As an example let’s discuss the manufacture of bio ethanol (a pet peeve of mine). The conversion of corn to ethanol requires some 50,000 BTUs of external energy per gallon. If these BTUs are derived from natural gas this equates to approximately 55 cubic feet of natural gas and the carbon dioxide emissions in the process of manufacturing ethanol approximately equals 6.3 pounds per gallon. At $100 per ton or 5 cents per pound the carbon value added tax on ethanol would be 31.5 cents per gallon. I would scrap the 50 cent per gallon subsidy that ethanol now enjoys and this would mean an 81.5 cent per gallon increase in the wholesale cost of ethanol. All transportation fuels would also have a carbon value added tax levied on them. This would be in the form of a fuel tax at the pump. Gasoline and ethanol should be taxed at about one dollar per gallon. Diesel, propane, and compressed natural gas would be taxed at a lower rate of say thirty cents a gallon. A friend of mine in New Zealand has told me that diesel sells for 50 Kiwi cents a liter less than gasoline. The New Zealand government levies far higher taxes on gasoline than on diesel. A significant fraction of the personal cars in New Zealand are diesel. While the Kiwis are really wrong on nuclear power they are certainly right on diesel.
I closed the meeting with the Congresswoman that I would write a policy essay that details my ideas and also details why advanced batteries and cellulosic bio ethanol is destined to be a waste of tax payer money. The Congresswoman will then take my policy essay to the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy that she sits on. My ultimate expectation is to be invited to testify before the committee and go on record with the laws of thermodynamics. The members of the committee may in fact be refreshed to hear this rather than the junk big oil, big ethanol, and the once big three have lobbied for as energy policy that only serves their special interest and simply prevents real policy to be adopted. I must say I felt proud to be a citizen of the United Sates after the meeting and do thank the Congresswoman and her staff for listening to me. While I have been harsh on Lynn Woolsey, I do believe she is a person with principle and passion and is no doubt very honest. Kind of like the Green Machine except like my Kiwi friends she keeps to the left when she drives. The Green Machine drives on the median and is therefore always crashing.