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Not a question. I do have a suggestion though.I think the smart key is a good idea but I would add one other feature.I would include a feature that calculates the average mileage that your vehicle is getting.I would then require all gas pumps to have a place to insert the key and tell the pump exactly what your vehicle is getting for mileage. The pump would then calculate the price per gallon that you would pay for the gas you are buying.Gas guzzlers would be required to pay more at the pump than hybrid drivers.

What, just the fact they cost more to operate simply because they buy more gas to get to the same point the Hybrid does isn’t enough for you? And there’s a Gas Guzzler tax spent at the time of purchase? You need to find more ways to punish people? Just to benefit you more?

A Prius doesn’t move my construction equipment around. I need a truck. And NONE of the hybrid trucks save any gas when I’m pulling trailers. Please don’t come up with anymore ideas that punish us working men. We got enough trouble with the current economy.

While I can understand why you would want to do that, it is far better IMO not to mess with a free market place price.

If I understand you correctly, your goal includes reducing total consumption and in particular those who use the most fuel. But just increasing the tax on energy, would do the job even better IMO. Of course I would like to see the proceeds of such a tax go to providing alternatives, like better mass transit.

The further and more complex you move from the goal of reducing the total consumption and the resulting pollution the less efficient it will be. Frankly a truly free market where the true cost of pollution and pricing oil at its true value (taking consideration the limited nature of the resource) the better.

Sorry to say with all the political concerns, we can’t really do it.

Why would you want to charge more for someone who has a less efficient car and may drive it very little, compared to the driver of a more efficient car who drives it much more often, when he might be able to walk?

I personally think it is a really poor idea.

Have you even fathomed the cost of making a standardized key and beyond that upgrading every single pump in the United States with a reader.

Lastly computers in vehicles are programmable and it will likely get cheated like everything else.

My personal feelings are what about the folks who cannot afford the lastest and most expensive vehicles would get hurt.

The only thing that could ever pass is a tax credit for better MPG where the owners interesting in it pay a small fee to have their data uploaded to IRS.

Let’s just have one big central government that controls every detail of our lives, including what kind of lightbulbs we have to buy, how much salt the restaurants can use in our foods, how much unsaturated fat is allowed in out hamburgers, that we have to purchase private health insurance, what they can and cannot pay for, how much ethanol the gas is “cut” with, and what we pay for gas. We could send them most of our paychecks and they could dicate to us what we can buy with whatever’s left. And if they want more, well, they can just take more.

Hey, it worked for the Soviet Union!

Sorry about the sarcasm. It’s nothing personal, but we’re already overburdened with federal mandates and regulations. The government is already flexing its muscles routinely to try to force us to buy what they think we should buy and do what they think we should do. Enough already. Let the free market work.

Lastly computers in vehicles are programmable and it will likely get cheated like everything else.

Ditto on this. There’s an old(atleast in internet time) saying that companies will spend billions of dollars to secure their computer equipment and that there’s someone out there that’ll break that code for $50 in pizza and beer. Expect massive amounts of Prius keys to go missing(hey, just rent one, have another key made, then take it with you to fill up your Suburban)

What I don’t like about your suggestion is this: Eventually the gas guzzlers are traded in and less affluent people buy used cars. The expensive gas guzzlers are then passed to people who can least afford the gasoline. The cars with the better mileage will command the higher used car prices. I can remember back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s a new Cadillac cost three or four times what a new VW Beetle cost. Four years later, the four year old Cadillac and the four year old VW in equivalent condition with about the same miles on the odometer were worth about the same as used cars. A six year old Chevrolet would fetch more than a six year old Buick. The reason is simple: the less expensive car when new was easier to maintain as it got older than the more expensive car and had the benefit of higher gas mileage.

I’m all for saving our natural resources, but let’s don’t dump the problem on the less fortunate that have to purchase the gas guzzling used cars for transportation.

So, your suggesting a perpetual ‘Cash For Clunkers’ program that will keep luxury cars out of the used car market. Yeah, that will help the less fortunate, just like the last program!

Laws of supply and demand. Reduce the supply by keeping some off the market, the remaining stock just gets more expensive. And lets not talk about the very real prospect of black market trading happening. As if we don’t have enough problems in the used car market.

