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Promote anticipatory investment in renewable energy with 10-year phase in of gasoline tax offset by income tax adjustments.




Within the US tax reform agenda, include an escalating federal tax on automotive liquid fuels offset by increases in the minimum taxable income and the earned income credit.

Complexity is the enemy of effective energy policy.  This proposal is very limited to one, simple, action by the US government that can speed the conversion of transportation and utility industries to renewable energy, with technology spinoffs encouraging the same in other parts of the economy.

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

Raise federal fuel tax by 5 cents/year until it reached 85% of the average per-liter tax imposed by the four largest free economies, Japan, Germany, UK and France.  This would:

a) avoid competitive handicaps vs major national competitors;

b) create a long-term major increase in cost to motivate immediate private (i.e., non-taxpayer) cost-avoidance investment in energy conversion (a positive economic effect in the short term before the negative effects of the tax increase mature);

c)  be gradual enough not to disrupt markets and consumer or commercial activities;

d)  be socially justified by the offsets to taxes on the poor;

e)  be simple enough to legislate, implement and enforce.

By focusing on automotive use, this speeds conversion to electric vehicles.  By rapidly raising the demand for, and storage capacity for, off-peak electric energy in electric vehicles, it would speed investment in the "intelligent grid" for electricity distribution and thereby make solar and wind power more economic, speeding their adoption.

The intelligent grid would also support off-peak pricing, allowing for phase-out of expensive on-peak generating capacity, to make electricity production more economic.

Simple.  Clean.  Effective.

Who will take these actions?

US Federal Government, primarily the legislative branch, with enforcement by the IRS.

Where will these actions be taken?


In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

United States

Country 2

No country selected

Country 3

No country selected

Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

This will speed in-progress conversion of transportation and utility industries to renewable energy; metrics uncertain.

What are other key benefits?

Faster US conversion will spur similar programs in all countries.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?



Immediate impact on spurring cost-avoidance investment in renewable energy production, distribution and use.

About the author(s)

See bio of contributor.

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