By Alleyn Harned | January 28, 2010 at 06:56 PM EST
The featured speaker for the closing luncheon was Mike Jackson, Chairman and CEO of AutoNation, an organization of dealerships. Mike had some excellent comments on the consumer reality of advanced vehicle technologies and clean fuel alternatives. Namely, Mike advised that without the price driver of $4 gasoline, American consumers were going to keep going back to their gas guzzling clunkers. Mike spoke from experience and suggested that fuel cost needed to be higher than that $4 barrier. Other than waiting for OPEC to turn the cards on us, the suggestion was that some price floor be established, through a gas tax, but that the tax should be revenue neutral and that the tax revenue should go right back to the consumer through tax cuts or other models.
It was an innovative strategy for a challenging policy area, and right in line with what we heard from auto manufacturers.