Monday, June 18, 2007

Fuel me once, shame on you, fuel me twice shame on me

The Naked Economist, Charles Wheelan, writes a very good article on why our government needs to stay out of the gas business. They're now proposing, in a pathetic bipartisan way, a subsidy to the coal industry to produce diesel.

What a mistake this would be.

Let's just let the market dictate prices, okay? Subsidies are for the public good. They're to encourage or discourage behavior that wouldn't otherwise be undertaken.

If the coal industry is in need of a subsidy to produce an alternative to oil, then it's not really worth doing, as the outcome is a lower gas price, more plentiful fossil fuel (and not a lessening of our dependence on fuel nor a lowering of our greenhouse gases).