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August 10, 1977 - Image 2

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-08-10

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

. Wednesday, August 14, 1971

Pae woTH MCHGA DILVWdnsdyAuus-1. 97

Blumenthal urges stronger gas tax

WASHINGTON (A)) - Treas-
ury Secretary W. Michael Blu-
menthal urged the Senate yes-
terday to strengthen the gas
guzzler car tax passed by the
House. But he onoosed adding
further cash and tax incen-
tives for energy companies to
the President's energy plan.
"We need to keen the pres-
sure on gas guzzling automo-
bles until the national automo-
bile stock is truly fuel effic-
ient " Blumenthal told the Sen-
ate's tax-writing Finance Com-
mittee.
TI4E SECRETARY made no
specific proposal other than to
ask for "somewhat higher tax-
es" than approved by the
House. Under the House plan,
1979 models which get less than
IS miles per gallon would car-
ry a tax of $339 to be paid by
the buyer.
Blumenthal made no mention
of increasing the federal gaso-
line tax, and the administra-
tion apparently has given up
pushing for it. The House round-

ly rejected such a hike.
Eaergy Secretary James
Schlesinger did ask Monday for
presidential authority to im-
pose a 50-cent standby gas tax,
but Finance chairman Sen.
Russell Long, (D-La.), said that
idea was going nowhere.
LONG AND severale other
members of the panel continued
to plug for federal cash and
tax incentives for energy com-
panies to look for more oil and
natural gas and to develop the
country's oil shale and geother-
mal power reserves.
Blumental said the adminis-
tration considered relying on
higher market prices and less
industry regulation as incentives
for solving energy shortages
when it drafted the energy pro-
gram.
But he said that approach
would have caused enormous
disiocations in the economy and
unjust windfall profits for oil
and natural gas producers.
"THE AMERICAN people,

witf justification, would have
rejected such an approach out
of hand," he said.
However, Sen. Herman Tal-
madge, (D-Ga.), said his own
calculations showed that an an-
nual subsidy of $12 billion to oil
shale producing companies
would provide enough oil to
eliminate the need for import-
ing any oil. -
Blumenthal said if that could
be done he would favor such a
subsidy, He said he had no idea
if it would work.
T A L M A D G E, Long and
others criticized Carter's plan
to tax the production of domes-
tic oil and return the revenue
to Americans each year., Some
of that revenue could easily be
plowed back into the industry
to enlarge the nation's energy
supply, they said.
The administration defends
the rebate as crucial to keep-
ing the money in the economy.
The House only approved the
rebate for next year, and the
tax itself through 1981. Blu-

menthal said the Senate should
extend both the tax and rebate
through 1985 to eliminate "a
state of uncertainty about our
long-term policy in this vital
area."
IN A RELATED development,
spokesmen for the Edison Elec-
tric Institute, which represents
private power companies, said,
the House version of-the ener-
gy program would add some
$60 billion to household elec-
tric bills.
W. Donham Crawford, presi-
dent of the orgasnization, told a
news conference, "people are
complaining about high elec-
tric costs and now we're go-
ing to have these additional
costs."
Crawford said the hike esti-
mate was based on the costs of
utilities having to use more
coal, paying special charges
for oil and natural gas fuels,
and installing special meters.
All would be passed on to con-
sumers, he said.
THE UTILITY section of the
administration program would

I

Wanted!
peop1e who can:

require electricity to be priced
according to its costs of pro-
duction, with bills being higher
for such peak usage periods
such as suppertime, and less at
other times of the day.
Also, the program would
eliminate low rates for indus-
try and require utilities to in-
terconnect their systems for the
' first time to share power.
House managers of the pro-
gram had no estimates of the
individual cost impacts of the
utility provisions since they
have never been implemented
at one time in any part of the
country. However, they say the
potential cost impact could be
very small or negligible if
households changed their pat-
terns of use.
Salad says
Life is a mirror and will re-
flect back to the thinker what
one thinks into it.
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Volume LXXXVI, No. 42-
Wednesday, August 10, 1977
is edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan. News
phone 74-0502. Second class postage
paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.
Published daily Tuesday through
Sunday morning during the Univer-
sity year at 420 Maynard Street, Ann
Arbor.-Michigan 48109. Subscrption
rates: $12 Sept. thru Apr (2 semes-
ters); $13 by mail outside Ann
Arbor.
Summer session published Tues-
day through Saturday morning.
Subscription rates: $8.50 in Ann
Arbor; $7.50 by mail outside Ann
Arbor.
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