Sunday, September 9, 2012

Are Lower Gasoline Prices Worth More Pollution?

Apparently Paul Ryan thinks so:
She asked him how he was going to "improve the situation" of sky high gas prices. "This is not just something that squeezes family budgets, it squeezes businesses," Ryan answered. "It also gives us a bad foreign policy in that we are so dependent on other countries for our oil imports, it's the biggest part of our trade deficit and so what's frustrating about the Obama administration's policies are they've gone to great lengths to make oil and gas more expensive." ... The House Budget Chairman told the questioner not to "forget" that President Obama "tried to grant, jam through congress, a national energy tax designed to make energy more expensive." "Don't forget the fact that he has tried lots of things to try and prevent drilling for natural gas and oil on public lands," Ryan said. "Lets not forget the fact that the regulations coming out of the EPA are making it harder for us to harness home grown American energy." A national energy tax is another term for cap-and-trade legislation that is usually used by opponents of the measure. Supporters say the legislation forces companies that pollute to pay, but opponents like Ryan say it is simply another tax on businesses and makes energy pricier for the average American. Ryan then moved on to how he would lower gas prices in a Romney/Ryan administration, but stayed away from specifics, instead saying domestic production of energy should be increased, something he mentions on the stump daily.
In other words, Ryan’s only answer to the woman’s question was basically “drill, baby, drill”. This article did not we are domestically producing more oil and importing less – consistent with what President Obama has been saying and contrary to the spin from Paul Ryan. Given that Romney economic advisor Greg Mankiw has often called for a Pigou Club tax on carbon emissions, I’m wondering if he will comment on this Ryan spin?

1 comment:

Irene Jennings said...

That's actually true. On the other hand, an unintended consequence of the high price of gas is that it’s helping to lower our carbon footprint. Carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector are down 4% in the first half of the year in Wisconsin. This is an abrupt reversal of the years of steady increases in emissions from cars and trucks.

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