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The following text was taken from this URL: http://www.populist.com/02.3.dispatches.html

GAS-MISERS STUNG. The Bush administration backed off requiring carmakers to increase their fuel efficiency, while the state of Oregon has moved to penalize buyers of existing gas miser cars by doubling their registration fees because they burn less gas. The US has spent $1.5 billion since 1993 on making cars more efficient, but produced little to show for it, and US automakers told Congress that producing vehicles that get 40 miles a gallon would be a crippling blow to their business, the New York Times reported Jan. 10 in a story on how the Bush administration is focusing instead on long-term research. Corporate average fuel economy standards, which have not been changed significantly in more than a decade, require 20.7 miles a gallon for each company's average new light truck and 27.5 miles a gallon for the average new car. Meanwhile Japanese carmakers Honda and Toyota have produced passenger cars that get more than 40 mpg. However, as a result of legislation that became effective Jan. 1, 2002, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles announced it will charge $60 to register those hybrid-powered vehicles. Regular gas guzzlers are charged $30. "While it is true that [hybrid] vehicles reduce emissions by using less fuel, they do create wear on the highways. They are charged higher registration fee to make up for the loss of revenue generated by collecting fuel taxes," DMV wrote owners of the hybrids, explaining the higher fees. Toyota Prius hybrid owner Karl Wright replied, "Raising fees on high mpg vehicles to recoup lost tax revenue is like imposing a fine on ex-smokers to make up for lost cigarette tax dollars."

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To me if the state needs more money because people like us are doing
the "right" thing to wean us from dependence on foreign oil and being
nicer on our environment the registration fees on gas guzzlers should
be increased and hybrid's DECREASED to encourge more of the like!

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They should just raise the gas tax by some miniscule, revenue-neutral amount. A tiny fraction of a cent. It's not just hybrids on which they're "losing" money -- it's Beetles, Civics, Saturns, and any number of other cars that approach 40mpg.

Nobody wants to do this, of course, but it seems like the "right" way to do it.

... Mike Ho
... San Francisco
 
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