The current and past government administrations have made a major effort to reduce the carbons in the air and the use of fossil fuels by Americans.
The government has been successful by use of strict regulations to cause auto manufactures to increase gas mileage to significant levels with most cars in the range of 30 miles per gallon of gas. The government has also encouraged electric or hybrid autos that further reduce the use of fossil fuels.
So what is my point? We have a major problem in the pursuit of an environmentally sound, fossil fuel reduction programs. You see the federal government builds and maintains national highways from mostly taxes on these very items we are trying to control and in most cases reduce. 90% of all funds for the federal highway program come from taxes and on average 40% of all states highway road programs. The problem is the government has been too successful in the efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels and consequently taxes are down as use in down. Allow me draw an analogy; cigarettes have been determined to be bad for ones health, worse in some cases deadly for American citizens. The government answer was to keep increasing taxes on cigarette sales and hope that the product would eventually be so costly that the consumer would have to “give up the habit.” The government then dictated that the funds from the taxes on cigarettes would fund campaigns to “educate” the public on the evils of smoking and particularly target young people before they start smoking. Sounds like a good idea but was it. First let me make the point that many states used the cigarette tax money for other services provided for the citizens, services that needed to be paid for and citizens came to expect these services. The problem is that the program to cut down smoking by adults/seniors who were already smoking was too successful. Tax income to the state and feds are being reduced each year [except for the teenagers starting to smoke] and the programs funded by cigarette revenue are now insufficient to sustain those programs, programs the average American is use to receiving.
We are about to have the same problem in the area of fossil fuels with the tax base getting smaller each year as use is improved. Some states are currently in their planning process for these reduction in tax revenues including but not limited to charging consumers special road taxes based on the number of miles an individual drives each year, monitored by a special computer placed in your car and monitored by the state government computer programs. Sounds like big brother is on our case, something I believe many of Americans have had enough of invasion of privacy. Another action already taken by several states on electric cars is an annual fee added when you get your license plates renewed. It is clear the state and the feds will find a way to make up for the loss revenue on fossil fuel reduction and it will be at the expense of the individual citizen.
The dilemma is clear to me, the government’s efforts to “improve our way of life” by reducing fossil fuel use is costing and will cost even more for the average citizen. You may note I haven’t mentioned the abundance of natural gas, a clean burning fossil fuel available in this country and with the potential to replace oil-based fuels and at an attractive price. Natural gas would be available at fuel pumps and could be taxed just as gasoline has been taxed for decades. Having offered natural gas up as a working alternative I don’t believe the current administration will agree to this logical solution.
What next, well the federal government wants a reduction in the consumption of alcohol by American citizens for their own good. It seems that HHS is indicating that in order to reduce national health costs there will have to be a major reduction in the consumption of liquor and of course there will be a major reduction in tax revenues. Once again the individual pays the costs, how much can we stand?