Comments on: Will Obama raise fuel taxes? Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: BUCKER Tue, 09 Dec 2008 10:13:47 +0000 Has anyone heard or thought about the energy grid issue we face in the next 10 years with all the HYBRIDS? Apparently, with all the electric cars to be done, and the way they need to be re-charged – our electric grid currently cannot handle this increase. Hope Thy Holy one appointed can save us.

By: Joshua Tue, 09 Dec 2008 06:15:46 +0000 The future is uncertain. There are SO MANY DIRECTIONS WE COULD GO. Ethanol, Fuel Cell, Electric, Solar, Wind..?

Ethanol made from Corn only produces 20% less carbon emissions than gasoline and you’re wasting precious food stock to power cars while millions around the world starve. It’s kind of cynical actually. Ethanol made from Sugar Cane on the other hand requires less crop space, it produces 70% less carbon emissions than gas and it is more efficient than gas, unlike Corn ethanol which is less. The only problem is Sugar Cane generally only grows in temperate climates like Brazil which aims to power most of its vehicles by Sugar Cane Ethanol within the next decade.

I believe the approach HONDA is taking will be the ideal solution. This company is ahead of the competition at the moment and when they come out of this economic crisis they could even have the upper hand over the all-powerful TOYOTA. Honda currently has two impressive cars coming out.

HONDA INSIGHT – to be released Spring 2009. This is essentially Honda’s answer to the Prius, the kicker is it’s only $22-25k ($10 Less than the Prius). This car tells you what speed to drive at for optimum fuel efficiency and it actually recharges the battery at highway speeds!

HONDA CLARITY – already on the market. This is a Hydrogen (Fuel Cell) and Lithium-Ion Battery powered vehicle. It’s price is currently out of reach for most consumers ($100k) but as the technology becomes more mass produced and hydrogen becomes more readily available it will become the future.

And then there is the peculiar thought of what about getting Solar and Wind to enjoy the ride. Remember the last time the Sun was beating down on your car and the wind was blowing in your face while you were driving down the highway? What if we could harness these energies to power our vehicles, perhaps in unison with these other technologies? You would have the ULTIMATE GREEN CAR.

By: Matt Holbert Tue, 09 Dec 2008 06:06:52 +0000 The comments generated so far are impressive. Maybe the incoming president should have surrounded himself with these folks rather than the entrenched group that he has selected. It is remarkable how much better informed this small group is compared with our representatives and bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

By: Carl P Tue, 09 Dec 2008 05:38:28 +0000 While I do not expect my email to the Obama transition team yesterday to be read, much less acted upon, I made the case for raising the gasoline tax 75 cents.

Like it or not Americans have become accustomed to higher gasoline prices. What I and what we as a people have a problem with, I believe, is volatile prices – we can’t budget.

I suggested that along with a fixed rate and term gas tax, the price of gasoline should be frozen at about $2.25 – higher than the average right now and only so Big Oil goes along with the concept.

Wheat and oats are commodities and traded on exchanges just like oil but the price of bread and breakfast cereal doesn’t fluctuate wildly like gasoline. Whys doe oil?

I’d actually like the US government to flex its muscle and nationalize the oil industry as a matter of national security as well as taxing gasoline directly at the retail level. But our legislators are not brave enough to take that step and Big Oil is well, BIG.

I also let the Obama team know the context from which I wrote.

I was born and raised in Detroit, one of 9 children, 3 died at or near birth, the son of a WW II vet who spent 40 years working in Detroit’s auto factories. It is due to the Big Three and the UAW that I have an education, own a home, some land and live in California and between my wife and I own an SUV and a pick up truck.

Even though both my wife and I are out of work right now, thanks to eight wasted years and the geo-political influence of oil, we are as I am sure many Americans are, willing to sacrifice to help clean the air with new auto technologies, break our addiction to foreign oil and the strangle hold of, Sovereign Weal Funds and to put Americans back to work; In sort, to change the course of history.

In comparison to Europe and most of the rest of the World let’s be honest – $3 gasoline is no sacrifice at all. We can do it.

Yes we can

By: duggers Tue, 09 Dec 2008 02:33:25 +0000 A tax on oil imports would be a step in the right direction, but not on domestic production.

By: Mike Tue, 09 Dec 2008 01:39:36 +0000 Tax our fuel, tax our food ( the new “cow” tax )…tax everything.

