Should fuel efficient diesel get equal tax incentive credits?

Posted By on November 12, 2011

After reading a recent article in the WSJ discussing the tens of thousands of high paying energy sector and supporting jobs that would be immediately available if the Keystone XL pipeline project would be approved, its clear that politics are more important to President Obama that U.S. jobs. He must have decided that the votes to be lost over approving the pipeline are more crucial than the thousands of good job and our countries independence from middle eastern oil. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for clean energy and improving technology when it comes to transportaion, but when it comes to choosing whether to use oil from North America or having Canada pipe it across the Rocky Mountains and ship it across the Pacific Ocean  to China in supertankers … I’d rather the oil stay here and aid our economy. We aren’t going to eliminate the world consumption of oil in 5, 10 or even 20 years … or eliminate the the use of fossil fuels … so let’s help our economy and create jobs here since we’ll still be importing oil from overseas anyway … plus be tankering it from Canada to China as well. Senseless!

Favor Diesel Paper lede-thumb-620x210-106154

This brings me to another pet peeve … the government picking the preverbal winners and losers when it comes to energy. Why is it that clean and highly efficient gas and diesel cars aren’t eligible for tax credits, but EVs and hybrid models are? If it is efficiency and low emission we’re after, then a small diesel car is perfect for American highways … as buyers demonstrate. A recent white paper is pretty convincing and buyers are choosing diesels even though they have to pay a couple thousand more (particularly in suburbia and rural areas).  Why do only the EVs and hybrids that make good sense in cities get the tax credits – the power to charge them in most cases comes from burning something?

Let’s either be fair and offer tax incentives for all efficient vehicles … or just let the consumer and the markets decide and stop the credits all together.

Choice Favors Diesel
Despite such incentives for electric-drive vehicles, consumers are already favoring diesels as a way to increase their fuel economy, the paper argues. Mineta points out that sales data shows that for models that offer both clean-diesel and conventional gas versions, such as the Audi A3 hatchback (top) and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Diesel, almost 40 percent of  customers are choosing diesel.



After opining on the early part of this topic and sourcing the Wall Street Journal, I figured it only fair to add a PBS video news clip below.


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