My idea is to give every individual with a drivers license a gas card, this is not a credit card but a card that keeps track of how much gas you use and must be swiped pre-purchase. This plan would only apply to personal usage.

You allow everyone to purchase say 25 gallons a week at say 30% off the market price. if you exceed 25 gals you pay full market price up to 50, plus you're back charged the 30% for the first 25 gals. If you must use more than 50 a week you pay market for the 50 then 30% over market price from then on.

The percentages and amounts are just there to illustrate the concept, the exact figures should be left up to a statistical analysis of usage so please don't commit on my numbers. The idea is to,

1. Have as little new effect as possible on the average consumer, witch I think less than 50 gals a week describes.

2. Provide a financial  incentive for all to use less gas by any number of means, buying a fuel efficient vehicle, car pooling, public transportation etc. 

3. To have very  little effect on the profit per gal for the oil companies. Reduced usage will have an effect on their bottom line but well that's just tough.

I know this looks like another tax on the wealthy jet set yacht owners of the world and I guess it is, but at least it is optional and not a tax just on their money.  Exemptions could be made for the over 50 gals limit to those with exceptionally long work commutes or other legitimate reasons for needing a little more per week.   

Obviously implementing such a program would be costly but at least it wouldn't be wasteful, like mailers telling people their tax refund is going to be late. I think it would be a deserved thank you to those whom already take steps to conserve and a cash incentive to for others to do more without negatively effecting anyone.


Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 29, 2008
Tax on the wealthy? Hardly! What am I supposed to do when I have to turn down a work contract because I've used my gas allotment for the week? Because these work orders usually range from $75-200, turning down 2 or 3 WO's a week could have a substantial impact.

My job often requires me to drive 60 miles for some of these tickets.

This solution, as with many others, would hit the working class the hardest. Do you think Paris Hilton really CARES what she pays at the pump?
on Mar 29, 2008

50 gals is 600 miles at 12 miles per gal, thats a 100 miles per day for a 6 day work week. Besides I did say "Exemptions could be made for the over 50 gals limit to those with exceptionally long work commutes or other legitimate reasons for needing a little more per week".

"Do you think Paris Hilton really CARES what she pays at the pump?"

No I don't, that's why I feel the extra money that they pay should balance out a discount for those whom do care.

on Mar 29, 2008
I doubt I would ever top the amount, stubby, but my example is rooted in reality. Take a 5 day work week, for instance, and put one contract job that requires 60 miles each way and you're over limit.

The problem, as with so many ideas that were good in theory, is how do you prevent the exemptions from becoming loopholes for the wealthy to exploit?
on Mar 29, 2008

Well I don't see anyway this could be "exploited" to anyone's advantage. At best you could find ways around paying the extra 30% on at least some of their over usage but I think a penalty of some sort would keep fraud down enough that this would still be effective. If a gas truck has to go to your transpo then your paying the extra 30%, I don't see how they could get around that.  

on Mar 30, 2008

Your heads in the right place, but I see a few problems here.

First of all, we don't buy gas directly from the oil companies, we buy it from gas stations.  Most gas stations only make a cents a gallon profit, so what you are proposing here will make it so it actually costs money to sell gas.

The next problem would probably only apply here in Wisconsin.  We have a rediculous law for gasoline called "Minimum mark up".  In other words, it is illegal to sell gasonline here for less than the "minimum mark up" price.  Your idea would be illegal here.

A third problem would be the "back charge".  Do you realize that 26th gallon would cost $27 and change?

 

on Mar 31, 2008

First of all, we don't buy gas directly from the oil companies, we buy it from gas stations. Most gas stations only make a cents a gallon profit, so what you are proposing here will make it so it actually costs money to sell gas.

The only way I can see to do this is the gas is not paid for until the end seller can show statistics for it's usage. I believe it's already sold like that. A fairly simple computer program will be able to show how much gas was sold to each one of the three groups. That will determine what they pay for the gas they're sold, the profit per gal would remain the same.

