California Official Voter Information Guide: Proposition 87
The questions they are many and the facts they are few,
I’ll tell you what I know but you’ll have to figure out what to do:
Opponents: “Do we really want to increase oil taxes by another $4 billion?”
- This is not a tax on consumers. It taxes oil producers.
Opponents: “Higher taxes on domestic oil = more dependence on foreign oil.”
- Only if California oil producers decide to let a maximum 6% tax on a 60 dollar barrel of oil stop them from selling it. How likely is that?
Opponents: “Higher oil taxes = higher gas prices.”
- This is a really interesting economic question and therefore economists are split over whether it is true or not. The proposition makes it illegal for oil sellers to pass the tax along but the market’s invisible hand works in mysterious ways.
- A more interesting aspect of this question is: Are consumers aware enough of the need to develop non-carbon sources and infrastructures for energy to be willing to bear the burden of higher prices?
- If nothing else, 87 might be an expensive advertising campaign for that need because, interestingly, even opponents agree it is pressing.
More coming soon.