COMMENT: So, to meet enviro-political targets, high gas prices would be artificially imposed, despite the crippling economic setting, thus sending a message to average Americans to stop driving, stop breathing? Seems to be roughly the case…

Heritage Foundation
March 3, 2010

As the national average of gasoline creeps to three dollars a gallon, economists are warning that high gas prices [editor’s note: artificially imposed by enviro-political mandates] in the United States could slow the economic recovery. Other countries’ economies are recovering more quickly and increased production and activity is putting upward pressure on oil prices. That coupled with a relatively weak US dollar spells trouble for American drivers. Throw in carbon dioxide cuts and gasoline prices could reach unprecedented levels:

To meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, some researchers say, Americans may have to experience a sobering reality: gas at $7 a gallon. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, the cost of driving must simply increase, according to a forthcoming report by researchers at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The 14 percent target was set in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget for fiscal 2010.”

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If you think it’s out of the question, it’s not. Members of Congress are working with oil companies now to levy a carbon fee on the transportation sector: “Key senators are weighing a request from Big Oil to levy a carbon fee on the industry rather than wrap it into a sweeping cap-and-trade system that covers most of the U.S. economy. If accepted, the approach — supported by ConocoPhillips, BP America and Exxon Mobil Corp. — could rearrange the politics of the Senate climate debate and potentially open up votes that may not be there otherwise.”

Such an approach would do nothing but cause more economic pain for American households. Higher gas prices lower employment, income, and spending, and Americans will have to dip into their savings to pay for higher gas prices. Heritage economist Karen Campbell details these effects in her paper, “How Rising Gas Prices Hurt American Households.”

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