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Blogger Tom Kloza: Gas Tax Holiday Is A Bad Idea

Thursday, 1 May 2008 | 11:49 AM ET
Chief Oil Analyst, OPIS
Tom Kloza
Chief Oil Analyst, OPIS

This is the last of three posts today from guest blogger Tom Kloza. Tom is Chief Oil Analyst at OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) and has his own blog.He has been writing about downstream oil markets since 1975 and was among the founders of OPIS over 25 years ago.

As a journalist, I try to be non-Geraldo-like, which means that I generally stay away from advocacy, and political statements. About two weeks ago, Senator John McCain suggested that the U.S. have a “gas tax holiday” with a suspension of the 18.4cts gal federal gas tax.

The idea was ultimately supported by Senator Clinton as well. There have also been a number of states where governors or members of Congress have suggested a moratorium on state fuel taxes. In a press conference earlier this week, President Bush neither endorsed nor dismissed the proposal.

Most of the people I deal with in the downstream oil business believe a gas tax holiday to be a bad idea. I agree.

One of these days, we will find an Atticus Finch among our political leaders who will truly act in our best long term interests. When that happens, we’ll see someone level with the American public and tell them that Energy Independence is a myth for the next 13 years.

Before we can become energy independent, we need to work on some energy discipline. If the President ultimately agrees to a gas tax holiday, I resolve to call the upcoming post-solstice 92 days the “summer of George.” I suspect it may have about as much success as the Seinfeld-created episode that bears its name.

Questions? Comments? energysource@cnbc.com