Ford CEO Alan Mullaly came out publicly in favor of new fuel taxes in place of fuel economy standards as a way to reduce fuel consumption. At the Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City MI this week he called CAFE a failure that has done nothing to reduce American dependence on foreign oil or greenhouse gas emissions. Instead he said that Congress should give consideration to Rep. John Dingell's (D-MI) recent gas tax proposal.

While Mullaly is correct in arguing that oil imports have only increased since CAFE went into effect, there is also the fact that the standard has not risen since it reached its current level in late 1980s. However, the reality is also that consumers in this country will also tend to buy the biggest, most powerful vehicle they can afford to operate. Why else would F-150s and Explorers outsell by such a wide margin small cars that are and have been available.

Sales of larger, thirstier vehicles have only slackened as gas prices have risen but not nearly enough. Only when the cowardly politicians actually step up to the plate do what needs to be done to address demand for oil with tax changes will the problem really be addressed.

[Source: Detroit News]