Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fuel Efficient Cars Threaten Our Roads?

The Associated Press reports: “Oregon looks at taxing mileage instead of gasoline.”

Oregon is among a growing number of states exploring ways to tax drivers based on the number of miles they drive instead of how much gas they use, even going so far as to install GPS monitoring devices in 300 vehicles. The idea first emerged nearly 10 years ago as Oregon lawmakers worried that fuel-efficient cars such as gas-electric hybrids could pose a threat to road upkeep, which is paid for largely with gasoline taxes.

Not only are other states considering the same but Congress is as well!

Is this the apex of political stupidity / absurdity? Fuel-efficient cars pose a threat to road upkeep? Why not just mandate that the nation’s highways can only be used by SUVs? Here we are with an ideal opportunity – now that many have “adjusted” to $4.00 gasoline – to implement a federal fuel tax that would:

* support our decaying infrastructure and mass transit
* hasten the conversion to more fuel-efficient vehicles
* reduce our dependence on foreign oil from rogue nations
* promote the development of our nascent alternative energy industry, all domestic jobs

Instead, our backboneless political representatives seek what they think is the path of least resistance, one that has the resonance of big brother watching. The recent decline in oil prices is an opportunity to establish a nationwide gas tax to finally achieve important national objectives, ones that we've postponed for decades because of political expediency.