The editors of The New Republic endorse what they call a “Hummer tax.”

Wonks, in their pithiest mode, refer to the Hummer Tax as a “feebate” system. Under such a system, the government would either slap a tax or offer a rebate on newly purchased vehicles based on the vehicle’s fuel-efficiency rating. For instance, a gas-guzzling SUV would carry a surcharge, which, in turn, would fund the rebate that is awarded to each buyer of fuel-efficient hybrids. Unlike the gas tax, which essentially penalizes people for decisions they have already made, a feebate would penalize–or reward–future decisions. An extra $10,000 on the sticker price of an Escalade actually stands a chance of deterring high-end shoppers, not to mention middle-class SUV buyers.

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Yes. More of this, please.

(Lots more on feebates elsewhere on Grist.)

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