Federal taxes on diesel is higher than gas. This is hampering the adoption of more diesel vehicles. The EPA estimates if one-third of American’s would drive diesel vehicles we could save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day. The public should realize that raising these taxes would undercut a technology that squeezes more energy out of each barrel of oil.
Not a question and not about car repair or maintenance.
I’ll disagree. I used to have a diesel and certainly not again.
Take a look at the condition of the roads and all of the heavy trucks on them pounding the highways apart and I think a higher diesel tax is truly justified. Plus this is a state and federal tax issue not just a federal issue.
Federal taxes on diesel is higher than gas.
The Federal tax PER GALLON of diesel is 24.4c, as opposed to 18.4c on one gallon of gas. (Mean total taxes per gallon are 50.8 and 45.6, respectively).
HOWEVER, a gallon of diesel has 14% more BTUs per gallon…weighs roughly 14% more… and requires more crude to make. Once you correct for “gasoline gallon equivalents” (i.e. equal BTUs), the Federal taxes on Diesel are 21.5c/GGE, as opposed to 18.4c/GGE on gas. (That’s 44.7/GGE diesel vs. 45.1/GGE gas for mean total taxes).
This is hampering the adoption of more diesel vehicles.
2.9c/GGE tax is all that prevents US adoption of diesels? Really? REALLY???
The EPA estimates if one-third of American’s would drive diesel vehicles we could save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day.
What does the EPA have to say about the resultant increase in airborne pollutants? (Notably fine particulates.) Such pollutants are the most significant threat to air quality where I live (Pittsburgh PA)…are they where YOU live, too?
The public should realize that raising these taxes would undercut a technology that squeezes more energy out of each barrel of oil.
Again, you’re trading “less oil burned” for “oil burned less cleanly.” I think that this is a debate the US needs to have: in a time of scarcity, do we prioritize clean air or low fuel consumption…in those cases where they are at cross purposes?
You, however, are presenting diesel use as an unmitigated good…which it isn’t.
One additional fact: industry predominately uses diesel; citizens predominately use gasoline. Given that fuel taxes are “regressive” (i.e. they hit the poor harder than the rich), I think it wise to get industry (diesel users) to pay as much of it as possible, and citizens as little as possible (“sticking it to the man” being one of the few remaining “bleeding heart” tendencies I have yet to relinquish.)
Save The Taxes. Want To Reduce Costs ? Drill Baby, Drill !
WooHoo! Get out there and make me a hole in the ground!
Good thread. A lot of good information, which if read and understood will help with better understanding of a complex issue.
I would like to add one. I have yet to see a good calculation comparing the ecological impact of diesel vs gasoline. They both pollute, but they both polite differently. Sort of like trying to compare cherry pie and ice cream. They are both good, but they are not the same.
I’ll disagree. I used to have a diesel and certainly not again.
What was the problem with the diesel you had? I have had two and they both were great (for me) cars. I had a friend who had one of those early GM diesels and it was total trash. I believe there are good and bad diesels and there are good and bad gasoline cars. [i] Take a look at the condition of the roads and all of the heavy trucks on them pounding the highways apart and I think a higher diesel tax is truly justified.[/i] I agree that the trucks are a problem, but I don't think a "diesel" tax is the way. If the problem is the trucks, then tax the truck not the fuel. Ideally a tax should be neutral. That is it should be equal to the cost on society. In this case that cost includes highway wear, possible safety issues and pollution. I just don't see how my little VW diesel is going to damage the road any more than the gasoline version. Just to make life more difficult, we need to include all the secondary damage. Including pollution and add that to the cost of fuel. Only when we are paying the total cost at the pump are we going to start becoming more responsible with our choices. We (world wide) need to become far more responsible. I would like to think that my grandchildren will be able to have happy comfortable safe lives. How we address transportation issues will impact on them. There is at least one logical error in my message above. While it does not change the outcome, I wonder how many people will find it. I wonder how may other errors are there that I did not notice.
I don’t think the tax has anything what-so-ever is hindering the adoption of more diesel vehicles.
Diesel is right now about .20 a gallon more expensive then Hi-Test. But that’s only because gas is in a state of flux. When ever this happens for some reason diesel increases more then gas…When we’re not in this flux…diesel is about the same price as mid-grade gas.
With the new ultra low sulfur diesel…diesel is a good choice for many vehicles. I’d LOVE to see Toyota and Nissan introduce their Diesel SUV’s here in the US. Already in Europe…Much better gas mileage with almost the same HP…but a LOT more torque.
