Essay talk:Raising the gas tax is a way of fighting terrorism

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The best method against terrorism[edit]

Is to find an alternative to fossil oil, since that would dry up their money sources.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ 13:05, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Let's not forget that not all terrorists are from oil-exporting countries. How does argument apply to domestic terrorism, for instance? And, let's go a little further now. Terrorists don't need a lot of money to operate. the attempted train shooter the other day is a Moroccan - but Morocco has only a small oil industry. There are some unspoken assumptions being made that don't really hold up. BicyclewheelModerator 13:34, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
(HIMMEL ARSCH UND WOLKENBRUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11 EC) To clarify, I was talking about Islamist terrorism and it would also not end it, "just" make a big dent, e.g. were would be the Hezbollah, DAESH, Al-Quaeda and so on without the money from oil (the DAESH is even selling the stuff themselves on the black market, that's why these fuckers are filthy rich, besides smuggling other stuff (and people) and their protection racket)?--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ 13:38, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I still don't see how, unless you mean either a) the tax would raise funds which be used to fight terrorism or b) the tax would lower demand which would stop money rolling into certain countries. BicyclewheelModerator 13:44, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I clarified my post above a lil.I was talking about some new technology, that'd lower the demand for oil.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ 13:51, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I was about to post a similar point to User:Bicycle Wheel. I would suggest the name of essay is changed to include the key missing subject. It is clear that the point of the essay is to attempt to link oil to the funding of Islamic terrorism. But not so from the title.--TheroadtoWiganPier (talk) 13:46, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
The US produces and exports oil/petroleum too, you know. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 13:51, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
I am now mostly done writing my edit - some points I assume are already addressed. As to other points: I should have clarified that I only talk about Islamic terrorism in this article. Furthermore any oil the US consumes or produces ultimately influences the global market. The less the US consume, the less money ISIL will get for their oil. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 14:18, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
"The less the US consume, the less money ISIL will get for their oil."
That's debatable and relies on a number of assumptions:
Firstly, that the price ISIL gets for its oil is directly and significantly impacted by US demand (possible, though not certain, because it assumes that world demand wouldn't pick up a lot of the slack in US consumption, or, as Bob points out below, that other oil producers, especially Saudi Arabia, won't cut back on production to avoid oil prices nosediving).
Secondly, that a gas tax and reduced US consumption would directly and significantly impact ISIL finances in general (dubious, but possible - it would depend on how crucial oil revenues are to ISIL finances and how sensitive these revenues are to world market oil prices).
Thirdly, that ISIL oil prices, and thus revenue, are greatly dependent on world market prices (again, possible, but not certain. As with fenced goods, ISIL may have to accept a severely reduced price for their oil as they can't simply sell on the actual world market but depend on smugglers and middlemen. Depending on the size of this "discount rate", the price of ISIL's oil may not be very sensitive to world market prices unless these fall drastically).
So there are a number of variables to consider for this equation to hold true — even just for ISIL (and then we haven't even begun to discuss other Islamist groups). Also, while ISIL is relying on large scale terrorism, the US is relatively little exposed to it as said terrorism targets mainly residents of territory conquered by ISIL. With ISIL contained (at least for the moment) in areas with a small proportion of world or even regional Middle Eastern oil reserves, the US has little motive to use it as a reason for increasing domestic oil prices - not least because such a move would A) be extremely unpopular with voters, B) might jeopardise US economic recovery, and C) would probably be labelled "anti-American" (because high gas/oil prices is what those socialist, treehugging Europeans have - not freedom loving 'muricans). Never mind that a higher US energy tax would, in the long run, promote efficient use and make environmental and as well as economic sense. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:56, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
The biggest drivers of demand for oil are cars and heating. Most countries that use oil as the main source of heating are situated in Europe and are currently cutting back on their oil for heating (replacing it with gas, biomass, solar and other means). As for cars: There are roughly one billion cars in the world (which poses the interesting question to car owners how they justify the other six people not having a car for every one of them); There are currently 250 million cars in the US. So if the US does anything that affects their number of cars or the amount of gas these cars use, this will have huge effects on global oil markets. And that's not even counting ripple effects from American car manufacturers adapting to changes in US policy or new American players entering the high speed surface transportation game (which - I should remind people - the US utterly dominated up to the 1950s) Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 15:46, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Some points[edit]

That may seem unclear judging from the first commentary on this talk page:

  1. I say "a way" of fighting terrorism not "the only way"
  2. As there is global demand and supply for oil, what the biggest demander of oil does (in this case the US, though it may well already be China) matters a lot on the global market - if the US cease to consume oil, Saudi Arabia will have a problem even if the US never imported oil from Saudi Arabia
  3. This essay implicitly focuses on Islamist terror. Neither is this the only terror there is nor does the same necessarily apply to other types of terror
  4. This essay neither says nor implies that oil is the only source of funding for terrorism

Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 14:22, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Some more points[edit]

I think there are various good reasons for raising the US tax on gas - but I do not think this is one of them.

