Saturday, December 20, 2008

Solution to the Energy Crisis and the Auto Makers

I heard this on the NPR show "Car Talk" with those guys Click and Clack.

They said we should do two things to help our economy, the car industry and our environment:

1. Raise the tax on gas - Gas was $4.00 a gallon a few months ago, if we put on a $.50 tax per gallon it will raise the price now to $2.50 a gallon. It won't be that hard to handle and we will get a lot of benefit from it. Of course this will raise lots of money, money we can use to repair the ailing network of roads and highways that were built in the 50's and 60's and now are in need of significant repair. It will also curb our desire to go back to gas guzzling. It is shown that we are price sensitive to gas and as the price goes up we will drive less (putting less polutants in the air and killing fewer people) and we will seek out more alternative fuels and low consumption transportation options.

2. Restructure the Auto Makers - as part of our bailout we should insist that the big three automakers develop a mass transit division. They should re-tool their factories to make those high speed trains that can go between big cities. This would help them get back on their feet and would encourage mass transit.

My comment to this last suggestion is that we should also insist on more fuel effecient cars as part of our bail out plan. If the cigarette companies can re-tool to become high tech firms the auto industry can simillarly reinvent themselves for the betterment of all.

- Pedro

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