Out of Control Policy Blog

More fuel for SUV foes

If you think SUV foes have reached the zenith of their outrage, wait till hip-hop overlord, P. Diddy rolls out his souped-up line of Lincoln Navigators. Cops chased after Diddy’s Navigator when he fled from a 1999 dance club shootout in New York, and now you can bet SUV haters will chase after anyone who cares to shell out $85,000 for one of these limited-edition models:

"The customized Navigators will feature special 22-inch wheels designed by Boyd Coddington, black chrome paint treatment, a back-up camera and a heated, vibrating driver's seat."

Apparently, you’ll still have to bulletproof it yourself.

All these extras won’t likely make the Navigator any more fuel efficient, only more ostentatious – which will only make SUV foes even more furious.

Then again, maybe this can be grounds for a truce in the SUV wars. The anti-SUV lobby wants higher gas taxes, higher fuel efficiency mandates – anything that makes people pay for driving gas-guzzlers. Well, those who buy the Diddy-mobile will pay more, about $30,000 more than the Navigator’s normal sticker price.

I know, any truce talk is wishful thinking.

But the simple point is we don’t need additional laws to make people pay more for driving SUVs. Those driving gas-guzzlers already pay more to drive somewhere. I know, paying more because you use more doesn’t carry the same moralizing component of, say, a sin tax. But if SUV foes want to they can always close their eyes and imagine that it’s the government, not the market, that makes SUV drivers pay for their sins.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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