I could have combined this with the EPA rant, but I have a particular idea to toss out that I think would really work (several actually).
Idea- Change our current Gasoline Energy Tax from a set dollar amount to a percent, both at the federal and state level. Seems simple right? The idea is this- when the price of Oil went up to about $150 per barrel a few years ago, it took about 7 Trillion(yes, Trillion) dollars out of our economy. The price-of-a-barrel increase on our usage, plus the loss in that money cycling through our economy, is devastating. WOW- how we stayed afloat then is beyond me. But since we did, why not change it to a percent, so as the price went up we could keep money here- remember other revenues go down so this would help offset it.
Idea- Build refineries here in the US- the last was built in the 1970’s and several have actually closed. As the US Gov’t has military bases throughout the country, my idea is simple. Build, with the help of private money and technology, current and state-of-the-art facilities on several of these bases. It would keep the bases operating, give them something to protect in this current geo-political climate, create thousands of high paying jobs (let alone the construction jobs initially), eliminate the “not in my backyard” argument and allow is to refine more cheaply and cleanly the oil we need. Control is key in this battle for energy independence.
Idea- What about eliminating the 87 octane gasoline at the pump? It would allow refiners to maximize profits making less types of gas, it would help improve gas mileage, and it would help carbon emissions.
Idea- What about setting an annual increase in a cars minimal MPG? IF it underperforms, the model gets hit with a tax surcharge at purchase (and at every tax filing during ownership of that model). Think it through- the people who drive low mileage vehicles are putting pressure on all of us by using more gas/oil. This increased demand (unnecessarily) increases the price at the pump. The use of tax surcharges simply asked the ones with poor behavior to pay their fair share and lighten the load on the rest of us. And vice-versa, what about tax credits for people whose primary car is a top-end MPG vehicle? Punish the bad, reward the good- what is more American than that?
Idea- The single largest purchaser in the world is probably the US Gov’t- so why don’t they get the most bangs for our buck? Why aren’t they leveraging that purchasing power into savings for the US taxpayer? My idea would be to buy very high mileage vehicles as part the US fleet. Why wouldn’t our tax dollars benefit by buying electric cars, using less fuel, and lowering the cost of eco-friendly vehicles in the process? Also- think about the reduction in fuel demand and the impact that would have on oil and gas prices. Also- think about how technology needs to be embraced to save our money in other ways- put GPS on these cars and track where and how they are used. Government vehicles should be for government use- not personal cars for personal use at the price of the American taxpayer.
Idea- You know what got me about the entire BP oil fiasco? A couple days later Venezuela had a leak, yet shut it off with remote sensors and had no damage. Really? I have always considered America the best country in the world (since Super-powers should lead by example) and our goal should be to be the best at everything. We should spend the extra dollars to have the best safety equipment, not in hindsight- but because that is how we build things. Every remote sensor costs about $500,000, which on the balance sheets of oil companies is complete peanuts.
IF you don’t like the ideas, come up with a better one. But simply, something needs to be done.