Real Gas Costs
June 11, 2015
The letter by Lloyd Carter (June 7) bemoans the subsidization of fossil fuels as described by the International Monetary Fund. This IMF working paper points out a glaring fault of “market” economies. They simply discount the enormous cost of burning fossil fuels as “externalities,” and ignore it.
Forget the suffering, grief, illness; tthe strictly financial global cost of burning fossil fuel is more than $5 trillion per year. That is the equivalent of about $3 per gallon of gasoline. The IMF paper advocates taxing fossil fuels in order to account for their costs, strictly because of existing economic realities.
That cost will increase dramatically into the future because of heat-trapping gas emissions and the resulting climate change.
Most people throughout the world can not pay this $3 per gallon. Rather than subsidizing fossil fuels directly or indirectly (by ignoring their external costs), tax fossil fuels and then return all the revenue of the tax directly back to the people.
Few would be foolish enough to waste their share of the revenue on expensive, wasteful and polluting forms of energy. Most would seek out better sources of energy and drive innovation in energy production and conservation.
RAY WEST, PORTERVILLE