"With gas prices likely to remain low as consumers grapple with recession, drivers are going to need extra motivation to swap their gas gluttons for the novel, environmentally friendly cars and trucks.
If the incoming Obama administration is serious about its commitment to boost the fuel efficiency of the American fleet, it must put in place a mix of policies, beyond tightening fuel-economy standards (CAFE) for carmakers, to steer drivers to the new cars.
A hefty gas tax would, of course, produce a strong incentive for drivers to switch to more fuel-efficient cars. But confronting a staggering economy, the Obama administration would be right to look for other options in the immediate future."
The Times revives the "cash for clunkers" proposal.
"Another, more aggressive option floated last year by Alan Blinder, an economist at Princeton, would be for the government to buy up the most polluting and gas-hogging clunkers from American drivers and scrap them."
[See Sen. Feinstein press release].