Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Open Letter to Senator John Cornyn

Senator Cornyn:

As a finance and business student I am disappointed of with your narrow view of free markets. In my economics classes we learn of two concepts that seem to be lacking in our current "free market" enterprises. The laws of supply and demand seem to be holding as gas prices rise to $4. I'm sure you're aware that the number of passenger miles driven this May have fallen by 4% over last years amount. Further public transportation system ridership have increased across the country. Though as unfortunate as the high gas prices are to some, people across Texas and across this country are making life changing decisions on what they drive and where they live that lowers their demand for oil and gas. And as they teach you in any first year economics course lower demand leads to lower prices. Increasing the supply of oil does nothing to change our behavior, it simply postpones the problem causing us to be further behind in our alternative infrastructure when we can no long domestically increase our supply of oil.

The current price of gas we're paying is the price we've incurred from being wasteful over the last several decades. Your response to these problems mortgage our future for a very small amount of reprieve.

Secondly, in economics classes they teach of the costs of externalities. We know that cars pollute. And though in your "update" from June 6, you don't discuss a connection between CO2 emissions and global warming, you rise in opposition against a funding package to counteract the externalities of the very actions the taxes are being earmarked to counteract. Taxes work when, first, they help curb demand (which I've already discussed) and second, when they pay for things that parties directly cause but don't pay for. I'm firmly opposed to your stance and urge you to consider who is really paying for gas guzzlers and the maintenance of our wasteful way of life.

I am pleased with your support for solar energy projects, I urge you to continue this support as well as support for alternative types of transportation both throughout our metropolitan areas and between them.


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