Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Your Oil Subsidy

It is not a realistic expectation for our nation to give up oil overnight. We'll have it for a long, long time. Drilling will be necessary.

But let us not hide the true costs, which are likely to increase at the gas pump to levels our current economy and infrastructure are unable to sustain. In addition, the price of oil will go up in other ways.

As conservatives like to parrot the fatalistic expectation: the price will always fall on the consumer.

Which means we can A) charge Big Oil directly to remediate the damage they are doing to the Louisiana coast (and "pay at the pump"); B) remediate the coast with Big Government Programs (requiring taxpayer dollars), or; C) Do Nothing (what got us here in the first place).

The salient fact is that continuing to take Option C will sacrifice trillions of dollars in existing infrastructure, population redistribution, real estate loss, and economic loss of 40% of this nation's seafood - all of what will happen as Southeast Louisiana disappears into the sea over the course of our lifetimes. And if it can happen to Louisiana, it can happen to any state.

And all that is just what we lose to erosion and salt-water intrusion. I don't even have to bring up the land-loss modifier that is Global Warming and Sea Level Rise. Just like the cost of oil will continue to go up even as we zero out any taxes on it; so the coast will continue to vanish at an alarming rate even if you don't believe Sea Level Rise is the culprit.

So, with your choices laid before you, how would you like to pay for your $2.60 (and rising) per gallon gasoline?

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