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Charging drivers more just makes dollars and cents

As much as it pains me to say this: America needs a $1 a gallon gas tax. And right now would be the perfect time to start. Vote, pass, sign. Please. This gas tax could rebuild America, create jobs, help the auto industry, improve the environment and do something no politician likes to do: Pay as you go.

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Now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency have established fleet fuel economy standards of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, the government agencies are hard at work on the next phase of increases that will stretch out to 2020 and beyond. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act mandated 40 mpg by 2020 as a minimum, but the standards could actually be set higher. That's exactly what the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Natural Resou

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It takes one of two things for a politician to support a hike in the gas tax: courage or no interest in a political future. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) has at least one of these aspects and made his case for a bigger gas tax in a letter to members of President Obama's debt commission:

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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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We all love to see high fuel prices, right? Well, some of us might, but the majority of us would rather not pay through the roof for a gallon of gas. There's definitely a consensus that high gas prices are good for the environment in many ways, but few of us are willing to foot the bill to help out Mother Nature's cause.

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Opening an article with the question, "how much does gas cost?" seems like it requires a fairly straightforward answer. You could hop in your car, drive to the nearest gas station and answer it in no time. Similarly, you could hit up the site GasBuddy and find an answer even quicker. Using either of those methods, you'll come back with an answer somewhere near $2.79 in the U.S. today. Though the answer may seem right, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post argues otherwise.

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Gas tax discussion on Fox Business – Click above to watch video after the jump

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Through the power of Facebook, up to a half a million drivers in the UK are expected to boycott gas next month shortly before the nation heads to the polls for a general election in which Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Brown is fighting stiff competition for the win.

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Through the power of Facebook, up to a half a million drivers in the UK are expected to boycott gas next month shortly before the nation heads to the polls for a general election in which Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Brown is fighting stiff competition for the win.

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Apparently the slew of hybrids and a handful of electric vehicles on the roads here have had little, if any, impact on gasoline consumption. The numbers for March show that we are more thirsty for the stuff than ever. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), our refineries produced more than 9.3 million barrels of gas per day in March, more than any other single month in U.S. history.

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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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In the summer of 2008, we saw Americans respond pretty quickly to gas that cost $4 a gallon (or more). Now that we've had time to adjust to average prices a little bit north of $2.50 in most parts of the country for the last half year or so, what will it take to get people to say, "Hey, gas costs a lot again and we should think seriously about fuel efficient cars and driving behavior"? According to consumer data that Edmunds.com looked at, even the cost going up to around $3.50 isn't going to be

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Ford Motor Company president and chief executive officer Alan Mulally gave the keynote speech at the Washington Auto Show today, touting Ford's product line-up and "best in class" attitude. What we were interested in, though, was Ford's efforts in making more efficient vehicles – and making them more appealing.

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Usually, when we talk about a gas tax around these parts, it's because someone – the CEO of Ford, maybe, or just us – brings it up as a way to create demand for more fuel efficient vehicles. A higher gas tax could also help fix the national infrastructure while it makes people think twice about ignoring vehicle running costs.

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Now and again, talk of a higher national gas tax in the U.S. bubbles up into the discussion. Compared to the rest of the world, transportation fuel in the U.S. is pretty cheap, so there's a case to be made for raising it and to use the money to research more efficient vehicles and to improve public transportation. Of course, this is not a political easy sell, but something happening in the state of Georgia shows that progress is possible. Slow and convoluted, but possible.

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How often do the Wall Street Journal, Bill Ford, Jr. and Thomas Friedman agree on something? When it's the gas tax, it's 100 percent of the time, and now a number of auto executives have added their voices in favor of a gas tax in order to reach the end goal of getting more fuel efficient vehicles into use.

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The idea of implementing a gas tax is becoming as regular in the national debate as the seasons. Those in favor: the Wall Street Journal and Bill Ford, Jr. Those opposed: John McCain (remember him?). New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman brought the debate back this weekend in his latest column, which calls politicians out for their wimpiness for not dealing with energy issues – including nuclear power and, yes, a big huge gasoline tax – in any serious way. Friedman found an energ

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Yesterday, we asked where government spending for plug-in hybrid conversions is at? In the discussion that followed, some readers said they preferred to see higher gas taxes instead of a move by the government to take sides and try to figuring out which technology would best help us move off of gasoline. We've heard support for a higher gas tax from executives at Ford and AutoNation, and the Wall Street Journal says bumping up the taxes are one way to save GM.

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Lots of folks think implementing a gas tax would be better than CAFE to help steer consumers toward buying more fuel efficient vehicles. This, in turn, could shrink our national clown-shoe carbon footprint, reduce pollution as well as give a boost to new technologies such as electric vehicles. So why did energy secretary Stephen Chu say that the tax option is off the table (despite previously favoring the concept)? It's thought to be too difficult to get through Congress. Not only would the aver

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