The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

25 May 2008

Driving for dollars?

Jim Ray is the Acting Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration. And I suspect that "Acting" is more than just a temporal description, given his ability to keep a straight face while pronouncing the following:

According to our latest estimates, fewer cars on the road has translated into a 9 million metric ton decline in greenhouse emissions for the first quarter of 2008 alone.

Which had at least as much effect on the climate as not leaving the refrigerator door open. But that's not Ray's angle:

It's a challenge with massive financial consequences the less Americans drive, the less revenue is generated for the Highway Trust Fund. The less revenue in the Highway Trust Fund, the less funding is available for states to keep roads healthy and efficient resulting in more traffic tie-ups, more inefficiency, reduced driving and even less funding.

The solution:

The system invented by President Eisenhower over 50 years ago got America this far but it can't take us much further. New funding methods that are not dependent on fuel consumption are needed and needed now.

Or you could just raise the fuel tax and take the heat from the two Presidential candidates who sought to buy votes by suspending it. Rotsa ruck.

I just wonder what these "new funding methods" might be, and out of whose pockets they will be siphoning. In the interim, the Bush administration's idea of addressing the problem apparently is borrowing out of the not-yet-tapped-out Mass Transit Account.

(Via Chris Lawrence.)

Posted at 7:30 PM to Family Joules , Political Science Fiction


We should fund highways by taxing environmentalists.

One big Earth Day rally could have us rolling down gold-plated thoroughfares wide enough for a 747.

Posted by: McGehee at 12:38 AM on 26 May 2008