Raise the Federal gas tax to fund hydrogen research. Good idea or bad idea?

According to Metaldyne Corp. chairman and CEO Tim Leuliette, the federal gasoline tax should be raised to fund hydrogen technology as an alternative fuel. "Gasoline is too cheap in America," said Leuliette. He went on to claim that hydrogen makes the most sense as an alternative to gasoline, but needs much more development, meaning more money. Instead of the private sector spending the money on the development costs, he suggests that Washington should help foot the bill. He blames the government for not having a national energy policy, as most countries do. He continued by suggesting that the price of gas be set by the government, making the tax fluctuate as the price of oil does.

According to Nancy Gioia, director of sustainable mobility technologies and hybrid vehicle programs at Ford, hydrogen is not a shoe-in for our energy needs. She said it takes a great deal of energy to extract hydrogen -- energy that might be better utilized by other technologies like plug-in hybrids.

Tim Leuliette's suggestions are certainly not universal in appeal. Some agree to rase the gas tax, some disagree. What do you think? Should the government set the price of gas and raise the gas tax? What, or whom, will that help or harm? And, possibly just as important, will it drive the market for a sustainable, renewable fuel here in the States?

I am of the opinion that Leuliette is wrong on some points. I don't believe that hydrogen is the most viable alternative to gasoline, at least not yet. Time will tell if the so called "hydrogen economy" becomes a hydrogen reality. At this time, in my opinion, electric cars are the current (ha-ha) and the near future. If anything, we should be investing more heavily in that. I will stop short of giving an opinion on his thoughts on Washington's involvement, but you don't have to. If you have an opinion, why not share it here?

[Source: Detroit News]

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