Saturday, February 02, 2008

Welcome to the Club, Jay

This is a first: A candidate for the U.S. Senate emails me to apply for membership in the Pigou Club.

Hello Greg,

I am a candidate for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire ( and believe we should address our energy problem through a National Security Levy on oil. I have worked with Doug Irwin and Jon Skinner from Dartmouth on the National Security Levy (Doug says hello), and have also consulted with Andrew Samwick.

The details of the National Security Levy are enclosed. [Here is a link.] The e-mail we sent out about it earlier appears below.

Think we could be listed as a member of the Pigou club?

Look forward to talking with you.



Dear Friends,

If we needed confirmation that we've lost control of our energy future, we got it on Tuesday. President Bush was in Saudi Arabia trying to convince King Abdullah to help out our economy by increasing oil production. According to the report I read, the King's response was "lukewarm."

Now it's time for the American people to choose our energy future. We can either devote ever-increasing resources to defending our access to oil overseas -- and deal with the effects of global warming. Or we can use our technological skills to make the transition to renewable alternatives.

At a news conference yesterday in Manchester, I proposed a new plan to take charge of our future through a National Security Levy on oil.

Basically, the National Security Levy would be a fee on every barrel of oil consumed in the U.S -- combined with a price floor guaranteeing that oil would not sink below a certain price. The National Security Levy would be phased in slowly so that consumers wouldn't face a sudden price shock.

Part of the revenues from the levy would be rebated to working families to help compensate for increased energy costs. The rest would help finance an Apollo Program for Energy to make the US a world leader in energy development and production. This technological drive would create new jobs and businesses here in New Hampshire, where we have a growing alternative energy economy. The details of the National Security Levy are on our website:

This plan is going to require everyone in the US to change how they use energy. This may make the plan unpopular with some. But I got into this Senate race not to just look for the politically popular path, but to do things that need to be done. And getting serious about our energy problem is way overdue.

As a nation, we can be great at this transition. No other country on Earth has the talents, resources, and drive to change from petroleum to renewable alternatives as well as we can. Also, spending billions of dollars for energy here in the United States that we otherwise would have sent to foreign governments is going to be an enormous economic boost for us. But we have to get started.

I'm very glad to be able to put this proposal forward. But I can't make it happen alone. Please tell your friends about it, ask them to join us, and contribute to the campaign. With your support, we can succeed. I look forward to hearing from you.


Note to journalists out there: Give this guy the attention he deserves. It is brave and honorable to try to turn this good policy into successful politics.