At Least He Didn’t Say “Drive Less”

…or “sugarcane”. Jim Jubak offers an out of the box, four point plan for easing the energy crisis.

Raise gasoline prices to $4 a gallon
To discourage demand for gasoline, slap enough federal taxes on gasoline to raise the price to $4 a gallon. It sure looks like $3 gas isn’t enough to produce a very big change in consumers’ behavior. Sales of older-model SUVs have indeed plunged, but that seems to have more to do with the age of the design than with the price of gas. Sales of General Motors’ (GM, news, msgs) new Tahoe SUV, on the other hand, climbed nearly 35% in April; sales of the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade jumped 36% and 127%, respectively.
Average daily demand for gasoline for April was 9.127 million gallons, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s roughly the same as the 9.125 million gallons used in April 2005. Holding demand steady when the economy is growing at better than 4% isn’t nothing, but it’s not enough. Looking at the sensitivity of demand for gasoline to its price, many economists see $4 a gallon as the point at which higher prices really begin to bite.

Neat read. AND he’s looking for more ideas.

22 Responses to “At Least He Didn’t Say “Drive Less””

  1. Rob says:

    That’s a delightful double-edged sword. It will hurt American auto manufacturers and their vendors and subsidiaries far more than their overseas competitors. All the American companies are trying to do is meet the demands of consumers. In effect, that tax would hurt American companies by making their products less affordable and American consumers by making the products they like less affordable. That’s not to say it isn’t a decent idea. It’s saying that it’s about 40 years late. Better late than never, I suppose.

  2. Dan Collins says:

    I think the price of gas already ‘bites,’ but that just gas-guzzling old me.
    As for the other things that might work: Shoot people on fixed incomes who drive old cars (they’re probably too old to be driving anyway); bring back buggies with coal-fired steam power; install a law that requires motorists to pick up hitchhikers, provided they have an empty seat (they’ll get a gas coupon that permits them to buy another gallon for every 20 passenger miles); outlaw toll booths; dray-horse HOV lane; state and local governments to be fined for creating conditions that cause traffic jams; farm tractors with really long extension cords; every state must host nuclear plants equivalent to their needs; illegal to sell scratch tickets during rush hour.
    Add yours.

  3. Rob says:

    There’s more than one way to get your a$$ to work.
    Another way

  4. Mike Rentner says:

    Everyone who thinks the price of gas is too low is welcome to start paying the difference now.
    I think a better way to ease the gas “crisis” is to remove the ridiculously high taxes from gasoline. And then put a few army divisions into Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. That’ll take care of it.

  5. nobrainer says:

    I’d go the other way and impose strict price ceilings. It would inevitably lead to a supply shortage, also effectively limiting gasoline use. It would be a beautiful combination of decreased use and low prices.

  6. KG says:

    Personally, I’m still confident that the market will fix itself and that anything the government does (other than cut gas taxes, which run something like 40 cents on the gallon here in CA between state and federal) will just make things worse.

  7. Ken Summers says:

    No offense, sis, but that guy is an idiot.

  8. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Mike, I take note that you said to send in “Army divisions”, and not the Marines.
    The rest I leave to your fellow Marines.

  9. No offense, sis, but that guy is an idiot.
    It was meant to make you put your thinking cap on.

  10. Ken Summers says:

    No thinking involved. “Solution to high prices = drive up prices”

  11. (Did you read the WHOLE 2 pages?)

  12. Kathy K says:

    I did, and I agree with Ken.
    Now, if he wanted to use his 75% of taxes after the ‘lottery’ to subsidze new refineries or nuclear power plants, I might have conceded him one point…

  13. The article gets you thinking, like I said. You sure can’t say you’d heard it before.
    I just wanted to make sure he had, Kathy. There’s more to argue with/about that way. And you’re dead on about nuclear reactors, refineries. etc. If such a lottery came about, that would be good use for the bucks. BUT ALL the $$’s in the world are useless if you have nowhere to build one.

  14. I did read the whole thing. He goes on about how high energy prices hurt the economy, then wants to increase energy prices.

  15. I may fisk it tomorrow (maybe even tonight, if I stay awake long enough).

  16. Well, goody! And you CAN stay up, Mr. 2 Hours Behind Everybody.

  17. D’UH, Central Time here, sweet cheeks.
    That makes TWO hours.

  18. Ken Summers says:

    I forgot how far west you are and I was going by the time stamps, which appear to be in Bingley Daylight Time.

  19. Mr. Bingley says:

    Bingley Daylight Time
    The world-recognized standard

  20. Hmmm. Well, if that trackback never shows up…

  21. When monkeys buy keyboards

    Or, Whatever Happened to Baby Jeebus? THS linked to this column offering a four-point “plan” to decrease demand for energy. First off, I’ll try not to engage in cheap insults, like noting that the author looks like the bastard spawn…

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