published Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Are gas prices too low?

In 2009, the Obama administration appointed Dan Akerson to the board of General Motors. Then last year, Akerson went on to become CEO of GM. Now, unfortunately, he has joined the Obama administration’s call for higher gas prices.

Yes, you read that correctly: The administration and the head of GM alike think that higher gas prices would be a good thing.

Speaking with The Detroit News, Akerson declared, “[W]e ought to just slap a 50 cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas.”

Like the Obama administration, Akerson believes that if Washington artificially raises gas prices, more Americans will buy cars that get better gas mileage.

However, he is not quite so extreme in that view as U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.

Chu declared, shortly before becoming energy secretary, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” (Gasoline in Europe often costs double or more what it costs in the United States.)

Around the same time, Obama suggested that a “gradual” rise in the price of gas would be desirable.

Obama also seems to approve of increases in the cost of other types of energy. In 2008, he told the San Francisco Chronicle that his plan to fight “greenhouse gases” would mean higher electricity rates.

“Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” he said. “Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

Do you agree with the Obama administration that the American people are not paying enough for gasoline and electricity? Do you favor new taxes and environmental schemes to force the price of energy to go even higher — particularly in a time of economic crisis, when many Americans are struggling to make ends meet?

We don’t believe any of that is what most Americans want.

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EaTn said...

Politicians better take note that Americans have the given right to carry guns and drive our gas hog pickups and suv's. We prefer the oil companies get the billions in gas profits rather than giving the govt another dime in gas taxes.

June 11, 2011 at 8:26 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Yes, gas taxes should be raised in stages to encourage reduced consumption and lower oil imports that are destroying any chance of a trade balance, thus forcing the dollar lower and oil prices up.

We don't get it, oil is going to break the US if we can't control our appetite. Oil taxation has worked effectively throughout the world and while unpleasent in the short term,would be best for the long term health of the nation.

June 11, 2011 at 10:06 a.m.
kirton said...

I own 2 fuel efficient vehicles, as reaction to the upward trend of gas prices. The problem comes that no matter how efficient they are, a decent-size tank still takes around $40 to fill it, every 10-14 days because of traffic and need to run the AC. I bike and group my errands but prices where they are still feel like sticker-shock. Higher prices to goad others to buy efficient vehicles does not take into account that with many other costs, many people just get by with $3.50 gas. I think this proposal is unsound. The cash for clunkers idea on the other hand was very wise, just poorly administered at times. More of this kind of intervention is needed.

June 11, 2011 at 2:58 p.m.
nucanuck said...


I may be wrong, but my belief is that we are headed for much higher gas prices doing what we are doing. We simply have to use less...maybe 30-40% less imported oil than we use now. Taxing it to get people to cut back may not be the answer, but being pro-active sure beats having it done to us by the suppliers and a falling dollar. It's as much about the country's economic health as it is about what each of us wishes prices could be.

The longer term trend will be toward shorter commutes, one car per family, car pooling, and public transportation. Most Americans don't believe that can happen. I think it is already baked in the cake. I believe in preparing for the worst and hoping for better.

June 11, 2011 at 7:07 p.m.
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