Those increased standards, the administration claims, will reduce greenhouse emissions and save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump.
"By the middle of the next decade our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today," President Obama said at the time. "It’ll strengthen our nation's energy security, it's good for middle class families and it will help create an economy built to last.”
Those cost savings for the middle class, however, may soon be diminished if certain lawmakers get their way. Those lawmakers are worried that not enough gas tax money is coming in at the state and federal level to maintain roads and bridges. The more fuel efficient the cars, the less gas is purchased. The less gas is purchased, the less tax money collected.
Oregon is preparing to test a new program that will tax drivers by miles driven as opposed to how many gallons of gasoline they purchase. The program, set to launch in 2015, will allow participants to choose how they wish their miles to be calculated -- by GPS, by smartphone app or by a device that simply counts miles driven. They may also opt out of any of those devices and pay a flat fee, Governing.com reports.
The idea is that driving would be treated like utility usage -- you pay for what you use. Critics, in addition to expressing privacy concerns over how the mileage may be tracked, say those who drive the most fuel-efficient vehicles could end up paying just as much in taxes as those who drive gas guzzlers, thereby negating one of the benefits of purchasing higher fuel efficiency vehicles.
The "pay for what you use" program is already being eyed as a possible solution to the national gas tax shortfall problem as well.
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