By: Paul Rosa Mon, 08 Dec 2008 23:43:03 +0000 I hope Obama uses an increased fuel tax to pay for his infrastructure improvement program. That is what paid for it to begin with. I remember in a transportation-planning course in college – so many years ago – that the interstate highway system was sold to congress as a defense measure. The planners of the fifties and sixties remembered Hitler’s Autobahns. The first high-speed limited access highways in the world. The fuel tax was created to pay for that defense system. I think it still does. I also hope that congress can also be even more far sighted and resurrect the rail system in this country. We still have many of the Rights of Way (sans tracks).

Rail is still heavily used to transport coal from the producing states to the cities near the Great Lakes. If they could be used for more long distance freight they could subsidize the passenger service themselves. Even in the glory days of railroads, freight subsidized the passenger service. We do nothing with high-speed rail. The Japanese and Chinese do. There are some high tech and manufacturing jobs just waiting for the nudge.

I know the Europeans have always taxed benzene heavily and also subsidize an extensive public transportation system. It effects even the development of new towns. The Europeans have never encouraged suburban sprawl. Neither do the South American Countries. There are new cities on the coast of Brazil that run for miles and would be easily serviced with public transportation. It is more efficient than moving a single person wrapped in several tons of steel and plastic.

I agree with the writer who said we should have been doing it years ago. But we built sprawling suburban areas that are slaves to the automobile. They can’t even be provided with effective bus service. Rural areas are helpless without the private auto. But even the rural town I live in has an unused railroad R.O.W. that connected it to the nearest large city. That, in turn, connected with a whole network of regional centers etc. It was still possible in the early sixties to travel coast to coast in about two days. In an age of instant communication – is it really necessary to move our bodies as quickly or as often even for business purposes? No one mentions the CO2 emissions of high altitude flights. Millions of them each year. And the noise both private jets and high altitude flights make can’t be ignored – especially in the rural areas.

I can’t think of a better way of getting around than on a train. One has nothing to do but read, work on the computer or even get something to eat. And one can haul considerably more baggage than one can on a plane. If there are enough passenger cars or one can travel off peak, it is possible to be almost alone on one. On a recent visit to Italy I missed the crowded first train to Florence from Venice and had to take a Euro star liner about two hours later. I had the entire car to myself and four other people for the entire trip to Florence. But on another leg from Rome to Naples the car was packed yet still comfortable. And I covered distance as quickly and less expensively than in a car.

The private automobile has done nothing to improve the quality of life for suburban and urban dwellers. It is an expensive nuisance in a city like Boston or New York. It can also cost more to park for a day in the city than the trip from Rome to Naples cost.

Of this I am sure, whatever we get won’t be much and will cost too much. I’m afraid the private car is the bottom line and kills almost all other options. And nothing will undo the damage of almost 60 years of suburban sprawl. Every other developed or developing country has or will avoid that mistake.

By: Austin Mon, 08 Dec 2008 23:05:47 +0000 Obama will try to raise many taxes, I agree with the reasoning presented that this may become another target for our under-qualified next President. But, will he raise taxes on tobacco (cigarettes specifically)?

By: Eron Mon, 08 Dec 2008 22:58:00 +0000 While I hate to agree with Chinese nationalists I have to admit that shange is corrct. We need a system that allows and encourges change for the future even if todays profits might suffer. Additionally we truely need a find away to ensure that no Bush debacle can ever occur again. That jerk has done more damage to the US then a bunch of poor arabs ever could.

Allso I would like to say that I just dont think cornfuel is the way to go. Ethanol just has to much negatives. Its costly to produce, diverts food and is just generally inefficient. Forceing our “american” automakers to increase efficiency and promoting electric (shortterm) and hydrogen (long term)would be a better solution.

By: William Crane Mon, 08 Dec 2008 22:26:17 +0000 If there is any lingering doubt in the US that the only way to spur long-term conservation of oil and increase efficiency is to raise the price, then this summer’s $4.00-per-gallon experience has to be the clincher. As fuel prices rose, people drove less and eschewed land yachts in favour of more abstemious cars. It might be nice to think that we would all do what is right based on reason and moral suasion, but the truth is no one does. Americans drive guzzlers because they can afford to.

So the next administration should set the stage for systematically increasing the fuel price as we emerge from recession, both to encourage conservation in the shorter term and spur the deployment of more efficient automobiles. That’s a much more straightforward approach then monkeying around with CAFE standards and attempting to define and ban certain classes of vehicle(eg, SUVs).