Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gas-Powered Rocket Science

Gas prices go up, we drive less. Gas prices go down, we drive more. Gas is averaging $1.50 less per gallon than last year and like clockwork, we Americans will be hitting the road and guzzling it up - though maybe with slightly older cars and slightly less SUVs.

At the same time, Rendell and company are beginning the fight for raising the gas tax and more tolls - as well as more standardized public transportation and roadwork funding. The gas tax hasn't been raised in 25 years and the 7,000 earmarks scheduled for this summer's transportation bill make Pittsburgh's repaving schedule look like a transparent, well-oiled machine. Clearly, this system of rewarding SUV drivers at the expense of bus-riders is broken. Finally, someone in power is seriously trying to fix it.

In the meantime, I implore you to continue thinking about the ramifications every time you fill up your car at the gas station, every time you drive to the nearby convenience store instead of walking or taking a bike, every time you're sitting in your car alone during rush hour. And maybe if you all can't be inspired to change your ways by retoric, some well-placed gas taxes will clearly help to deter your bad habits. Through education and taxes, cigarette smoking has sharply declined in this country over the past 50 years. Let's do the same with the vice of oil consumption.

No comments: