Today’s Headlines

  • LaHood: Gas tax hike and VMT tax are still on the table … but only once the economy improves (Dow Jones)
  • D.C. Metro contends with a tragic bus accident (WaPo)
  • U.S. DOT has approved just 20 percent of "clunkers" payments — thanks, Citigroup! (Det News)
  • Federal highway chief celebrates sprawl-inducing MN road project (Fast Lane)
  • California high-speed rail commission to give $9m contract to PR firm run by governor’s longtime adviser (LAT)
  • Honolulu launches campaign against bus-rider body odor (Advertiser)
  • Feds send stimulus money to NYC construction company with a shady past (NYT)
  • Backers of the congressional climate bill start to win the ad wars (USAT)


The Gas Tax: A Trip Back in Legislative Time …

As Tax Day prompts a rush of political rallies and media coverage, it’s worth looking back at the history of the federal levy that helps pay for transportation projects: the gas tax. The late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) in 1982, when he battled his own party’s attempts to raise the gas tax. (Photo: TIME) Most […]

The Gas Tax Versus a VMT Tax: Is ‘All of the Above’ an Option?

(Chart: Oregon DOT) The prospect of an eventual move away from the gas tax and towards a fee on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) has sparked consternation from some well-known bloggers this week, with Matt Yglesias asserting that "a VMT [tax] has no advantages whatsoever over higher gasoline taxes" and Andrew Samwick suggesting that declining fuel […]

Quebec Approves Carbon Tax on Fuels to Cut Greenhouse Gases

Quebec will become the first Canadian province to impose a carbon tax on energy producers. Bloomberg reports: The provincial cabinet approved the tax in Quebec City yesterday, according to a statement on the Natural Resources Ministry Web site. Refiners including Valero Energy Corp.’s Ultramar unit and Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Canadian unit will start paying […]

New Report Examines the Media’s Role in the Gas Tax Debate

(Chart: University of Vermont Transportation Research Center) The success of state-level plans to increase gas taxes is tied to the media’s portrayal of the proposals in question, with narratives tied to "crumbling infrastructure" and "economic progress" showing more success than those emphasizing long-term transportation budget gaps, according to a new report released by the University […]