The next problem would probably only apply here in Wisconsin.

Shame them into changing the law.

A third problem would be the "back charge". Do you realize that 26th gallon would cost $27 and change?

Yes and I think this has the most potential to cause problems. This is why made this on a weekly basis not monthly. Basically each receipt you get will show how much gas you have left before you go over either of the price thresholds. When you get close and swipe your card either the attendant or the pump screen will notify you that if you pump more than "X" amount it will cost you "X" amount more. If your at the end of the week you might just pump the rest of your allotted fuel and try and get by on that, you'll also be much more conscious of your usage and try to conserve all week. If you know that there's no way that's going to happen, you go over the 25 gals and you pay the back charge right there and give serious though to how you might stay under that limit. Or if you know your weekly usage is going to consistently be over 25 gals you could just pay market price from the beginning so there are no surprises. One potential problem I see is someone that must have over 25 gals for that week but simply doesn't have enough to pay the back charge. You'll just have to be more conscious of where your at. If you purchase with a credit card some arrangement could be made for them to hold that back charge until the end of the week, but that might be complicated and it should be optional.

 

 

on Mar 31, 2008
So what happens to the person who doesn't have $27 for that 26th gallon? What security measures could be taken to prevent stolen cards from being used (I hope you realize there would be a huge underground industry for stolen cards)? How would you get distributors to go along with supplying gas to stations that don't have to pay until it's sold?
on Mar 31, 2008
Wow, amazing how easily an idea that sounds good can be made to look almost pointless. Sounds like a great idea Stubby, the one thing that bugs me is this whole making others pay more just because they have more thing. I believe in equality and someone should not have to pay more just because they have more. If they spend more than sure, but this would put a damper on relieving stress when people look to going out to relax but instead find themselves unable to due to either having exceeded their limit and can't afford it, being close to exceeding and fearing not being able to afford it or fearing exceeding at all. I think anything that puts limits to living a free life is a bad idea to me. I still think education and alternative sources are a better solution. Maybe drilling our own oil and/or making alternative fuels such as electric and water based engines more affordable would be more reasonable.
on Mar 31, 2008
Gas cards wouldn't be practical, but at least you're thinking.

Tax rebates for people who drive fuel efficient vehicles might be better.
on Mar 31, 2008

So what happens to the person who doesn't have $27 for that 26th gallon? What security measures could be taken to prevent stolen cards from being used (I hope you realize there would be a huge underground industry for stolen cards)? How would you get distributors to go along with supplying gas to stations that don't have to pay until it's sold?

Well they get a stern talking too then they pay market price until they can come up with the back charge.

I'm sure there would be some fraud, but it's $27 a week, how many people would be willing to risk a felony for maximum reward of $27 a week?  Only people whom are already paying with stolen credit cards because if you swiped a stolen gas card then used your legit credit card to pay well Doh! Even if you use a stolen card to buy hundreds of gals a week your still paying market price for it and you'd have the big oil gestapo breathing down your neck.

I think anything that puts limits to living a free life is a bad idea to me.

I really don't think this would cramp anyone's lifestyle. You have 100 gals a week minimum for a family that's unlikely slow anyone down too much even if you like to go RVng or boating on the weekends. Like I said too these numbers are not set there just there to illustrate the idea and the idea is to have as little as impact as possible on anyone's lifestyle. If you desire and have the means to own a million dollar yacht then you can pay a little more for your environmental excess. I'm not saying you can't do it just pay a little more to give others an incentive not to do it.

Gas cards wouldn't be practical

Why?

Tax rebates for people who drive fuel efficient vehicles might be better.

Just because you drive a fuel efficient car doesn't mean you don't burn 200+ gals a week on other recreational vehicles. I think the only fair way is to tie it to usage.

on Mar 31, 2008
I really don't think this would cramp anyone's lifestyle. You have 100 gals a week minimum for a family that's unlikely slow anyone down too much even if you like to go RVng or boating on the weekends.


