Friday, March 25, 2022

Getting off dependency on fossil fuels. Temporary fixes for fuel price surges and replacing oil from Russia. Balancing contradictory goals.

Listening to Canadian Radio, news related to oil comes to mind.

British Columbia has a carbon tax which adds to it's high gas prices. Now that there is talk about gas tax holidays, in some US states, there is talk in BC as well. Could it be a temporary rebate from part of the carbon tax? If there is a carbon tax to begin with, there can be something to rebate.

Now I hear it is a rebate in BC's ICBC insurance rates. In BC, the province runs the vehicle insurance system. That system is said to be on sound financial footing.

BC taxes, including the carbon tax, can provide a cushion so there can still be money for things like transit and road maintanence. Here in USA, there is talk of gas tax cuts, but the taxes are used for infrastructure. Who pays for the roads?

I was thinking about my idea of a variable rate carbon tax. Raise the carbon tax, when fossil fuel prices are low, but bring it down when prices are high in order to stabilize fossil fuel prices somewhat. I think this would provide a more stable price footing for alternative energy. In much of the 2020 downturn, fossil fuel prices were too low leading to less push toward alternatives.

Someone commenting on my Facebook wall did suggest, however a different strategy. Rather than temporarily lowering carbon taxes during periods of high gas prices, use money to lower overall sales taxes which tend to be regressive taxes. There was an initiative to do that, several years back, here in Washington State, but it didn't pass at ballot box.

In other news. Canada is talking about temporarily increasing oil production to help Europe reduce it's use of Russian oil. How would that oil get to Europe? Much would travel by rail to the US Gulf Coast for shipment, from those ports, to Europe; the same route that Keystone Pipeline would have gone.

Oil trains might be better as a temporary solution. If Keystone Pipeline were built, it would be more permanent infrastructure. If we want to cut back on using fossil fuels, in the long run, we still shouldn't need that pipeline.

Conservatives still think we should have built, or should still build, that pipeline. Another pipeline to climate change. I think less consumer use of fossil fuels can help us as various countries scramble to help Europe. Countries are scrambling to patch up holes in supply. Holes related to increased demand after the pandemic and the situation with Russia.

No comments: