Recently, Rep. John Dingell, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced draft legislation to Congress that would add a $.50 tax to each gallon of gas sold in the United States. Why is this such big news across the internet? Because people are screaming about being taxed an additional amount on gasoline, which already has some of the highest taxes of any product. However, I personally think it is a good idea, and here is why.
A $.50 tax on each gallon of gas would go a long way to changing the way people view transportation. If they were thinking of buying a big SUV, for instance, this might make them change their mind because it could cost them an additional $20 per week for gas. It would make people alter their driving habits, perhaps encourage car-pooling, mass transit use and/or bicycling to work. Sure, it may not sound like much…I mean, what is $.50? But $.50 X 15 gallons of gas each week X 4 weeks a month equals an additional $30 per month in gas, or $360 per year. That just might be enough to make people really start thinking about their transportation needs.
When a gallon of milk costs more than a gallon of fuel, you know we are trouble. A gallon of fuel can put you 25 miles away from home, it should cost a lot more than $3.00 or so! I know everyone has been complaining about $3.00 per gallon, but the truth is that gas is very cheap…even with a barrel of oil being up over $80 and hovering around all time highs. For some reason the price at the pump has not reflected this fact yet, but I hope it will soon enough.
I fully support a $.50 per gallon tax…in fact, I wish it were going to be even more. Something has to convince people that they do not need a giant SUV to drive themselves to work in; they do not need a pickup truck if they live in suburbia and have landscapers and gardeners doing the work around their house. Adding $.50 or more to gas prices just to encourage less consumption is an idea long past it’s due here in the United States…most other countries on earth pay more than double what we pay here per gallon. Isn’t it about time we took control of our own destiny and worked towards weaning ourselves off petroleum products? I think the only way to do so is to charge a lot more for it and force people to consider their options. Unfortunately, as with anything else regarding the oil industry, Congress will never pass a tax bill like this one…they are in too deep with the oil lobbyists. But maybe, just maybe, people will think about a time in the future when gas will be at $10 per gallon, and a light bulb goes off in their head that we could have had it easier if only we had started conserving sooner. If only…
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