First you say this will help reduce gas consumption, then you say it wouldn't slow anyone's consumption down?
on Mar 31, 2008
I'm sure there would be some fraud, but it's $27 a week, how many people would be willing to risk a felony for maximum reward of $27 a week?


I've busted shoplifters with far less than $27 worth of stolen stuff. But back to the point...

You say $27 a week, but that's not what would be "saved" with a stolen card. If I had my own card and 3 stolen cards, I could fill both my gas guzzling vehicles a couple of times a week without getting stuck with the 30%, and especially the 30% over market price for over 50. That adds up to a whole lot more than $27. If I went up to 4 stolen cards, I could buy as much gas as I wanted and never hit that dreaded 25 gallons.
on Mar 31, 2008
I really don't think this would cramp anyone's lifestyle. You have 100 gals a week minimum for a family that's unlikely slow anyone down too much even if you like to go RVng or boating on the weekends.


You mean a 100 gallons month:

You allow everyone to purchase say 25 gallons a week at say 30% off the market price.


I already spend between 24 and 36 a week just on work. My wife caches train to her job at 6:30 AM every morning to a station 10 minutes away and if we late I have to take her to work which is 20 minutes each way on the highway (only job she could find at the moment). I then have to drop off my younger son at Pre school which is 5 minutes away from my job but not along the way to work. Every day at 2:00 I have to drive to my older son's school to pick him up (a 15 minute drive each way) and drop him off at the boys and girls club about 3 minutes from my job. I then have to pick up both kids then go to the train station to pick up my wife which is about 10 minutes from my kids Pre School, then home, a 15 to 20 minute drive, depending on traffic at 5:45 PM. Once or twice a week I drive to my part time job which depending on the location that day could be anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes driving each way, all for $30 to $40 a night.

So you see, it would not be practical for my current lifestyle. I have not even added that my wife takes the car to work on Saturdays and then I might work on Saturday night as well. So supermarket trips, bank trips, going to the park, visiting family locally, all is extra gas expenses we have to watch every mile we drive. Hell, we haven't even gone to visit my wifes family in Miami, a 55 plus mile each way.

Practical? Not likely. If I was making enough money in my current job and my wife didn't need to work plus eliminate the part time. It would be a great idea, i would probably save a ton of money, but at the same time, I would have to wonder about those paying for my savings. because in the end the oil companies will not give up revenue, someone will have to pay for that 30% discount.
on Mar 31, 2008

I think that people have the right to pay through the nose for gas, and we'll keep using it until there are better alternatives.  A tax on a "lifestyle" vehicle (like a full ton truck or a gigantic SUV) would be a better deterent than a government limit (god, that scares the crap out of me) placed on anything.

on Mar 31, 2008

First you say this will help reduce gas consumption, then you say it wouldn't slow anyone's consumption down?

First there's a fine line between constructive criticism and just being a poo-poo head ParaTed2k

I said in that quote it's unlikely to slow anyone down too much. Were not going to cut back on consumption without at least some effort. I think this will put a lot of money back in the economy. Say there's someone using just over the 25 like 5 or 10 gals more, which I think would be the sweet spot for the discount usage limit. Dropping your consumption down 5 or 10 gals a week is just another $15 $30 a week but your looking at almost twice that if you can get below the 25 that's a much bigger incentive. I think the biggest impact this would have would be to just put peoples consumption in their minds. How many really think about how much gas they use a week? We just buy it when we need it then bitch about how much it cost.

You say $27 a week, but that's not what would be "saved" with a stolen card. If I had my own card and 3 stolen cards, I could fill both my gas guzzling vehicles a couple of times a week without getting stuck with the 30%, and especially the 30% over market price for over 50. That adds up to a whole lot more than $27. If I went up to 4 stolen cards, I could buy as much gas as I wanted and never hit that dreaded 25 gallons.

The potential for fraud is just not a reason to not do something, you just have to factor it in like we do with so many other ventures and take whatever steps you can to minimize it.

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