A new review of the literature [PDF] by Resources for the Future (RFF) suggests that gas taxes motivate drivers to use less gasoline far more cheaply than auto efficiency standards like the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. There are a number of reasons to be suspicious of this conclusion. In order to argue that CAFE has high costs, the study dismisses the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) [PDF] estimate -- that less than $900 is added to the cost of the average passenger car -- as an "engineering" approach, preferring econometric modeling. There is nothing wrong with modeling …
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Gar Lipow, a long-time environmental activist and journalist with a strong technical background, has spent years immersed in the subject of efficiency and renewable energy. His new book Solving the Climate Crisis will be published by Praeger Press in Spring 2012. Check out his online reference book compiling information on technology available today.