CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Shale oil during the Carter administration

Sorry, not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Ok, that didn’t come across in print. Yes, I agree that you can, indeed, control the amount of taxes based on how much you use. It is also nice that the state does quite well with the taxes they do collect. If you look at the total state budget and divide by the population for each state, Florida is pretty efficient, actually #1 from this site;

Lots of north-easters relocate here when they retire. Far lower home prices and favorable tax structure. The east coast gets more NY and NJ, the west more OH, IN, IL.

1 Like

Florida didn’t become “God’s waiting room” by accident.

1 Like

Yes, but it is a tax that is only paid by people who choose to expose themselves to it.
In my neck of the woods, a few years ago, the NY/NJ Port Authority increased their tolls for cars traversing tunnels and bridges between NJ and NY to $16. Because I don’t want to pay that type of extortionate toll, I park my car in a low-cost parking lot in NJ, and I take low-cost mass transit into NYC. Besides saving a whole lot of money on mass transit tolls–rather than paying tunnel/bridge tolls–I avoid the incredible mess of driving in NYC, as well as the equally-extortioniate cost of parking garages in NYC.

So, by avoiding the user fee at Hudson River Crossings, I am saving that expense, as well as parking expenses and the un-quantifiable expense of driving in gridlock in NYC.
:thinking:

A user fee is only paid by those who choose to use a particular service, and as a result it is not a tax on the general populace.

Class is dismissed for today.
:wink:

This gets to something we learned about in public administration budgeting called “tax efficiency.” Efficient taxes are paid by people who use the resources that the taxes pay for. In this context, the word “efficient” is being used technically, with no positive or negative connotation. It’s not inherently good or inherently bad if a tax is efficient or inefficient. Whether a tax should be efficient or inefficient depends on many factors, particularly whether it is practical to single people out and whether it would unduely burden some people.

So technically, privatizing an interstate highway and installing toll booths is more efficient than taxing everyone whether they use the interstate or not, although I am not a fan of doing this.

Likewise, taxing an entire state to subsidize K-12 education is inefficient, because you’re taxing people who don’t have children in school. There are indirect benefits to everyone in the state, such as lowering the crime rate and lowering incarceration costs, which tend to be higher than education costs, but if you let people who don’t have children opt out of paying property taxes that are used for K-12 schools, it would be penny wise and pound foolish, because every dollar cut from K-12 education leads to an increase in criminal justice costs that exceed that dollar, sometimes by a large margin, and you cannot efficiently tax criminal justice costs. They have to be spread across the population.

In the end, subsidizing education, whether it’s in-state college tuition or K-12 education, benefits everyone, whether they appreciate it or not. It stimulates the economy by providing qualified employees for employers who relocate within the state, it lowers the crime rate, improving the standard of living for everyone, and it lowers taxes (because it’s cheaper to educate a student than it is to arrest, convict, and incarcerate a criminal).

This raises another transportation issue, whether bus and train fare should be subsidized. Technically, it’s most efficient if it isn’t subsidized by the government, because only people who use mass transit pay for its operation and upkeep, but that ignores the fact that, to a lesser degree, everyone benefits when more people use mass transit. Mass transit cuts down on road congestion, freeing up space on the roads for people who drive, and it cuts down on pollution.

My parents were married in Rifle, CO June 24th 1927. I recall a shale oil extraction project in the area. Until we can eliminate fossil fuel dependence which will take much time or a miracle we need domestic oil.

One place we own, garbage pickup was free, no more, now it is a user fee. City created a storm water utility, now it is a separate fee, getting no more service than we used to just separate funding to keep the taxes lower, but at the end of the day one pays more. To keep it car related one of the costs involved is a street sweeper to keep catch basins clean so streets do not flood. It used to be done as part of the general budget.

How much is tax? When I moved home to Oregon from Southern California in 1976 unleaded regular in CA was .69. In OR it was .55.

It’s around 50-70 cents per gallon here I think. It changes all the time, due to the politics of the situation. It went up quite a bit, like 20 cents per gallon, a couple of years ago, and seems to go up a nickle or dime a gallon each year. But tax hikes alone wouldn’t explain why the price went from $2.75 to $3.50 over the past two years.

High ridership on public transportation benefits everyone. Less pollution, less parking spaces less congestion.
However, if you don’t subsidize it, fares go up, ridership drops, runs get dropped, so less people CAN use it to commuter and fares go up some more.

The people who need public transport, are the least able to afford it.

At one time I was married with 2 children and didn’t own a car. We walked or rode buses everywhere.One day the bus I took home from work at 1:45 am stopped running because they didn’t make money on the middle of the night. I had to buy a car and they permanently lost the ridership of 4 people.

As far as not taxing people who don’t have children, weren’t the vast majority of those people the beneficiaries of free public education.

Why isn’t horizontal drilling stealing oil or gas from under someone else’s land?

You can only drill where you’ve paid for a lease. Drill outside, get sued.

Maryland appears to have high gas taxes, but the state legislature has a habit of diverting the money to other things. Our roads are typically in very good shape, though. The one area that suffers is bridge replacement.

A college friend’s first job after graduation was in Wyoming mining shale oil. It was a quiet country life except for Friday night. He and his wife would spend some time at the bar until the cowboys showed up and then the fights started. They learned quickly when it was time to go home.

1 Like
'In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 which among other things abolished the United States' Synthetic Liquid Fuels Program.
(from the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_shale ).

It turns out that oil shale is

‘an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons can be produced’
, different from the stuff you get by fracking, usually from already-existing oil wells from which you can free up oil by busting the surrounding rock, oil you can’t get by older drilling methods.

The shales that were the target of the that program had kerogen (immature oil) in them. The oil targets for the horizontal wells range from silty shales to siltstones to silty sands with light oils (which is why the oil rate plot is call ‘light tight oil’, it’s not just from shale). And a number of these areas, while identified for years, have next to no existing vertical wells.

2 Likes

It eliminated the funding for this program. It didn’t eliminate oil companies from pursuing it. Economics did that. Unocal dropped their program in 1991, 6 years after the subsidies were cancelled.

1 Like

How Chinese of you. They are allowed to have two children without penalty. This is an improvement from the one child policy from the 1960s to three years ago. We really don’t want to discuss the Chinese policy any further, but you brought it up.

2 Likes

I don’t think moving to another country is a viable option for me. Car related why the hell would you want to reduce California emission standards? The automakers are on board, but not the administration. We have the option to change administrations by voting or impeaching, but all the caveats make it pretty muddy waters. I can vote so don’t tell me to leave.

Why are YOU answering . . . ?

My comments were clearly directed at @wavyonwheels . . .

Again . . . my comments were directed at @wavyonwheels

I had thought that was very clear . . .

If you WANT to believe I somehow attacked you . . . be my guest

But that wasn’t my intention

I hate to say it like this . . . but I believe you jumped the gun and it’s pretty clear my comments were directed to @wavyonwheels

Not only that, but my comments were posted DIRECTLY after wavyonwheel’s comments . . . and you hadn’t commented in several days

You want to make ME the bad guy . . . well, it’s a free country

but you’re barking up the wrong tree :dog::evergreen_tree:

@ [db4690]
The reason is of course that we ostensibly a democracy and when we do not like were we are we vote to change what goes on where we are. Many in the world do not have that option, there are millions of refugee world wide that will attest to that. If we do not address the over population issue the will be millions more in straits even more dire.

I apologize for turning this thread in a troublesome direction I will try to avoid such behavior in the future.

Just responding to what I read, I had no idea the comment was directed to a specific person, Not making you out to be a bad guy, Free country we do not disagree on, now back to cars.