that they can't have it all? Not our
"leaders."


2 Comments:

At 5/31/2007 8:33 AM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

The politicians would rather increase the gas tax à la Europe to discourage consumption.

Increasing prices: BAD.
Increasing taxes: GOOD.

It's madness I tell you. Madness.

 
At 6/10/2007 5:52 PM, Blogger Kalyan said...

Right On, Carpe Diem! In fact if gas prices fully reflected the onerous effects of cars on our planet such as carbon dioxide emissions and all the other unpleasant effects conveniently shoved under the rug under the label of 'externalities,' I estimate that gas prices would be approximately $15 a gallon or more. Indeed this is not far from what we currently pay in Europe.

Kalyan, Nottingham, England.

 

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