Instead of talking about radical tax schemes against certain vehicles, the cost of fuel alone will more than suffice for creating a disincentive for purchasing large vehicles. What economists have found is that the elasticity of demand for fuel is very inelastic in the short run for consumers. In other words, people don't really change their habits of purchases in the short run and continue to do things mostly the same. What does happen is that their demand becomes more elastic and much more sensitive to price over the long run. There were many reasons, but one of the reasons why Opec fell back on their restrictions decades ago was that they were realizing that exactly this was happening as people were starting to respond to the high fuel prices by changing their habits. Notice this was really the start of when the Japanese really became significant competitors to the US automotive firms. Politicians should let the market do the work and leave taxes alone. Simply put, we are not going to move to any alternative source unless it becomes socially and economically feasible for the general population. It sucks right now because even my Focus costs $33-35 to fill up now with its 13-14 gallon fuel tank. Yet since this vehicle becomes my daily driver when fuel goes over roughly the $2.75 a gallon mark, it actually burns more fuel than my SUV does since it gets driven roughly 320 miles a week while the SUV falls to roughly 80 miles a week. People will adapt over the long term without some radical politican deciding that they need to shock the market.
The problem with dams is that they create a whole host of ecological problems, especially with fish that go upstream to breed like certain types of Salmon. It creates a major disruption to their livelihood. They also take time and require a massive investment to build. I still think Nuclear is the way, but noone around me seems to think so.
As far as mass transit goes, i'm not sure how well that would work in many parts of our country. Our population isn't as centralized as in many other countries and is often very spread out. Because of the rather small density of our population(not counting our megacities), mass transit could be extremely expensive and could not significantly reduce fuel usage unless we start thinking big money with light rail type systems that could run on electricity or other sources.
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart
Well. i went to visit my mom as I usually do on Sundays. She lives about 10 miles from me. And There is a 4 corner intersection where Commerical meets University - big intersection - 2 gas stations there and they always compete with each other . . .
$3.21 a gallon for regular. $3.41 for preminum.
These rising prices seem to be a daily occurrance lately. I guess I consider my self lucky as I only do about 300 miles a month.
But the last time I gassed up, the price was $2.95 a gallon!
We are definitely in trouble when it comes to solving our energy problems.
They could build another dam somewhere to create more hydro-electric power - which seems to be the most successful and popular as it creates no waste products. Just expensive and long to build.
I do wish they would revisit nuclear as it is cheap and quick to implement.
And we can do what we have always done . . .
Leave it to the next generation to get rid of the waste!