Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How much does coal cost?

I found a video of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. discussion coal via TreeHugger. He discusses subsidies for coal production and the numerous economic externalities that exist from coal extraction and use.

The problem is nobody, to my knowledge, has put a price on an economic externality. Further, I find many people discuss subsidies to coal and oil but I have never heard how much. I think if we can quantify these costs, rather than discuss them in abstracts, people would see how much it really costs to power our lives. If every tonne of coal used costs the taxpayer a defined amount of money people can relate. Then we can move to eliminate subsidies, level the competitive landscape and see which source becomes the winner on merit.

I can hear people telling me dream on...

1 comment:

BBC said...

I have no idea what it costs. I do know this, that's it's stolen from us, like everything else is stolen from us.

Coal, oil, trees, minerals, almost anything, you name it and it's as much as being stole from us and then if we want some of it we have to pay for it.

In theory (ha,ha,ha) all the resources in a country should belong to all the people in that country, and they should be paid for it by those that take it.

But that isn't how it works, does it? They claim ownership, in various ways, and then get the products to market and we have to pay for what we want or must have.

And they make big bucks while they screw us over. The one exception I can think of is that all the folks in Alaska gets a little money from all of 'their' oil that is removed.

I live in Washington state, damn it, where is the money for taking my share of these trees?

It's over $2.50 for a 2X4 now.