To stimulate the green technology, repair infrastructure, fund transit and save the world, tax gas now. At this moment, the price of gasoline, our carbon based friend, is $46.28. At this price, green energy technologies like wind and solar are not competitive. Energy efficiency improvements on houses do not make economic sense because energy is just too darned cheap. Thus continues our dependency on oil which is contributing to global warming and funding our frenemies in the middle east. What to do?
Tax gas now.
Here's how to do it:
First, set a price of crude where energy efficiencies will make economic sense. Then set a floating tax which will tax up to that price point--i.e. up to that price point, the difference between the market price of oil and the set point will be tax revenue, after that price point, there will be no need for the tax because the market price of oil will be high enough for green to make economic sense, like, say, last summer. Finally, use the "carbon" tax on crude to fund green initiatives from green jobs to incentives for green builldings.
But what about the economy? The trillions in stimulus (which are coming) will have to come from somewhere, might as well be a tax on crude which directly links to the problem.
UPDATE: My friend Chris Hill at Construction Law wrote a very cogent challenge to the economics of the plan.
UPDATE: The Oil Drum had an answer--lower income taxes to compensate for gas tax.