GM's CEO in Favor of Higher Gas Taxes Instead of New CAFE Regulations

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson recently had a two-hour interview with the Detroit News, in which he shared his opinion about the current gas prices and how the gas prices are pushing buyers towards more efficient vehicles.

Akerson is confident that the government will soon get rid of its remaining 26 percent share in General Motors. “I actually think the government will be out this year — within the next 12 months, hopefully within the next six months.”

One thing that Akerson would like to see the government do, is raise the current gas tax as part of its new energy policy. Akerson believes that a higher gas tax will force more people to buy small cars, which will do more than forcing automakers to comply with higher gas-mileage standards (CAFE).

“There ought to be a discussion on the cost versus the benefits,” he said. “What we are going to do is tax production here, and that will cost us jobs.”

From 2017-2025, the U.S. government is considering a 3 percent to 6 percent annual fuel efficiency increase, or 47 mpg to 62 mpg. According to current estimates a 62 mpg standard would add $3,500 to the price of each vehicle. If prices were raised that high, new car sales would see a significant drop.

“You know what I’d rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas,” Akerson stated. “People will start buying more Cruzes and they will start buying less Suburbans.”

Gas prices are already over $4 a gallon, so it will be hard to convince politicians to jump on board. Europe does have higher gas taxes, but it will be more difficult to institute in this country.

Full Story: Detroit News