Over at the National Post, George Jonas has put out a commentary on the potential impact of moving our vehicle fleet towards a model that consumes less oil.
In some respects, this commentary is an extension of the “ethical oil” proposition that was started by Ezra Levant.
I can agree a bit with this concept. If the governments of the world are going to levy taxes or other “permit fees” on the environmental externalities of a commodity like oil, then is it not appropriate to level a surcharge based on the “social externalities of competing products?
What is the value of the social cost of importing oil from the middle east when some of those revenues are re-directed to foster Islamist extremism that present substantial security threats to western nations? If “carbon taxes” are on the table, then what about “national security” taxes?
While my first instinct is to defend the practices of extracting oil from heavy oil formations, if the political environment in the US and Europe dictates that it must pay for its questionable environmental externalities, then imports of conflict oil should also be taxed on a comparable basis.