August 29, 2005

Man, How 'Bout This Gas?!

What purpose does the internet have if not allowing people to argue?! Right now we have Ezra Klein and Brad Plumer disagreeing about whether we should use gas taxes or raise CAFE standards as a means to lower fuel consumption. Personally, I find Ezra more convincing, but to be fair Brad really had much opportunity to reply yet.

There is a certain degree to which people can cut down on fuel consumption by avoiding extraneous car trips, but the majority of driving that people do (and this is all anecdotal, so we're clear) isn't something they can readily do away with. Most families can't carry their groceries back on their bikes, and outside of the major metropolitan areas public transit isn't really in a position to accomodate a massive shift away from commuting by car to commuting by public transit.

Brad's hypothetical rebate program does seem to me to be a fairly effective way to make gas taxes less regressive, it seems to me that poorer people are simultaneously the group least likely to do a ton of unnecessary driving in SUVs as well as being the group most likely to use public transit already. On the other hand, I do think Brad does have a valid point when he says that raising CAFE standards is a pretty long term goal considering how long it will likely be until those new efficient cars into most households.

"The mistake me as happy-go-lucky/Just another base-head bobbin' nobody"

1 comment:

DrDeef said...

Atmosphere

Andy