U.S. Energy Policy
by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
To stop the half-trillion-dollar-per-year hemorrhage out of our
country, and to do so quickly without extraordinary deficits,
extraordinary bailouts or other major injuries to our economy
half or more of our oil dollars now going into hands which are
unfriendly and some of which are pursuing active terrorism against
and to break the circular problem which now keeps alternative
fuels and energy sources from developing and reaching the market....
We levy a light tax on new gasoline engines sold in the United States,
using that to partially fund a credit against taxes for purchase of
engines which are flexfuel.
- This is a modification of the proposal which
candidate Obama carried in his website during the '08 presidential
campaign, which apparently was adopted from the proposal originally
made by rocket scientist Robert
- Such a combination light tax and light tax credit
preserves individual freedom and avoids severe hardships, contrasted to the original proposal which would mandate that all cars sold after a certain date be flexfuel. Individuals are free to pursue their
individual choices, yet aggregate behavior moves in the desired
direction and solves the problem.
- The original and continuing problem at basic level
is that although alternative fuels and fuel sources exist and even now,
before economies-to-scale can be realized, can be produced in absolute
terms of cost which are comparable or favorable relative to petroleum
and gasoline, there isn't enough of a flexfuel market to afford the development and retail of flexfuels together with their support
The problem is exacerbated by
the oligopolistic cartel behaviors of Big Oil and the other big energy
companies. Every time investment begins to develop in the
alternatives, oil prices come down just enough to prevent it. (The
light tax and tax credit suggested in this briefing, among other things is a quick and easy way to bring down the price of oil substantially and keep it down.) When the public's attention wanders again, up go the prices again to squeeze everything possible out of our sorely beset pockets and the fragile American economy.
- The proposed light tax and
tax credit is hardly an infringement on the free market. In
energy and fuels, a free economy does not exist. The economy
there is instead an oligopoly, in which individual choices have no
effect, all turns in the economy are engineered to bulge the purses of
the oligopolist few. Some of that distorted wealth, in turn, is
used to buy most of our politicians in order to expand that unfair
advantage even further, and to head off the possibility of
alternatives. The proposed light tax and tax credit is, instead,
the one realistic chance we have to create and develop a free market in the energy economy.
- Flexfuel vehicles can run on gasoline AND they can
run on a number of other fuels. They are not the hybrids we are
now seeing, guaranteed to remain so expensive as to never be a threat
to the gasoline industry, running either on gasoline or expensively
canned electricity. Under the suggested light tax and tax credit, enough people would be buying flexfuel vehicles that a meaningful number and proportion of such vehicles would soon be on our roads, which in turn would allow flexfuel sources and purveyors to develop and to compete with gasoline. Existing service stations might even opt to add ethanol, methanol and other alternative pumps to what they offer motorists.
Even the constrained and
limited supply of ethanol we now have at the pumps in America has been
so engineered that neither you nor anyone else has a choice. The ethanol is
pre-mixed with the gasoline so you can't choose between gasoline and ethanol. You are stuck with one package, and Big Oil is safe from
having the public drift away from gasoline each time the cartel hikes
prices on us. Big Oil is super-defended in depth against there
ever being allowed a free market to develop in energy. Only the
provision we recommend here has a chance of changing that.
- Lastly, don't you think it's a wee bit odd how
nearly everyone has been pussy-footing around what has to be your
answer to these two questions:
- What HAS to be the effect on the
fragile American economy, of losing a half trillion dollars a year
overseas to mostly hostile oil nations?
- What HAS been the effect of this on America's national
This briefing is the position of Win Wenger, Ph.D., and not necessarily that of any of his associates or organizations. He will welcome replies either at
P.O. Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332, or by email.
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