Friedman: American energy policy is going to require some hard truths, and $4 gas

Photo by Jacob Enos. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

Now that the hub-bub over the gas tax holiday has pretty much passed from the commentary pages (funny how that happens), there is a bit of room to take a step back and think about the bigger energy picture. In his latest column, called "Truth or Consequences," New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (no fan of the gas tax holiday) imagines what a "mythical, totally imaginary, truth-telling candidate" would say about America's energy policy. Let's just say it's not what the remaining presidential candidates are saying. Here's the short version:

  • High gas prices are here to stay. The candidate would have to "guarantee people a high price of gasoline - forever."
  • $4 gas is good for our driving habits and so this should be the new price floor for gas. Should the market price ever drop below $4/gallon, gas taxes would be increased to keep it at $4. Payroll taxes could be reduced on anyone making less than $80,000 a year.
  • If you want to buy a big gas guzzler today, "You are buying a pig that will eat you out of house and home."
  • "Ultimately, we need to move our entire fleet to plug-in electric cars. The only way to get from here to there is to start now with a price signal that will force the change."
Darn tootin'.

[Source: NY Times, thanks to Paul S.]

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