4.22.2008

GAS IS STILL TOO CHEAP

A nice scoop by Discovering Urbanism on an interesting article in the Grey Lady about the negative externalities associated with driving: "Not so Free Ride." The authors of Freakonomics estimate that we're underpaying by 10 cents per mile, or at 25 MPG, $2.50 a gallon. Since none of what we're currently paying for gas is going for the negative externalities mentioned in this article, AND it's not raising enough money to keep up with our huge infrastructure investment needs (my friend over at AASHTO tells me it's a fearsome gap), it's clear that $3.50 for a gallon of gas isn't too high, it's far too low.

Of course, no one who gets elected for a living will touch raising gas taxes with a ten-foot pole. But maybe those of us who care about the urban poor, about the environment, and about roads and bridges not collapsing in on themselves, should make our opinions known: political suicide or not, the price of gas is wildly wrong, and as a result we are consuming far too much, with dire consequences for our planet, the poorest among us, and our own pocketbooks in the long run.
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