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Letter: Moderation and reality should help save energy

Moderation and reality should help save energy

In a recent letter, a writer suggested a tax on fossil fuels. He specifically suggested $20 per ton on coal, $2 per gallon of gasoline and $6 per therm on natural gas as he advocated “no pain-no gain.” But, his plan hurts those struggling families the hardest.

An average home uses around 200 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of natural gas to heat every year. At $6 per therm ($60 per dekatherm), his suggested tax would mean an average increase of $12,360 per year for each homeowner. This is just for the “increase” in natural gas over the current average yearly heating costs.

If the average person drives 15,000 miles per year and gets an average of 18 miles per gallon, this gasoline tax would mean an “additional” annual cost of $1,667 per year for gasoline – that’s over and above the current annual costs. Even ignoring the increased cost of electricity generated by coal by his suggested tax, every household heated by gas and every driver would be paying, on average, $14,027 each year more than we currently do for our natural gas and gasoline.

With this kind of tax, an already uncompetitive renewable energy market would be made even more costly. And very few families can absorb this kind of cost increase, even when willing to make sacrifices. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against renewable energy. But I’m also not against sensible affordable abundant energy.

So let’s allow moderation and reality to dictate our actions as we strive to incorporate all practical forms of energy into our future.

Brian Filjones