Don’t Tax, Set the Rules and Trust the Market

May 10, 2022 12:46 p.m. ET

E85 fuel at a gas station in Nevada, Iowa.


Jason Reed/REUTERS

Tom Hazelleaf (Letters, May 2) is right about letting markets lead the fight against climate change, but wrong about imposing a carbon tax. Gasoline is the largest emitter by far of new carbon dioxide. The price elasticity of gasoline is close to zero, so a carbon tax will raise a lot of money but won’t cut gasoline use much.

To do that, Congress should ban the sale of new vehicles that burn gasoline, leave existing vehicles alone and let the market decide between electric-, hydrogen- and biofuel-powered engines for new vehicles.

This is how we got rid of lead in gasoline. We didn’t ban the sale of leaded gasoline or tax it. We banned the sale of new cars that burned leaded gasoline, left existing vehicles alone and let the market decide what to use as an octane enhancer.

Don Siefkes

E100 Ethanol Group

San Leandro, Calif.

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