Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bloomberg Sees $$$ In Energy Taxes

Once again, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg shows that he's never met a tax that he didn't think could stand improvement without increases. He is on the record saying that he'd want to increase energy taxes.

Considering that most people are fed up with high energy prices because of the current economic situation - high demand, limited supply, and exorbitant taxes already imposed on motor fuels, adding to those already high prices would cause the economy to come to a crashing halt.
Bloomberg has been arguing for months that the United States is falling further behind in the energy race.

He recommended emulating European nations that decades ago opted for nuclear power.

In the meantime, he said, Americans are going to have to face the harsh realities of $130-a-barrel oil.

"I don't think there's any short-term quick fix," the mayor observed.

"Reducing taxes on energy consumption is the wrong way to go. We should be raising taxes on energy consumption dramatically because it's the only way you're going to force people to use less."

An aide said Bloomberg's comments shouldn't be taken as "a call to action to increase gas taxes," which would be politically explosive.
In case Bloomberg hasn't noticed, high gas prices are starting to result in changed habits among commuters. Some are using their SUVs less, taking mass transit more, or choosing not to spend as much on items outside the basics. Increasing taxes only adds to the government coffers, and does not improve taxpayer's lives. It takes money out of the taxpayer's wallet.

Nuclear power isn't going to be an option in the US as long as Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) blocks the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository despite tens of billions in sunk costs to get that facility ready to accept waste from nuclear power plants around the country.

Nuclear power isn't an option when you have ongoing resistance to maintaining existing nuclear power plant licenses - as witnessed by the repeated efforts to shut down Indian Point in Buchanan, New York, which supplies New York City with much of its power.

Nuclear power isn't much of an option when you have resistance to siting those facilities in communities that give in to the fearmongers who claim that they aren't safe and pander on the fears of technologies that have since been eclipsed.

Wind energy and hydropower aren't good options either, because the environmentalists say both can destroy ecological habitats, threaten wildlife, or would harm vistas.

The energy problems aren't going to be solved overnight, but they can be improved with changes to the energy supply. It is well past time to hold back US energy supplies - it is time to start utilizing those US energy supplies that have yet to even be tapped. Democrats have resisted building new refineries in the US, developing new oil fields, and using tar sands, despite the availability and cost-effectiveness of doing so. Not only would such development lessen the reliance on foreign oil supplies, but it could increase the worldwide supply of oil, and result in lower prices to all consumers.

Powerline points out the stark differences between Democrat and GOP energy policies, and Bloomberg is clearly siding with Democrats on energy policy here. That's not good for the nation, and it's not good for New York.

Case in point: Mass transit ridership has increased and are struggling under the strain. And paradoxically, the higher ridership could result in lower gas tax revenues as more people shift from driving their own vehicles to taking mass transit, which would explain why Bloomberg wants to push the gas taxes through the roof. He thinks that the government should get an even bigger cut of the price of every gallon.

Energy usage has increased in the NYC metro area considerably in the past decade despite increased efficiencies. It's up 20% over the past 10 years in New York City. Where is that power going to come from, and how much more will it cost because new power generation systems are not being brought online?

No comments: