Gas Tax: Win, Win, Win, Win, Win!

It makes no sense for Congress to bail out Detroit -- and demand that the auto companies use this cash to make more fuel-efficient cars -- and then do nothing to shape consumer behavior.

Published: 28-Dec-2008

How many times do we have to see this play before we admit that it always ends the same way?

Which play? The one where gasoline prices go up, pressure rises for more fuel-efficient cars, then gasoline prices fall and the pressure for low-mileage vehicles vanishes, consumers stop buying those cars, the oil producers celebrate, we remain addicted to oil and prices gradually go up again, petro-dictators get rich, we lose. I’ve already seen this play three times in my life. Trust me: It always ends the same way — badly.

So I could only cringe when reading this article from on Dec. 22: “After nearly a year of flagging sales, low gas prices and fat incentives are reigniting America’s taste for big vehicles. Trucks and S.U.V.’s will outsell cars in December ... something that hasn’t happened since February. Meanwhile, the forecast finds that sales of hybrid vehicles are expected to be way down.”


IEA chief economist Dr. Fatih Birol is now warning oil production is likely peak in ten years.

International Energy Agency reports the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago.


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