My friend Nathaniel Batchelder (of the The Peace House in OKC) has written excellent op-ed piece for OKIMC.org that says why SQ#723 is a bad idea. I agree with what he said wholeheartedly, but will give a bit more commentary from a Green perspective.

We (the GPOK interim Cooperative council) discussed at length what stand we should take on SQ#723, and agreed to oppose it (but never got the final wording down on statement in time for release…this SQ really snuck up on us). In those discussions the main concern many had was whether increasing gas prices was a good thing or not. Some saw the rise in prices as being postive, with the hopeful result of discouraging driving and encouraging better fuel economy, alternative fuels and mass transit. Others believed that the poor would be hit the hardest by higher gas prices and that rich people would drive big SUV’s no matter what (my own view).

In the end we decided that while a gas price rise would have positive benefits in discouraging car use, it would also spur on more car use because the taxes would go only for roads and bridges (and not for bike lanes and mass transit).

I would support a gas price hike, if the money went for mass transit and if poor folks could have a rebate at the end of the year (similiar to the sales tax rebate that poor folks get in Oklahoma when they file their state income taxes). But SQ723 does not do this. Instead it builds more roads and makes rich fat cat highway contractors richer. That’s why I’m voting NO.