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.

Yes. More of this, please.

(Lots more on feebates elsewhere on Grist.)

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!