I don’t know why they haven’t introduced more diesel vehicles…but I don’t see how it could be the tax.
Spill baby, spill!
There is not enough money to pay for road repairs now. If we cut diesel taxes, how will we pay for highway repairs? And commercial trucks do far more damage to the roads than cars do. You could change the way the taxes are applied, but there is a significant cost attached to the change. And then there is the problem of diesel cars costing thousands more than their otherwise identical gasoline powered twins. Saving a few pennies on tax won’t make the payoff much quicker.
I have owned a diesel car since 1982. I recall that quite a few years ago and I can’t say when and don’t care to look at my old income tax returns to find an exact answer, owners of diesel cars were given a one time Federal income tax rebate of about a hundred or so dollars to cover for a recent, at that time, diesel fuel tax increase. The tax was increased as the thought was and still is that heavy trucks require heavier road construction or do more damage than freeze/thaw cycles; take your pick. Any person who bought a diesel car since the tax increase would have the opportunity to know what they were getting into and therefore doesn’t qualify for a rebate.
We in the US travel on average, three times the miles, kilometers, they do in Europe. We also have a much larger dependency on long haul trucking and competing diesel like jet fuel for air travel. Let’s not let a precious fuel like diesel be used by teenagers for beer runs to parties or let cars idle more efficiently as motels on wheels for their cold weather escapades. High priced gas is a legitimate way of encouraging better teenage self control.
I forgot to mention the fact of bio-fuels for diesel vehicles, and not talking just fuel from food. But there are wonderful technologies, to make fuel from alga (pond scum), cellulose (grass clippings), sea weed (red tide). And we can make these fuel’s at the current cost of regular ultra low sulphur diesel from crude oil. Diesel is a technology we and our kids,kids,kids could benefit from. Rudolf Diesel knew this 100 years ago when his fist engine ran on penut oil.Taxing the fuel is not the solution .
The tax difference really is small, as explained above, and is consistent with taxing on a CO2 emissions basis, just a few cents difference. As for biofuels, currently diesel production from palm oil has resulted in massive deforestation in Indonesia, not a good thing. Algae, cellulose, and seaweed sources are not yet commercial, and have much bigger barriers than a few cents a gallon.
“I forgot to mention the fact of bio-fuels for diesel vehicles, and not talking just fuel from food. But there are wonderful technologies…”
fiat x1/9, for every “wonderful technology” you mention, there is a corresponding “wonderful technology” that would make gasoline-compatible fuel.
Also, the two points I made: (1) that the tax difference only amounts to a mere 3c/gallon, and (2) that diesel is a dirtier-burning fuel than gasoline, you have failed to address. Am I therefore to assume you have no desire for an intellectual debate on the topic, but rather to “throw your ideology against the wall and hope it sticks?”
P.S. to Dagosa: you talk about the need to “save” the diesel (as a heavier fuel) for where it is most needed. Nobody says that about gasoline, because, as a “light fuel” heavier fractions can be “catalytically cracked” into lighter fractions.
You never hear about “catalytic fusing”…is it even possible?
We need to tax diesel fuel so we can grant huge tax subsidies to Big Oil. Exxon/Mobil gets a tax break from Republicans, and they place the burden on America’s owner/operator truck drivers.
Drill all you want, CSA, it won’t change demand, and it won’t change our refining capacity.
George W. Bush: The USA is addicted to oil.
CSA: We need to drill for more oil!
Me: While we’re at it, let’s buy cocaine for drug addicts too. I am sure it will do them wonders!
Just yesterday afternoon, gasoline was $4.29 a gallon and diesel fuel was $4.19 a gallon in my Eastern Indiana City. Just after 1:00, I pulled into a station where gasoline was $4.14 a gallon. Just as I was filling the tank, the price on the sign in front jumped up to $4.29 a gallon. When I was through filling my tank, the price on the pump jumped to $4.29 a gallon for regular.
I have to agree with Whitey. I suggest adding additional tax every month or so. Just a little, but keep doing it. The revenue could be used to improve roads and to reducing the national debt. Slowly we can reduce our addiction to fuels.
“Slowly we can reduce our addiction to fuels.” And then we can all sit very, very still. It’ll be wonderful.
“The revenue could be used to improve roads and to reducing the national debt.”
I will quote Whitey, above: “While we’re at it, let’s buy cocaine for drug addicts too. I am sure it will do them wonders!”