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After reading Ralph Damiani’s column of May 24, “New fuel standards and you,” I want him and others to know that many Americans welcome the new fuel efficiency standards and wish they had been put in place many years ago.
What he fails to realize is that government intervention in such matters is sometimes necessary because of the political climate we live in. What would really drive us to buy more fuel efficient cars is, as he states, higher gas prices.
One way to do that and get the same result as fuel standards is to raise the tax on gasoline. But increasing taxes is anathema to politicians, as we all know. But an increase in taxes is what is really needed to pay for the true cost of owning gasoline based automobiles.
Damiani states “..we do not think that vehicles that get lower mileage must by definition be dirty and pollute the environment more. They just use more gas.”
But each gallon of gas burned does pollute the environment and the pollution per mile is much greater with gas guzzlers than with fuel efficient vehicles. Common sense tells us that we must start using less gas.
Finally, I’d like to point out that the auto manufactures used to sell seat belts as optional equipment before the government made them mandatory. There is a lesson to be learned here.