Tax On Oil
The most sraightforward way to keep energy prices up, and the one that most developed countries adopt, is to tax hydrocarbons --- a policy proposal long regarded as political suicide in the United States. The federal tax on gasoline hasn't gone up since 1993, when President Clinton raised it a paltry four cents a gallon.
Americans prefer lower prices at the pump even if they have to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes to support a U. S. military presence in the Middle East. Amy Myers Jaffe has calculated that the cost to tax-payers of oil-related military activities is equivalent to about ten cents per gallon of gasoline. "We are being taxed on energy in this country" she said. "It's just hidden."
--- From "Pump Dreams"
The New Yorker
8 October 2004