Harvard Report: Gas Taxes Not Vehicle Credits Necessary To Reduce Emissions

$7 gas is necessary according to a new report if transportation emissions are to be reduced to EPA targets by 2020. What's more, providing tax credits for electric and hybrid vehicles would backfire. The report recommends steep gas tax increases.

To meet the EPA's 2020 targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 14%, the cost of gas would have to increase to $7 a gallon, according to a March report by researchers at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

"Most of their models assumed an economy-wide carbon dioxide tax starting at $30 a ton in 2010 and escalating to $60 a ton in 2030. In some cases researchers also factored in tax credits for electric and hybrid vehicles, taxes on fuel or both.

In the modeling, it turned out that issuing tax credits could backfire, while taxes on fuel proved beneficial."

'Tax credits don't address how much people use their cars,' said Ross Morrow, one of the report's authors. 'In reverse, they can make people drive more.'

"Researchers said that vehicle miles traveled will increase by more than 30 percent between 2010 and 2030 unless policymakers increase fuel taxes."

Thanks to Ron McLinden

Full Story: Fuel Taxes Must Rise, Harvard Researchers Say

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