Gas Tax Hike in Near Future

This weekend while I was sitting around and watching the news on television, I witnessed a few heated debates going on about the idea of raising the taxes on gasoline. This reminded me of a similar article that was previously written here on TheEnergyState.com in which one of our readers expressed their opinions on what was needed to control the consumption of gasoline (due to the current prices of gasoline).

The news reports estimated that gasoline taxes could be raised on the order of around fifty-percent. Certainly this a substanial change, however if one looks deeper into the matter gasoline taxes have not been raised in a long time. This means our current taxes are out of date and are in much need of being updated.

As some of you may have already known, I am in strong favor of raising the tax gas. I realize our country as well as other places around the World are in an economic recession and the current cheapprice of gasoline is a sigh of relief for many. Nonetheless there has never been a better time over the past few years then now to implement such a plan. By raising the gas taxes, our country will be accomplishing two things at once. These are: changing the way Americans drive and generating additional revenue to repair our infrastructure which is in dire need of repair. 

I urge all of you out there to do whats right for your country. This is certainly one issue that goes beyond whether or not you vote for one party or the other. Get involved today and please contact the politicians working for you and tell them you are in favor of an increase in gasoline taxes.

State Incentives for Renewables

A little while back I came upon this very useful website that most of our readers (particularly those living in the United States) can benefit from. The website is called The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.Once on the website, consumers have the option of clicking on an interactive map of the United States which is broken down by state. By clicking on the state where the person searching the site resides, they can find information on tax breaks and rebates for purchasing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency.

These incentives are especially suitable for those considering purchasing such systems as photovoltaic solar panels because one can save a considerable amount of money by utilizing the available state grants. Of course these numbers differ by state and with many states in severe budget cuts, it would be advised to further look into these matters before making any decisions.

It just goes to show that by taking advantage of what is out there for the public to benefit from, these otherwise expensive systems cost less for the individual. For further details and information about the incentives found in your state, please check out DSIRE.

California High Speed Rail

When we often think about the topic of alternative energy, what comes to mind is a number of different ideas. These include: renewable energy sources (such as hydrogen, ethanol, wind, and solar), improvements in existing technologies (such as the gasoline powered automobile and obtaining better fuel efficiency with that particular model) and the creation of new technologies (ie. hydrogen car and electric powered car). These are all great things and all help to contribute to becoming more energy independent, however one last thing is missing from the above list. Public Transportation.

It is true that this last piece is often overlooked when considering the above, but it is important to note that it plays just as much of a role as would the creation of a new fuel. The true beauty behind public transportation is that depending on which mode is being traveled with, tens if not hundreds of other passengers are also being carried at any given time period. This reduces the number of automobiles on the road, and thus leads to improvements in air quality due to reduced pollution levels.  

Public transportation is especially important in states with large populations such as California, which has approximately 35 million residents and is expected to grow to nearly 50 million within the next few decades. This factor along with California’s committance to reducing it’s green-house gas emissions has led politicians to bring forth the idea of implementing a high speed rail system.

I’m certain that some of our visitors here have previously heard about the California High Speed Rail System, most likely because of its unprecedented price tag (which is currently estimated to be around $50 billion dollars). Nonetheless, I truly believe this project is fascinating and worthwhile. I’m going to leave out most of the details because I think everyone should check it out for themselves at California High Speed Rail, but I will mention some of the benefits that are related to TheEnergyState.com’s aim. These include: reduction of nearly 13 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year (which is roughly equivalent to taking  nearly 1 million vehichles off the road), and lowering our dependence on foreign oil by consuming 12 million barrels of oil less each year.

Certainly there are alot more benefits that go beyond these two things. I ask that all go and please check out the site in the link above for more information. I promise it will be worth your time. Thanks -Jay

 

*Photo and information courtesy of the California High Speed Rail website.