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.

The latest to jump on the increased gas tax bandwagon is Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation. AutoNation is the largest dealer group in the country with 311 franchises at 239 locations and 25,000 employees. Jackson realizes that simply mandating more efficient vehicles through either fuel economy or emissions rules without stimulating demand for those vehicles will leave his stores with a lot of stock that customers don't necessarily want to buy.

People tend to think of efficiency in relation with current fuel prices. When prices are low, they buy less efficient vehicles. Jackson is promoting an extra $1/gallon tax phased in over five years. The problem is, will any politician put their neck on the line to support higher fuel prices?

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]