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Aggregating Energy Since 2006

Tax Intl Fuel

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If you are shipping a refrigerator from China to the U.S., the fuel used by the ship is not taxed. The International Herald Tribune has a story looking at international transportation.

The lack of taxes on these fuels has helped keep the cost of such shipping quite low, greatly encouraging products to travel further and further from production to consumer. The article points out that this is not always a net loss for those of concerned with using energy efficiently:

Some foods that travel long distances may actually have an environmental advantage over local products, like flowers grown in the tropics instead of in energy-hungry northern greenhouses.

Another complication is deciding how such a tax would be administered and collected - there is no authority governing all these international shippers.

Nonetheless, it strikes me that when we run into the pollution resulting from all this transportation, it should be taxed.