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Re: Four Wheel Drive SUV popularity -Reply

At 11:47 AM 3/27/97 -0500, Albert Tieche wrote:
>My tongue has teethmarks from being bitten so long during
>this discussion of observations and opinions.
>A cost at the pump that is reflective of actual costs sounds
>agreeable to me but I have not seen a definitive cost
>analysis of the extraction, transportation and refining of
>gasoline. Does it even xist? If indeed gas is priced
>artificially low in the US, which I do not know is the case,
>then why? Is it a result of  subsidies in some form or
>another to that industry? If so, let' s advocate removal of
>the subsidies and let the market determine the price. But
>please, please, please don't propose raising taxes on fuel
>to balance the equation. I do not wish to pay more taxes
>than I already am paying.
Hi Albert,

A few subsidies difficult to quantify:  costs of the Persian Gulf security;
freedom from paying for environmental damage such as acid rain, smog, and
the greenhouse effect; and dispersion to the public of public health costs
related to automobile exhaust in cities such as asthma, emphysema and
cancer.  More quantifiable are tax breaks to utilities and fossil fuel
producers to the tune of $5 billion a year, according to the World Watch
Institute's 1997 report.  Many of our other taxes are kept high to cover
these more hidden societal costs.

Janet Clark
Technology Transfer Manager
MA Toxics Use Reduction Institute
University of Massachusetts
One University Ave.
Lowell, MA  01854-2866
Tel 508-934-3346
Fax 508-934-3050
email clarkjan@turi.org

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