Energy-related taxes can spur renewables, promote efficiency

Posted on November 14, 2008. Filed under: Energy Policy |


A letter to the editor of The Capital Times by Thomas Jeffries:

The environmental, social and economic problems inherent in our current “cheap fossil” energy model are so pervasive that small changes around the periphery will not resolve them.

Cheap fossil fuel is subsidizing multiple inefficiencies in manufacturing, housing and transportation, while at the same time degrading the environment with persistent pollutants such as mercury, excess fixed nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide.

Instead of being used to build a sustainable infrastructure that would let us live in harmony with our environment, cheap fossil fuel has made us dependent on a corrosive superstructure that keeps us from it.

Paraphrasing R. Buckminster Fuller, if our society is to survive this century, we must convert our fossil energy capital into the means for sustainable energy income.

Instead of following this advice, we are squandering the principal resource that will help us make the transition, and we are destroying the environment that sustains us.

Diseconomies created by the unaccounted environmental costs of cheap fossil are precisely the root of our current economic problems. Resources have NOT been directed into sustainable, renewing infrastructures. We have been living off our fossil energy capital, and are now faced with shortfalls and greater needs for reinvestment.

Carbon taxes, severance taxes and petrochemical import duties, recycled into infrastructure that will generate sustainable energy such as wind and photovoltaics, should be implemented. This will raise the cost of energy, which in turn will be met with greater efficiency in use.

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One Response to “Energy-related taxes can spur renewables, promote efficiency”

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YES, I am listening. I will pass this link on to everyone I know. This is a great idea and should be supported and promoted at the State and Federal level. When an opportunity like this comes along we need to jump on it. Manure is plentiful in Wisconsin and should be used as resource to generate electricity. Everyone, yes YOU, send a note to your State Representative and Senator asking them be become involved in this issue, by supporting higher buy-back rates. Please don’t let this technology slip out of Wisconsin.


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