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The collision of capitalism, global warming and peak oil

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Title: The collision of capitalism, global warming and peak oil


1
The collision of capitalism, global warming and
peak oil Why we need a federal tax shift Paul
Riehemann Blog host, Solve4Biggies.com April
30, 2008
2
Global warming
  • Professor Jonathan Foley, Director, UW-Madison
    Center for
  • Sustainability and the Global Environment
    (SAGE)
  • Global warming - debate is over earth is
    warming and we're causing it.
  • extremely conservative estimate (actual number
    could be 10X this)
  • 150,000 PEOPLE PER YEAR ARE DYING PREMATURELY
    AS
  • A RESULT OF GLOBAL WARMING.
  • gtgt increased disease, drought and
    floods
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    (IPCC)
  • there is sufficient international agreement
  • other countries are investing heavily in
    reducing greenhouse gas
  • emissions

3
Peak oil
Oil production follows a bell curve Plenty
going up..then scarce and expensive going
down U.S. peak occurred in 1970
4
? projected
Source lifeaftertheoilcrash.net
2004
But, world oil production is still increasing
right??
5
? projected
Source lifeaftertheoilcrash.net
2004
But, world oil production is still increasing
right?
No.
6
? projected
Source lifeaftertheoilcrash.net
2004
But, world oil production is still increasing
right?
No.
7
120
Actual
2008
Source U.S. Dept. of Energy/EIA-0383 February
2007
8
The history of oil
Source lifeaftertheoilcrash.net
How are we using this finite resource NOW to
ensure a sustainable energy future?
Were not.
9
What to do? -- Definitions
  • External costs
  • Result when part of the cost of producing a good
    or service is born by a firm or household other
    than the producer or purchaser.
  • Paul M. Johnson, Auburn University
  • Tragedy of the Commons, Garrett Hardin (1968)
  • Grazing horses
  • Kyoto treaty

10
What to do? -- options
  • Nuclear power No
  • - What to do with the nuclear waste? How much
    will it cost?
  • Cap trade No
  • - Complex. What price CO2? Risky for markets.
    Cars trucks?
  • Conservation Yes
  • - But, people organizations need a financial
    incentive.
  • Renewable energy Yes
  • - But, a poor payback now so its a
    drop in the bucket.
  • Local and individual actions Yes
  • - But, wont be THE answer. (Tragedy of the
    Commons)
  • A federal tax shift Yes
  • - 2,502 economists agree.

11
A phased-in, federal tax shift
  • At the federal level, shift taxes from income to
    non-renewable
  • energy revenue neutral for government,
    individuals and families
  • A BTU tax is best adds to energy costs for
    fossil fuels and nuclear
  • How much? equivalent of 10 to 40
    cents/gallon/year of gasoline
  • for 10 years
  • Could cause inflationary pressure
  • (as does
  • - cap trade
  • - a complete economic crash from
  • skyrocketing fossil fuel costs
  • - global warming costs.)

12
A phased-in federal tax shift Benefits (1 of 2)
  • REAL incentive for conservation
  • REAL stimulus for renewable energy
  • more renewable energy projects economically
    viable
  • creates a mighty GREEN JOBS engine domestic
    products
  • and export
  • U.S. becomes a LEADER in reducing greenhouse gas
    emissions
  • Reduced foreign energy dependence regain
    economic control

13
A tax shift?...  raise non-renewable energy
prices now?!
  • Paul, have you been living under a Popsicle
    stick?
  • - Credit and housing crisis - Inflationary
    pressure
  • - Number of jobs has decreased - Likely
    recession
  • - Oil is over 110 a barrel
  • --------------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------------------------
  • No. We can pay now or pay a lot more later
  • Oil shortages and skyrocketing prices
  • Higher food prices from drought, flood and
    ethanol production
  • Higher ocean levels wreaking havoc on coastal
    areas
  • Increased world hunger
  • More wars?
  • Higher insurance rates
  • Water shortages reducing output from
    thermo-electric power plants
  • Costs of increased air pollution
  • U.S. and worldwide flooding, drought, increased
    wildfires, and natural disasters
  • Costs and risks of increased trade deficits
  • Increased health costs if we increase coal use
    (air pollution)

14
A phased-in federal tax shift Benefits (2 of 2)
  • Reduced foreign trade deficit
  • Reduced air pollution and costs
  • No ridiculous CAFE standards
  • Less road traffic
  • OIL companies become ENERGY companies
  • The federal govt doesnt spend tens of billions
  • on renewable energy projects. Instead
  • the MARKET decides.

15
In conclusion
  • The key you and your federal representatives
  • Presidential contest
  • John McCain suggested gasoline tax holiday
    April 15
  • Hillary Clinton backed gas tax holiday April
    28
  • Barack Obama against gas tax holiday April 28
  • Two questions to ask Senators McCain and Clinton
  • - Right now, do we need to use more oil or
    less?
  • - How best to use less oil?
  • If one of your federal reps walked in the door
    now and said they
  • support a federal tax shift.... what would you
    say?

16
Questions? Brett Hulsey Paul Riehemann
CP
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