Monday, October 27, 2003 The future of energy: "The best way to curb the demand for oil and promote innovation in oil alternatives is to tell the world's energy markets that the “externalities” of oil consumption—security considerations and environmental issues alike—really will influence policy from now on. And the way to do that is to impose a gradually rising gasoline tax.

"By introducing a small but steadily rising tax on petrol, America would do far more to encourage innovation and improve energy security than all the drilling in Alaska's wilderness. Crucially, this need not be, and should not be, a matter of raising taxes in the aggregate. The proceeds from a gasoline tax ought to be used to finance cuts in other taxes—this, surely, is the way to present them to a sceptical electorate."

This proposal is a defacto "carbon tax", except that a carbon tax is calculated on carbon emissions and applies to all carbon-producing agents. And perhaps a better investment of the money raised by this tax would be in clean, efficient public transport, which is necessary in itself and also contributes to less global warming.

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