In his Aug. 22 column, Keith Crain said, "It doesn't make sense to develop diesels when the price of diesel fuel is higher than the price of gasoline." That has indeed been a problem, one that could be solved easier than you might think.
Simply, what is needed is a federal law mandating that state and federal tax rates be adjusted so that diesel is always less expensive than gasoline and that biodiesel is even less expensive. That wouldn't make overall taxes go up or down but, rather, it would merely realign things appropriately.
After that, if the resulting market forces didn't prompt automakers to offer more diesels, it could be required that at least one diesel option be available in every line of petroleum-burning vehicles sold in the United States.
Sure, many manufacturers would howl over that one, but think of how such availability would affect the market. Certainly if the consumer were given at least one diesel option in whatever vehicle he or she chose, diesels would become very popular.
They would be more economical, with better mileage and a mandated lower fuel price. And with biodiesel fuel costing even less, the economic forces would be set on a meaningful path toward independence from imported oil.
Overall, I think this is our easiest and least painful option.
The question is: Are our elected representatives smart enough (and/or brave enough) to do what has to be done before the whole economic world runs aground when the oil runs out?