No, I don’t want a perpetual “Cash for Clunkers” program. I didn’t like the “Cash for Clunkers” that we had. Cars that might have provided transportation were scrapped. What I am saying is that sometimes all that is in the reach of less affluent people are the old luxury cars. I don’t want a gasoline surcharge for these people. My family did not have a lot of money when I was growing up. Back in 1954, my mother went back to work and we needed a second car. The used Fords and Chevrolets, the popular cars at the time that were in reasonable condition were out of our price range. The Fords and Chevrolets my parents could afford were junk. My dad finally found a 1947 DeSoto coupe that was in his price range–$325. The DeSoto, with its “lift and clunk” semi-automatic fluid drive probably got lower gas mileage than a Chevrolet or Ford. The maroon paint was faded, but it did run well and was very reliable. I was in 8th grade at the time and Dad put me to work with rubbing compound, polish and wax and I had it looking pretty good.

mountainbike is right; perhaps even understating the level of regulation and control our government has over every aspect of our lives. I’m only 48, yet I could name a hundred things I used to be able to do, safely and legally, that are now illegal or so completely watered down by regulations that it would be difficult to get any enjoyment from them. I’m not talking about drugs or booze. I’m talking about motorsports, athletics, common power tools, swimming pools; the list is endless and all have been changed or eliminated due to lawmakers deciding what’s best for us. My kids’ lives are going to be really, really boring in the future.

Why do so many people want to punish others for doing what they want? If somebody wants to drive a vehicle that gets 7 mpg, let him do it. He’s the one paying for it, not you. I live in New England. In the winter, I keep the thermostat in my house at 50 degrees. Saves a ton of oil & gas. Would you like it if I said that anybody who wants his house warmer than I do should be hit with a surcharge? Or maybe in the summer, since my not having A/C saves lots of electricity, everybody that does use it should pay a fine every time they turn it on? Of course that would be ridiculous, so why is this attitude so common when discussing automobiles?

Your post seems to be very contradictory. Cheap cars are cheap cars for a reason. The less desirable they are the cheaper they are. The way of the world. No Gov’t program will fix that!

Besides, it’s all a matter of choice. Old gas guzzlers are plentiful because people don’t really want them. Old Toyotas and Hondas have a better track record and much better gas mileage. And are much more desirable, making it hard to find one when you really want one.

We really need to get off this ‘wealth-envy’ kick. This country has the highest movement of people among income brackets than any other country. This country has been home to more Poverty-to-Prosperity stories than any other in the world. I certainly don’t want to ‘punish the rich’ because I will one day join then.

What I am saying is that I don’t like the idea of a person who drives a gas guzzler to pay more at the pump per gallon than a person who drives a high mileage car. The used gas guzzlers are plentiful and are not in demand. Therefore the price is cheap. The high mileage used car is less plentiful and in higher demand. Thefore the price is high.

Back in 1962 I was on a very tight budget–small income as a graduate assistant. I needed transportation. I wanted an economical car. I really wanted a VW Beetle. I found a 1955 VW Beetle. It was out of my price range. Used VW’s were a hot item and there weren’t very many used ones. Next car I found was a 1955 Rambler. Economical car,low supply but high demand. Still out of my price range. Found a 1955 Pontiac–plenty of these available. Demand low so the price was in my range. All three cars were in equivalent condition. The Pontiac obviously used more gasoline, but this was the transportation I could afford. Should I have to pay more per gallon of gasoline because the car I could afford uses more gasoline? When I did get a job that paid more money, I bought a more economical car–a Rambler.
I don’t want a government “cash for clunkers” program. Some of the clunkers destroyed probably had some reliable transportation left that would have been of benefit to someone.

Your saving a ton on oil and gas reminds me of a former colleague here in the midwest. He bought a wooded lot out in the country and needed to thin out some dead wood. He installed a wood burning stove in his house in town and burned the firewood from his country lot. The gas company changed his gas meter three times one winter–called it a periodic service change–because the gas company couldn’t figure out why he was using so little gas when he had been using much more to heat his house before the wood burning stove.

You bring up an interesting point.

The energy providers need to maintain cash flow. If we were all to cut our energy use by 25%, would they not simply raise their rates 33% to maintain the cash flow? Even if their rates were regulated, the numbers would support (to the regulatory body) raising rates. Would we not simply be paying more for less?

Those that choose to use less energy should not be penalized for doing so. Those that chosse to use more simply pay more.

I’ve been thinking about this in terms of gasoline usage. Many items are cheaper if you buy them in big quantities. My brother has apartments that he rents. He got a good discount for buying three refrigerators at a time. If I drive a big gas guzzler, maybe I should get a discount per gallon for buying more gallons of gasoline–just the opposite of the original post.

Actually, I agree with you. I shouldn’t be penalized for using less energy. I’m an old geezer and I don’t have much energy anymore–don’t penalize me!