GM's CEO makes a case for gas tax

June 7, 2011 at 1:36 PM
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DETROIT, June 7 (UPI) -- Dan Akerson, chief executive officer of General Motors, said the U.S. government should slap a hefty surcharge on gasoline.

The reason, Akerson said, was that it would be good for the environment and good for the auto industry, which is seeking a larger audience for smaller, fuel efficient cars.

"You know what I'd rather have them do … this will make my Republican friends puke … as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas," he said in an interview, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.

"People will start buying more Cruzes and they will start buying less Suburbans," Akerson said.

Two other high-ranking auto executives have weighed in on the topic. Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford Jr. has come out in favor of a gasoline tax and former GM CEO Rick Wagoner said the idea was "worthy of consideration."

Industry analyst Rebecca Lindland at IHS Global Insight said the idea had merit -- she said it worked in Europe -- but raising taxes on gasoline was also "career suicide for a politician."

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