IMF Says Gasoline Too Cheap

Check out this report from NPR about the true costs of gasoline as reported by the International Monetary Fund.

One problem: We are far too enamored of growth and short-term gain to ever take this seriously — that is until it’s too late. Then we will do the next thing we do best: Look for someone to blame.

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Comments 3

  1. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Good arguments at the NPR site (nothing new, mind you) for a sin type tax on gasoline, just like we do cigarettes, in order to offset the costs to society. Of course such a proposal has as much chance of flying as the proverbial lead balloon.

    Posted 28 Mar 2013 at 1:48 pm
  2. Ian Brett Cooper wrote:

    Yeah, this story is getting more traction than I thought it would when I first spotted it. Like Khal says, not much chance of anything ‘necessary’ happening though – not in the US anyway – not yet.

    The time will come though, and that will probably be a bad day, because at that point, the music will have well and truly stopped. There’ll be no more talk of “the death of peak oil” then.

    Hopefully, there’s still time to do some damage control. I’m hoping for 2 to 5 more years before the failure of the latest oil and gas bubbles become apparent and people start to conceive that we might be in a nasty mess. That might give my family enough time to prepare. But I’m a bit of a pessimist, and all signs point to things starting to unravel a bit sooner.

    Posted 28 Mar 2013 at 8:13 pm
  3. Karl McCracken wrote:

    We do have a “*sin tax” in the UK. The trouble is that fuel costs are only just starting to get to the level in comparison with incomes where people start to change their behaviour. I’m currently paying £1.43 per litre on the rare occasions that I use the car. That’s around $8.22 per US gallon, compared with the mean price in the USA of $3.68/gal!

    It probably needs to be higher, but governments always run away from this issue – either in response to direct public pressure (tanker drivers blockading refineries in 2001 brought the country to its knees in a matter of a few days), the need to court public opinion (2005, 2010), or just the panic at the state of the economy & general fear of doing anything (2008 onwards – more so after the 2010 general election).

    ====
    *The UK is a more secular society than the US. So we quite rightly don’t call it a “sin tax” – the official term is the “fuel duty escalator”. And this in the country that gave you the poetry of the King James Bible!

    Posted 29 Mar 2013 at 9:54 am