Expensive Gas Is Good

I’ve been saying this for a while and when I do most people look at me like I’m crazy.  But it’s true.  The problem isn’t that gas/oil is expensive, but rather that we’re addicted to the damn stuff.  Thomas Friedman has a good op-ed in today’s New York Times explaining:

When a person is addicted to crack cocaine, his problem is not that the
price of crack is going up. His problem is what that crack addiction is
doing to his whole body. The cure is not cheaper crack, which would
only perpetuate the addiction and all the problems it is creating. The
cure is to break the addiction.

Instead of drilling offshore and waiving taxes on gas, as some have proposed, we ought to be raising taxes on gas/oil (of which some of those revenues should be rebated to lower income folks hit hardest by the cost) which will destroy demand while providing an incentive to entrepreneurs and others to develop viable alternatives.  It’s no coincidence that the cost of a gallon of gasoline in France is about $9.00 and the fact that 78% of the electricity generated in France is nuclear. 

On a related note, kicking the carbon-based-fuel habit is going to be the biggest new business opportunity in the history of humankind.  If you’re advising your kids what to study or thinking of a business to start, look no further.