An imported oil tax could create a floor through which oil prices in the US would not fall. At the same time, the tax could be removed when oil gets high, to soften the blow of high oil prices.
When oil prices go up, innovation and investment are put into alternative energy as well as conservation. Then oil prices fall causing alternative plans to go belly up. After the alternatives go belly up, oil gets expensive again.
A variable tax on imported oil could create more predictable market conditions for energy alternatives.
If we don't impose something like this, the Saudis might. I hear Saudi Arabia is talking about trying to shore up oil prices.
They need the money.
Their population keeps growing. Many more mouths to feed. Hungary people can breed terrorism.
While we are addicted to their oil, they are addicted to our money.
Too bad the Saudis are a conservative "traditionalist" society, thus not taking kindly to the concept of "diversity." Otherwise, they would have an easier time "diversifying" their economy. Diversifying it beyond oil.
We have our problems with "traditionalist thinking" here in the USA as well.
Republicans keep saying, "no new taxes;" people are too addicted to their money.
Democrats are a little better, but they often "go to bed" with consumer interests.
Does consumer interests mean consumptive culture?
Democrats complain when gas prices go up. What they should be doing is using periods of high prices to argue for alternatives. Alternative lifestyles, transit, planning, what ever.
The price of oil goes up and down, but over the long term, this trend is up. Demand will eventually outstrip supply. Then we will wish our alternative energy plans had not been drowned out by temporary periods of cheap oil.
I saw a real good piece by New York Times Columnist Tom Friedman advocating the tax on imported oil. Soon after reading that column, I heard of the Saudi plan for not allowing oil prices to drop so far. If we don't do something, the Saudis will. We will be paying anyway.