Today’s Wall Street Journal writes that 40 out of 47 economists in their latest survey said that the government should help champion alternative fuels.
A majority of the economists said a tax on fossil fuels would be the most economically sound way to encourage alternatives. A tax would raise the price of fossil fuels and make alternatives, which today often are more costly to produce, more competitive in the consumer market. “A tax puts pressure on the market, rather than forcing an artificial solution on it,” said Mr. Wyss.
In the survey, which was conducted Feb. 2-7, just two economists recommended regulations that require energy companies use more alternatives, one of the keys of the Bush plan, while six advised subsidies for producers of alternative fuels. “With subsidies, the government chooses the market solution,” said Diane Swonk at Mesirow Financial. “I’d favor taxes in this area.”
Sounds great, but aren’t we already paying a pretty good gasoline tax? Where is all that money going, I wonder.