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Tax gas instead of giving tax credits for cars?

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  • Tax gas instead of giving tax credits for cars?

    Here's an op-ed piece suggesting that the Danes overcame their oil dependence not by providing tax credits or incentives for alternative fuels, but massive taxes for foreign oil. The market forces then moved them toward alternative fuels.

    There is little whining here about Denmark having $10-a-gallon gasoline because of high energy taxes. The shaping of the market with high energy standards and taxes on fossil fuels by the Danish government has actually had “a positive impact on job creation,” added Hedegaard. “For example, the wind industry — it was nothing in the 1970s. Today, one-third of all terrestrial wind turbines in the world come from Denmark.” In the last 10 years, Denmark’s exports of energy efficiency products have tripled. Energy technology exports rose 8 percent in 2007 to more than $10.5 billion in 2006, compared with a 2 percent rise in 2007 for Danish exports as a whole.

    “It is one of our fastest-growing export areas,” said Hedegaard. It is one reason that unemployment in Denmark today is 1.6 percent. In 1973, said Hedegaard, “we got 99 percent of our energy from the Middle East. Today it is zero.”

    Frankly, when you compare how America has responded to the 1973 oil shock and how Denmark has responded, we look pathetic.

    “I have observed that in all other countries, including in America, people are complaining about how prices of [gasoline] are going up,” Denmark’s prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, told me. “The cure is not to reduce the price, but, on the contrary, to raise it even higher to break our addiction to oil. We are going to introduce a new tax reform in the direction of even higher taxation on energy and the revenue generated on that will be used to cut taxes on personal income — so we will improve incentives to work and improve incentives to save energy and develop renewable energy.”
    Of course, any politician who suggested such a thing here would lose their job pretty quick, but it certainly makes you think.
    Robert '07 GX

  • #2
    Re: Tax gas instead of giving tax credits for cars?

    Hmmm.. and what would this tax money go towards anyways. In California, we've had a state gas tax for MANY years that is supposed to go to transportation, yet it keeps getting funnelled away into other programs, even after general elections passed multiple bills stating that it is only for transportation.
    1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
    2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--


    • #3
      Re: Tax gas instead of giving tax credits for cars?

      European solutions don't scale. The distance from Madrid to Moscow is about the same as from San Francisco to Chicago.

      Denmark is about 1/10th the size of California, the population doesn't drive anywhere. 20 miles is a long drive to them.


      • #4
        Re: Tax gas instead of giving tax credits for cars?
        • 180% vehicle tax
        • Income taxes up to 63%
        • 1% of the vehicles in the country have automatic transmission

        I loved the two years I spent there but I'll pass on their social system.