Those who argue we cant gradually wean ourselves of oil by taxing it or using a cap and trade system, because by doing so we would destroy our economy, fail to acknowledge all the costly ways that we subsidize oil and gas right now.
Furthermore, this same group of people act as if oil will always be plentiful and will never run dry. What if the peak of our oil production is 5 or 10 years away and we are headed for $10 a gallon gasoline in the relatively near term without some tax or cap and trade system in place. Wouldnt it be smarter economically to start weaning ourselves off oil now by increasing our investment in alternative energy so that one day those forms of energy are cheaper than oil? The point is that our economy as it relates to our energy policy has many moving parts and shouldnt be analyzed only according to its immediate impact. We have to start thinking NOW about our energy future for the next 20 to 30 years and beyond, and realize that we will be way better off economically in the long run if make some changes immediately.
Here is an analysis of the true cost of gas.