If the government wants to do something to reduce our oil usage, start by
slapping a serious feebate on auto purchases. Heavy cars and gas guzzlers get a
$3,000 tax tacked onto the price, and hybrids and economy cars get a $3,000
rebate on theirs. Detroit gets a fat sack of money to move quickly and smoothly
into the hybrid business, folks see the savings up front and thus make more
energy conscious car decisions, and we use way less fuel. No one, save those who
need huge cars for their business, is hurt by circumstances outside their
control. But even they'll only be temporarily penalized as the market will beg
for fuel efficient trucks and SUVs (like the Ford Hybrid), and automakers will
race to place them in showrooms.
I think Klein is right when he says a gasoline tax is regressive, disproportionately hurting poor and rural drivers. Taxing NEW gas guzzling vehicles up front makes more sense to me.