DETROIT -- General Motors CEO Dan Akerson favors increasing the federal gasoline tax by as much as $1 a gallon as an effort to push buyers to buy more fuel-efficient cars.
Increasing federal fuel taxes would do more for the environment than forcing automakers to comply with higher fuel economy standards, Akerson said in an interview posted by The Detroit News.
"There ought to be a discussion on the cost versus the benefits," he said. "What we are going to do is tax production here, and that will cost us jobs."
The government is considering a plan to boost fuel efficiency 3 percent to 6 percent annually during the 2017-25 time frame, resulting in a corporate average fuel economy of 47 mpg to 62 mpg.
"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," Akerson said. "People will start buying more Cruzes, and they will start buying less Suburbans," he told the newspaper.
Other auto executives in the past have suggested raising the federal gasoline tax to encourage consumers to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles. As GM CEO, Rick Wagoner raised the idea in 2009. Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford also has advocated a gasoline tax increase.
However, a Ford spokesman told the newspaper that the company "will leave the policy decision to Congress."