Enviros already miss high fuel prices

Washington Times:

Advocates of energy conservation and renewable fuels may be the only ones in America looking back nostalgically on the days of $4-a-gallon gasoline.

The political will to reform energy policy and the public's demand for alternative fuels and more efficient cars appear likely to fall off as rapidly as the price of a gallon of gas, posing a new dilemma for champions of green energy and conservation.

Environmental advocates, and a few conservative thinkers, have begun talking about the need for a variable gasoline tax akin to the price floors used by some European nations to establish a consistent gas price, even as the cost of crude oil fluctuates.

But the relatively cheap price of gas - the national average was $1.88 Tuesday, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic - has undercut public support.

"What happens is there's no long-term response," said Daniel Sperling, a professor of civil engineering and environmental science and policy at the University of California at Davis, who is pushing a plan to create a price floor. "We almost overcame that mind-set."

The price-floor idea, like other explicit gasoline tax proposals, has received little favor in Congress, where members are ever-wary of new taxes.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico Democrat, shot down the idea of any new gasoline tax last week.

"I don't think something like that has much prospect of being enacted," Mr. Bingaman told a group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

...

What we should really be doing is looking for ways to increase the domestic supplies in order to avoid the future price spikes. What the price run up has disclosed is that the environmental groups really want high priced energy to push their anti energy agenda.

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