The Oil Catastrophe: One Thing to Do

Americans spent $20,461,413,000 dollars on gasoline alone in 2009.  That’s at $3 a gallon.  A 10% catastrophe tax would bring in about $2,046,141,200 in a year, or $5,605,800 a day.

I don’t know what the economic cost of the damage to the gulf coast is going to be, nor how much British Petroleum will be forced to pay, or for what. It sure seems to me that one of the most important things President Obama can do is call on all Americans to share the burden of those who are most directly affected — the men and women, the children, whose livelihoods and ways of life are taking major hits, if not being totally destroyed. After all, it’s the gasoline we all use that drives the crazy search for the oil. What could $5.5 million a day do to help alleviate the real, economic injury the gusher is causing?

And if there is a surplus, or if the region recovers in two, or ten years, what could $2 billion a year do to help kick start non fossil fuel energy technology?

Let’s not wait for a cap and trade scheme. Let’s get started. Tax our own carbon energy use; drive it down, and raise major money to help those most damaged, and to push solutions that will help those in years to come.

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