  1. Yes, the price of oil is influenced by US demand - but it is even more influenced by Saudi supply. The Saudis are easily able to send prices up or down by opening or closing the tap.
  2. Even if this were not the case - does the majority of oil revenue end up in terrorist hands? I suspect it does not. In this case the majority of the people hit by this change (if it in fact worked as you suppose) would be innocent states which might feel aggrieved by this US action.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 08:33, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
How is raising the gas tax to a level France Belgium or Norway have had for decades going to "aggrieve" anybody but the car lobby? And besides, I think it is not entirely unfair to describe the states of Iran and Saudi Arabia as not only terrorist sponsors but actual terrorist states. This does not necessarily mean they should be bombed tomorrow (unless the "bombs" are bacon, booze and porn, which would be awesome), but we should sure as hell do everything in our power to diminish their influence. And as for the other countries mostly or wholly dependent on oil for their revenue: Venezuela is governed by an uncharismatic lunatic who will topple the moment his slush funds dry up. Russia is already hit hard economically, if US demand for oil is reduced drastically, Putin will have trouble staying in power. And as for Sudan... Well as if being governed by the only person to be indicted in the Hague while in office wasn't bad enough, there are the "minor" issues of Darfur and South Sudan which are wholly and in part funded by oil. And as for your assertion that the Saudis can simply get the pumps into high gear and lower oil prices whenever they please... Well... they may be able to do this in the short term. In the long term the major Saudi oil fields are within one or two decades of their peak (either before or after it) and there is not much oil left to be found. So the longer this goes, the more the Saudis will be aggravated by low oil prices. It's just that they currently sit on so much oil that lower prices hurt them less, it's not that they don't hurt them. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 14:01, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
You ask: "How is raising the gas tax to a level France Belgium or Norway have had for decades going to "aggrieve" anybody but the car lobby?"
But your whole objective is to reduce the international demand - and thus the price - of oil. Are you unable to understand that - in the unlikely event that it worked - oil producers would be unhappy? Doesn't the US have enough enemies?
The rest of your post seems to be a generalised tirade against oil producers in general. They may all be subject to criticism. But what you now seem to be suggesting (if I understand you properly) is that the US tax system be used as a form of economic warfare against them. Apart from the international and local social consequences, the the possibility that such a policy could degenerate into a shooting war is a potential concern.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:46, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
If and when the unholy alliance between the Saud dynasty and the US fractures - and fracture it must - I quite like the chances of the US. The potential of a pro-Saud guerrilla turning an invasion into drawn out guerrilla warfare is rather negligible (though other types of Guerrilla may arise in due time) and the Sauds have neither means nor experience for a major projection of force against the US. So I guess that an entirely domestic matter - remember it is a tax on domestic consumption of a good regardless of its origin, not a new toll or tariff on import or export of a good to/from certain country - is unlikely to be a justified cause for anything. But let's assume one or more of the oil producing countries have enough of a hair trigger temper to see that as a casus belli. What thaen? First of all: A war that is started by such small a cause would have happened either way. Second of all, would a war involving the US and one of the main sponsors of terrorism (say Iran or the Saudis) lead to said country having to focus more of its money on fighting the war. And of course most of the allies of the US could easily be persuaded to cease the delivery of arms to the country in question for the duration of the war. And why do you think the domestic oil consumption of the US does not have an effect on the global price of oil? After all, somebody has to buy all the oil the Saudis, Iran and Venezuela are producing. China is currently - while its overall demand still grows - heavily investing in technology to reduce fossil dependency. Be it wind power, solar, nuclear energy, high speed rail (reducing the need for oil in cars and planes) or in fact a higher gas tax. China - which is militarily weaker than the US and has fewer allies - has not yet found itself under attack by the Saudis. So I guess your argument does not hold water... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:11, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I can't seem to find a clear answer to my first two points raised above.
Secondly, you write:"And why do you think the domestic oil consumption of the US does not have an effect on the global price of oil?"
Ummmm .... What makes you think I believe this?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 08:38, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I though you implied it in this : "Are you unable to understand that - in the unlikely event that it worked..." statement. On a side note, I stumbled upon this - whatever the faults of my approach towards terrorism, the current approach seems to be not working either... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 12:59, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
So - that's after ignoring my very clear second Sentence which begins "Yes, the price of oil is influenced by US demand ..."?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 07:51, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Thaen please enlighten me what you meant with your second post and how you would see a logic progression from the US raising the gas tax to a shooting war between the US and one of the oil producing countries Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 10:35, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Some interesting data[edit]

Can be found here, here and here Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 20:05, 25 August 2015 (UTC)