Gore and excess energy comsumption

Dan Scott
Al Gore testified before a Senate Committee on global warming and blamed Mankind as its cause.  His proposal: raise energy taxes.  Regardless of the reality of global warming, I for one believe this is an excellent idea.  Yes, let's raise taxes on the biggest residential consumers who use more than 2 times the energy of an average American household. 

I propose the following Excess Energy Consumption Tax (EECT):  All residential electric and natural gas consumption taxes should be based upon excess energy use; after all, the point of raising taxes is to discourage excessive consumption to save the planet, right?   Any excess energy consumption will be defined as being twice the national average consumption.  All consumption in excess of the threshold will be taxed at the multiple of the national average rate of energy use.


Using Al Gore as the example of 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.  He uses 20 times the national average therefore his bill should be as follows:  Assuming the national average at 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year or 890 kwhrs/month, on the first 1780 kwhr, there would be no tax, on the next 890 kwhrs he would pay a 100% EECT equal to the electric utility’s kwhr charge, on the next 890 kwhrs he would pay a 200% EECT and so on.   By taking this taxation route to saving the planet we will wring out the worst and most wasteful energy consumers. 

Those high energy consumption consumers have two choices: reduce consumption preferably using the most efficient electrical devices or get off the electric grid by installing solar panels or wind turbines.  It should be obvious that those who now pay in excess of a $1,000 a month for electricity, never mind natural gas, have the financial means to buy small scale electrical generation (18,000 kwhr/mo or so).  How long do you think Al Gore would continue to consume energy at his current rate under this taxation regime before he both reduces his consumption and then gets off the electric grid?

O
f course we can quibble about how much the EECT should be, but one fact remains, if Al Gore and the rest of the wealthy 5% or 15 million people (who own 70% of the personal wealth of the US) would reduce their consumption, residential electrical use in the US (1,140 billion kwhr) would drop at least 50%, and that's a big number! Their share, 570 billion kwhrs is a lot of energy in anyone’s book.

Do any of you really doubt that Al Gore is not typical of the wealthy?   If you doubt that the wealthy, represented by Al Gore, John Edwards or Nancy Pelosi, consume at least half of all residential electricity, do the math: 15 million people X 20 times average US household = 300 million people. This is a very conservative estimate since we know that Al Gore and the rest of the wealthy have more than one house each and most if not all of those houses are significantly larger than the average American household of 2,500 sq ft. 

Now tell me if the US couldn't meet it's Kyoto targets if the wealthy like Al Gore were get off the electric grid or reduce their consumption down to that of the average American household?  For those of us who don’t believe it’s mankind’s fault, we can still support this approach because such a reduction in energy use would bring the US very close to energy independence. 

If this approach is successful, then it should also be applied to fuel for private jets.  Remember, one transcontinental flight, one way, consumes as much fuel as two commuters driving (2 vehicles) to work for an entire year.  So who is consuming the planet?  Al Gore and his friends like Brad Pitt or the average American?

Al Gore testified before a Senate Committee on global warming and blamed Mankind as its cause.  His proposal: raise energy taxes.  Regardless of the reality of global warming, I for one believe this is an excellent idea.  Yes, let's raise taxes on the biggest residential consumers who use more than 2 times the energy of an average American household. 

I propose the following Excess Energy Consumption Tax (EECT):  All residential electric and natural gas consumption taxes should be based upon excess energy use; after all, the point of raising taxes is to discourage excessive consumption to save the planet, right?   Any excess energy consumption will be defined as being twice the national average consumption.  All consumption in excess of the threshold will be taxed at the multiple of the national average rate of energy use.


Using Al Gore as the example of 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.  He uses 20 times the national average therefore his bill should be as follows:  Assuming the national average at 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year or 890 kwhrs/month, on the first 1780 kwhr, there would be no tax, on the next 890 kwhrs he would pay a 100% EECT equal to the electric utility’s kwhr charge, on the next 890 kwhrs he would pay a 200% EECT and so on.   By taking this taxation route to saving the planet we will wring out the worst and most wasteful energy consumers. 

Those high energy consumption consumers have two choices: reduce consumption preferably using the most efficient electrical devices or get off the electric grid by installing solar panels or wind turbines.  It should be obvious that those who now pay in excess of a $1,000 a month for electricity, never mind natural gas, have the financial means to buy small scale electrical generation (18,000 kwhr/mo or so).  How long do you think Al Gore would continue to consume energy at his current rate under this taxation regime before he both reduces his consumption and then gets off the electric grid?

O
f course we can quibble about how much the EECT should be, but one fact remains, if Al Gore and the rest of the wealthy 5% or 15 million people (who own 70% of the personal wealth of the US) would reduce their consumption, residential electrical use in the US (1,140 billion kwhr) would drop at least 50%, and that's a big number! Their share, 570 billion kwhrs is a lot of energy in anyone’s book.

Do any of you really doubt that Al Gore is not typical of the wealthy?   If you doubt that the wealthy, represented by Al Gore, John Edwards or Nancy Pelosi, consume at least half of all residential electricity, do the math: 15 million people X 20 times average US household = 300 million people. This is a very conservative estimate since we know that Al Gore and the rest of the wealthy have more than one house each and most if not all of those houses are significantly larger than the average American household of 2,500 sq ft. 

Now tell me if the US couldn't meet it's Kyoto targets if the wealthy like Al Gore were get off the electric grid or reduce their consumption down to that of the average American household?  For those of us who don’t believe it’s mankind’s fault, we can still support this approach because such a reduction in energy use would bring the US very close to energy independence. 

If this approach is successful, then it should also be applied to fuel for private jets.  Remember, one transcontinental flight, one way, consumes as much fuel as two commuters driving (2 vehicles) to work for an entire year.  So who is consuming the planet?  Al Gore and his friends like Brad Pitt or the average American?