I came across an article by John McCormick, a columnist with The Detroit News, that is suggesting a ‘market based’ approach to “curbing America’s appetite for gasoline.” Under his proposal vehicles would have a fee system based on the fuel consumed by your vehicle, and the miles you drive as determined by your vehicles GPS tracking such as OnStar. McCormick suggests his “pay per use” system would encourage drivers to only use larger vehicles when they really needed to like hauling all the kids across country, and opting to take the fuel efficient sedan to work everyday.
“A serious increase in fuel taxation is the simplest way to curb America’s appetite for gasoline, but no U.S. politician has the nerve to push that option. So why don’t we leave it to consumers to make their own choices and pay the price accordingly?”
Certainly no politician wants to be labeled as the one increasing gas prices. But would it really be easier to pass pay-per-use fee legislation than a gas price incrase? All vehicles on the road (new or not) would need to be equipped with a GPS device (one would also need legislation about tampering or disabling the device, and who would pay for the retrofit for a 95 Hummer H1, or any of the millions of other vehicles not GPS equipped?), from which data would be accessible by third parties (many folks already have a problem with “Big Brother” OnStar!). Also, it doesn’t appear to take into affect how fast/aggressive you drive either, making it even more unfair for the person who is conscious of how they drive. I’m not advocating it by any means, but an increase in gas prices solves all the fairness/privacy issues. Luckily, the Hummer H2 Diesel, and E85 versions of the Hummer H3 and H2 will be out years before anything like that would ever pass. What are your thoughts?