Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Tax me please

  1. Feb 15, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The other day I saw a report indicating that the Saudis have now begun protecting their interests by increasing production, thus moderating the price of crude so as to keep alternative fuels out of reach. I don't recall exactly where I saw this, probably on PBS or a Sunday news show, but I did spot this article.


    This is why I believe that crude must be taxed in order to maintain a minimum price that makes alternative fuels like biodiesel competitive. All of the taxes should go towards the development of alternative technologies. Otherwise, we likely will be caught in a game of cat and mouse, perhaps for decades.

    From what I saw, three dollars a gallon was about the breaking point. At that price, biodiesel was five cents cheaper than petro diesel at a local station, and the same appeared to be true nationally.

    The short version: We've got them on the run!!!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    From here:

    We've also heard about Ford making huge losses last year, so the SUV is having a tough time, at last.
  4. Feb 15, 2007 #3
    My first reaction to your argument is that I don't think it will work in the way you want it to. Certainly it would provide income for the development of alternative fuel sources, but it will carry consequences.

    It is my hunch that by taxing crude oil you are going to cause prices of pretty much everything to sky rocket. The corporations that make products, and have to make use of petrol, are not going to eat this cost, they are going to pass it on to the consumer. This will tighten the wallets of the poorest amongst us, as they will not only have to pay more at the pump but for pretty much everything they purchase.

    Yes, it would probably help to speed the transition, but at what cost? Possibly crippling the economy?

    I think that perhaps a better alternative would be tax breaks for corporations that market alternative fuels/products. For instance, if Ford sells a biodiesel vehicle, they could be granted some tax break per vehicle. This will encourage them to launch a marketing campaign aimed at selling alt-fuel vehicles. In addition to the corporations, we could make it more attractive for families to purchase such vehicles by providing tax breaks for driving alt-fuel vehicles (isn't this already done for hybrids?).

    Again, this is only my gut reaction. I await your rebuttal.
  5. Feb 15, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    They don't need to tax crude as much as they need to not-tax alternatives. The tax on gasoline in Canada is about 33% since tax accounts for roughly 25% of the price at the pump. 25/75 x 100 = 33% tax.

    Europe has it way worse. In France, taxes account for roughly 70% of the cost. 70/30 * 100 = 233% tax

    And you thought you were getted screwed at the pump. Thank god you're not french.
  6. Feb 15, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    THAT is an excellent point. I think the alternatives are taxed the same as petro, or nearly so. I would have to check on that to be sure. When investigating the fuel market, the testing costs are what stand out as the major factor for suppliers, but the taxes between there and the pump are another matter altogether.

    Of course, corn based ethanol is claimed to be competitive only because of government subsidies intended to save the farmers, but biodiesel is the real solution, and I don't think those suppliers receive any government assistance.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Tax me please
  1. Philosophy of taxes (Replies: 43)

  2. Flat tax? (Replies: 48)

  3. Fat Tax (Replies: 169)

  4. Tax Justice (Replies: 13)

  5. No oil tax? (Replies: 37)