“The price of energy is irrelevant.” – Wrong…it’s everything.
I know I’ve taked this quote a bit out of context but I’m hoping to initiate a discussion on possible steps toward a solution to our coming energy problem.
The price of energy is everything. It is exactly because it is so inexpensive that we misuse, mismanage & misunderstand it’s ramifications to our soceity.
People need to be made aware of the ‘value’ of energy that we take so forgranted. I think it’s obvious how aware & how much change was initiated when oil hit $140 / bl. Unfortunately this has fallen off our radar again because of the current economic woes, but when oil hits $300/bl it will be forefront once again.
Instead of a carbon tax…(back end) there should be a large consumption tax (front end) put onto many of the forms of energy we use today. I know tax is a dirty word but the only one that fits requirements for now. Trying to tax emissions (carbon) is difficult as there currently exist no metering infrastructure to measure emissions but…consumption (intake) is measured and tracked currently with great efficiency for billing purposes.
Politically a heavy tax is suicide but that is only now because energy is cheap. Later when it gets more expensive people will be aching for price relief when limited energy exists. This new ‘energy consumption’ tax would be used to offset a reduction in income tax somewhat but the bulk would be administered to organizations to find energy alternatives for the future. Sound inefficient…..well it would be at first….government run….yes also not good but all that we have time for now because we’ve left it too late.
‘benefits’ to this tax would be a leap year jump in energy conciousness & evergy use efficiency. Immediately people who take the initiative to reduce energy consumption would be rewarded by saving $$. Because we’ve left it too late, we need to hit people in the wallets bad. I cringe at the possibility of what my kids will have to spend to be able to heat their houses & feed themselves …by paying more now we would effectively spread out the cost among the generations that have squandered the resources so badly.
I would say that using energy isn’t the problem, but using fossil fuels is. An import tax on fossil fuels, and an extraction fee for internal sources would do the trick.