Georgism and Energy

> 2020-09-17

The land value tax (“LVT”) at the center of Georgism directly encourages efficient land usage in energy production. Given that this core principal assesses taxes as a percentage of the value of the land held, it drives producers to establish the smallest physical footprint possible.

If it were introduced, there would be an immediate impact to all existing energy producers:

“Traditional” fuels (e.g. oil, LNG, coal): large land, and potentially offshore, resources would be adjusted to find the optimal boundary of exerting exclusive rights to the resources and minimizing the taxable land held; additionally the valuable resources held in the land would increase the land value and taxes owed.

“Alternative” energy (e.g. wind, solar, hydro): adjustments would be made to try and optimally position collection facilities; while the land would potentially be less expensive than those containing fuel reserves, the large land requirements for renewables would likely create an increased tax base.

On the other hand, nuclear-based energy solutions would likely benefit given their significantly smaller footprint and generally fewer natural resource requirements. [1] This means that reactors, particularly newer generations [2] or small modular reactors (“SMR”) [3], could be more flexibly positioned. Coupling this with their minimal emissions and steady output make nuclear plants an ideal energy production candidate under a Georgist philosphy.

Georgism encourages:

Both principles point to nuclear as an attractive energy source.

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