I'm a Pundit Too

Monday, May 28, 2007

CATO Institute Talks About Gas Prices

And they also talk about how stupid your Congressmembers can act.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the "No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007" (NOPEC) is probably the most ridiculous piece of legislation ever hammered through Congress. That serious people entertain this idea is a remarkable demonstration of the fact that, once the topic of conversation turns to oil, the human brain spontaneously short-circuits, nodal synapses fire randomly, and I.Q. points bleed out of the cranium and all over the kitchen floor. From "OPEC Is Not in the House"

High Gas Price Hysteria
With the Memorial Day weekend here, Congress appears determined to leave no bad idea behind in their frantic quest to demonstrate that they feel the voters' pain over high gasoline prices. On May 22, they voted to allow the federal government to sue OPEC for violations of America's anti-trust laws. On the 23rd, they voted to ban service stations from taking "unfair advantage" of motorists and outlawed "unconscionably excessive" prices for gasoline and other fuels were the president to declare an energy emergency. As the summer driving season begins, Cato is pleased to offer some realistic assessments of gas prices and recent Congressional overreaction.
"Congressman, Step Away from the Pump," by Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren
The Power of Ethanol Is No Panacea, featuring Jerry Taylor, 05/24/2007 (MP3 )
"OPEC Is Not in the House," by Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren

Energy Efficiency: Can Tax Incentives Reduce Consumption?
On May 24, Cato scholar Chris Edwards testified before the Senate Committee on Finance on energy efficiency and the federal tax code. Edwards argues that while additional tax incentives probably could reduce U.S. energy consumption modestly, narrow incentives complicate the tax code, create distortions that reduce growth, and move down the slippery slope of widespread social engineering through the tax system. "On the other hand," says Edwards, "Congress should reform tax provisions that hinder new investments in energy production and conservation. Current business depreciation rules for energy and conservation investments are unfavorable compared to the rules in other countries."

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