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One fact seems indisputable: Americans have come to hate taxes and any suggestion by a politician to raise them is tantamount to political suicide. The problem is that public infrastructure requires funding – and lots of it. Critics of this disparity would argue that a lack of political will to raise fuel taxes has left roads, bridges and tunnels across America crumbling in recent decades.

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One fact seems indisputable: Americans have come to hate taxes and any suggestion by a politician to raise them is tantamount to political suicide. The problem is that public infrastructure requires funding – and lots of it. Critics of this disparity would argue that a lack of political will to raise fuel taxes has left roads, bridges and tunnels across America crumbling in recent decades.

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Passenger cars and light-duty trucks will be subjected to stringent new emission standards in the near future. Heavy-duty vehicles are not being left out of the mix and will have their own regulations intended to slowly lead to cleaner vehicles delivering goods across the nation. That's a good thing.

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The cosmic oil-consumption scales have been tipping back and forth a lot this week. On Tuesday, Nissan revealed that its all-electric Leaf will be priced lower than most of us expected. On Wednesday, President Obama announced that we'll be ramping up our off-shore drilling efforts on the East Coast. And on Thursday, the EPA and NHTSA announced changes to the nation's CAFE standards, upping them to more than 34 miles per gallon by 2016 and regulating green house gasses for the first time. So, in

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

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As if Michigan doesn't have enough problems, the state's roads are generally acknowledged to be the among the worst, if not the worst in the United States. Even Governor Jennifer Granholm this week admitted that the pavement in Michigan is "the pits." There are of course numerous reasons for that, including the weather (freeze thaw cycles), excessively heavy 82-ton truck weight limits and outright poor construction techniques. Another contributing factor is lack of funds.

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Executives of large companies by and large tend to skew toward the more conservative side of the political spectrum and generally eschew increased taxes on anything. However, a growing handful (see here) seems to be coming to the same realization of late, a realization that completely escapes most politicians: cheap gas is bad for America, especially if we want the country to move to more efficient, lower emitting vehicles.

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The downward trend in driving miles continued into July of this year for the ninth straight month. In what is usually one of the heaviest driving months of the year as families head out on summer road trips, $4 gasoline and the general economic malaise pushed miles down by 3.6 percent, a smaller drop than the five percent reduction in June. This is consistent with the gasoline consumption figures that were also released by the state of California for June and the second quarter of the year. Gaso

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As you may have noticed when filling your tank, the plan for a gas tax holiday put forward by presidential candidates from both party brands, never came to fruition. The idea had been suspend an 18¢ per gallon federal tax on fuel from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Of course the fact that this would have saved average drivers a whopping $28 had little if anything to do with the lack of movement on bills from both Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain. It turns out the

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American drivers getting angry when the gas pump automatically shuts off $50-75 into filling their cars might want to stop whining. In Norway, it can cost upwards of $130 to fill the !3.2 gallon tank of a MINI at $9.85/gallon. A new survey indicates that even at above $4/gallon, American prices are still among the cheapest in the world, in large part due to low taxation. Only 19 percent of the pump price of fuel in the US is attributable to taxes. Pretty much the only countries in the world with

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One of the most contentious issues in the discussion of how to wean ourselves off oil is fuel taxes. In spite of the campaign contributions that politicians get from car makers, when push come to shove on efficiency they get the short end of the stick. That's because in this country almost any politician that even hints at raising taxes on anything will get crucified by anti-tax lobbyists. So even though higher fuel prices (through taxes) will drive demand for more efficient vehicles, politician

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AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) made a very sobering report to the federal commission on highways on May 9. They pretty bluntly stated that the use of the roads by trucking is outpacing the revenue being collected to maintain the roads. Like vehicles without fuel, vehicles without well maintained roads are just stationary tin boxes. All those lane miles of highway, those graceful overpasses and on and off ramps, cost a pretty penny to build and need co

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