Why is there no government tax on gasoline to encourage conservation and alternative fuels?

Various European countries have instituted taxes on gasoline. Every US president talks about “energy independence”. Why aren’t we doing taxes like this in the US? Imagine if each gallon of gasoline had a $3 tax on it. People would carpool. People would purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles. People would purchase alternative fuel vehicles. People would bicycle and use public transportation.



  1. 0 Votes

    US gasoline buyers were outraged, upset, freaked out when the price of gasoline reached $4.00 without such taxes. People didn’t carpool, didn’t buy fuel-efficient vehicles, didn’t use public transportation – not in a significant way. The small decline in US gasoline consumption – which was due more to the recession than to high prices – is basically over, just 2 or 3 years later, and now our gasoline consumption rates are essentially at pre-recession values.

    Personally, I’m all for it. The US government is very unlikely to do it in the face of intense opposition by the voters, and with corporate-controlled politicians, even less so. (As an aside, some states more or less are doing it in small ways, not at European levels. In addition to per-gallon excise taxes, California as an example includes gasoline in its state sales taxable list.)

    Also, there is a federal tax, 18.4 cents per gallon. Obviously not enough to do any of the good things you suggest, yet enough for many, many people to complain.

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