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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Energy Policy

I know I am going to sound like an environmentalist wacko lib in this post, but hear me out.

Global Warming aside as a non-issue, the US needs a 21st Century solution to our dependence on foreign oil. I have no credentials as an economist or a scientist, but it’s obvious that we need an interim solution for the next 25-75 years, while fusion, wind, and solar energy technology is developed and refined.

I can envision something like this working, if we have the monetary guts.

The first step is a massive revision of the income tax code, preferably moving to a universal VAT, or “fair tax,” as it’s commonly called (and I whole heartedly support, but that’s for another post). Even if a universal VAT were not in place, an Energy VAT of say $0.001 (1/10th of a cent, coupled with a vast reduction in personal income tax across the board) could be used for subsidizing the building of a couple hundred nuclear plants and upgrading the power grid by commercial entities over several years. There is no doubt that energy companies would pitch in the rest, considering the profits to be made.

Why build several hundred new nuke plants and upgraded power grid? With this infrastructure in place, electric cars, trains, and buses will become economically viable for Detroit and Tokyo to build on a mass scale for US consumers, of course.

Since the Electric Infrastructure would be constructed and paid for by the taxpayers, while operated by energy corporations, the auto manufacturers would be free to design and build electric vehicles that are affordable to the consumer.

And as a bonus, this plan would literally create millions of new jobs in the US alone.

We will still need the petrochemical industry for fertilizer, plastics, polymers, and a shit ton of other things you use every day yet never think about, but domestic production and imports from benign nations already supply that petrol and more.

-Masterson

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