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NYT calls for raising the gas tax to fight terrorism and global warming

The NY Times/International Herald Tribune  editorilizes:

There's no serious disagreement that two major crises of our time are terrorism and global warming. And there's no disputing that America's oil consumption fosters both. Oil profits that flow to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries finance both terrorist acts and the spread of dangerously fanatical forms of Islam. The burning of fossil fuels creates greenhouse emissions that provoke climate change. All the while, oil dependency increases the likelihood of further military entanglements, and threatens the economy with inflation, high interest rates and risky foreign indebtedness. (...)

A bolstered gas tax would raise huge amounts of revenue, roughly $1 billion for every penny of additional tax. Some of that money would have to be used to provide offsetting tax breaks to low-income households (...) Economists assume that raising the gas tax - say, by a dollar or so - would not necessarily raise the price at the pump by the same amount. Rather, a tax increase could induce exporters to allow the price of oil itself to fall, in order to keep the price at the pump below the level at which oil alternatives begin to look attractive.  (Hat tip to medien und amerika)

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http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=71731&d=15&m=10&y=2005 (from Oct 16, 2005) ?What the king said is consistent with the Kingdom?s policy since the ?80s of stabilizing global energy market so that oil suppliers and consumers have a balanced relationship,? said Dr. Ihsan Bu-Hulaiga, an economist and Shoura Council member. ?This is a long-term strategy for oil prices to be affordable for major consumers ? not necessarily low but not excessively high ? in order to discourage alternative energy sources from becoming more affordable,? he said to Arab News. -----------------------------------

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