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View Diary: The Economist on oil (III) - slamming the energy bill (102 comments)

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  •  Gas taxes collected under states' current laws, (none)
    ironically and very frustratingly, must mostly go to building roads, which, in turn, stimulates gas use (in the current context of inadequate funding for modes of transportation other than driving). This is a significant undesirable consequence. Makes raising gas tax at the state level something that's a very mixed bag, if not negative. In a majority of US states, this requirement (gas tax must go to building roads) is enshrined in the states' constitutions. (In Washington state, it's Amendment 19, adopted in 1945-46, others probably also in this same era.)

    Just so pointing this out isn't misinterpreted, I hugely favor much higher prices for petroleum, and am stridently in favor or getting communities freed from automobile dependence, curbing global warming, and freeing us all from the grip of PetroMegaCorp, not to mention certain current regimes dependent on the oil biz (US and others).

    This is just something we need to be aware of when discussing gas taxes. If a peak-oil/petrol-tax movement could work toward repealing these 30 or 40 states' constitutional amendments, that would be enormously beneficial. I'm not sure where the federal gas tax goes (or realistically what the prospect is, under BushCo anyway, for a significantly higher federal gas tax, hence my consideration of the states as an opportunity and a locus for this), but the states' gas tax revenues must mostly go to build roads. In a political sense, it makes enviromentalists in this state (Sierra Club and many others and myself) tend to lobby against state-level gas-tax-increase initiatives (but for funding for transportation alternatives to the automobile, obviously).

    This is something I think the progressive movement should be aware of, and should be thought of when gas taxes are addressed. I would absolutely love to see Washington State Constitution Amendment 19 (obviously not the federal one for women's suffrage), and all others like it, repealed!

    Reality - Humanity - Sustainability

    by Em on Mon May 02, 2005 at 10:04:46 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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