Taxing Oil

By Anthony | October 26th, 2008 | 7:39 am

David Frum floats an interesting idea – a standby tax on oil:

The one (and probably only) thing that will promote a shift away from oil is an excise tax to ensure that the price of oil remains at or above $65 a barrel. If oil falls below that figure, the tax kicks in: $1 at $64 a barrel, $2 at $63, and so on all the way down.

It makes sense on many fronts – it would discourage the use of oil, encourage development of other technologies, and provide additional revenue to throw at the national debt. Now is a good time for it, since the current price of fuel actually seems like a relief due to the bloated prices we experienced at the end of the summer.

Of course, from a personal point of view I’d love for the price of gas to keep dropping as low as possible. At the same time, I realize that allowing that to happen is only going to postpone any meaningful steps away from oil, which will just lead us right back into more painful situations.

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