May 11, 2011

Low Taxes and Prices for Gasoline in U.S.

What makes U.S. energy policy little short of ridiculous is not only that U.S taxes on gasoline are very low in comparison with other advanced industrialized democracies. It's not only that we maintain a vast military establishment to, in part, secure access to oil, and that this "guardian" role operates as an implicit subsidy to countries, like China, that are rapidly growing in consumption. No, the more basic incoherence is that even with such expenditures we can't really control the situation (Yglesias). There is something basically mis-directed about our policy. It aims at energy security in such a ham-handed, irrational way that it is not so much a policy as a concatenation of special interests and ideological misconceptions, with big doses of short-sightedness and immediate gratification thrown in for good measure. 

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