Taxes, environment and energy

Keep up the good work.


The tax that makes sense to me is increasing gas taxes and spending the money on, in priority order:  expanded mass transit (this helps drivers too by reducing congestion and wear and tear on the road), roads and bridges.  Making gas more expensive makes sense from a global warming perspective.  The conundrum of better gas mileage is that it costs less per mile to drive a car, an incentive to drive more miles, which negates some of the environmental benefits.  This just puts US citizens on the same gas price level as most other developed countries.


The Mass Pike tolls, in contrast, don’t make much sense to me.  Wasn’t the initial cost of the pike paid for long ago?  Why pay more for one road versus all the other roads we use?  Or if we have to pay mass pike tolls, why not add lanes on the Pike in areas where there is frequent congestion—for example, where 84 or 91 meet the pike.  It is bumper to bumper every summer weekend for miles where these roads meet.


Although I have opposed nuclear most of my life because of the waste and safety problems, given a choice between the certain catastrophic effects of global warming versus the potential problems of storing nuclear waste, nuclear looks like the obvious triage choice.  France has made it work.


From what I read, we won’t be able to replace fossil fuels with solar, wind, and hydro.  But we should still max these sources out…in addition to greatly expanding nuclear energy.


Last time I checked, Markey was still opposing nuclear energy.—I think this is related to his nuclear weapons non-proliferation efforts which everyone should support. But even though some nuclear energy plants produce weapons grade waste, nuclear energy should be considered as a separate issue.


We could shut down every fossil fuel plant in the US within ten years, or less, if we decided to do that as a country.  Imagine what that would do to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.  It makes cap and trade look quite marginal—which it will be in the big environmental picture.  While going all nuclear would be politically difficult (an understatement)  the technology exists to build super-safe plants.  Many plants could be built right beside the existing fossil fuel plants so we wouldn’t need to replace most of the transmission systems.  Most plants can be built far from population centers.

3 replies on “Taxes, environment and energy”

  1. I think you are right about most of this, Jim.
    We need to up the gas tax by about 30 cents, and get these roads fixed. I camped out near Athol and Royalston, and the roads were in bad shape there. And the road to Hull is paved with good indentations. The conservatives pretend that 19 cents has the same buying power now as in 1990–which of course it doesn’t.

    And we could standardize our nuclear plants as well as other safety measures. Almost every nuclear plant in America is unique, which makes it tougher to train people to run them safely.

  2. You people are clueless! you already pay 23 cents a gallon in Ma taxes onevery gallon that was “originally by law” supposed to be used exclusively for the maintenance of roads. You should ask Will were does that money go now?

    Joel! who do you think raising the gas tax will hurt? The “Rich”?

    No, It will put another nail in the coffin of the middle class in Massachusetts who have no choice but to fill there tanks to commute to work on a daily basis.

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