Add Richard Lugar to the list of those who think our gas taxes are too low:
A gasoline tax is transparent, easy to administer and targeted at the one sector that burns most of our oil. We know it would cut imports. When gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon last year, Americans chose to use less, leading to a major drop in gasoline consumption. The gains from accurately priced gasoline would grow as Americans demanded more fuel-efficient vehicles, chose non-petroleum alternatives to power them and found public transit options that work. Pricing gasoline to reflect its true cost to the nation would help spur a vast market in which oil alternatives such as advanced biofuels would become competitive and innovation would flourish.
Of course, when gas prices topped $4, it also encouraged reactionary behavior in Washington rather than thoughtful action, hence the incredibly wastful and shortsighed ethanol program. And I didn't notice the politicians and environmentalists suddenly seeing the light on nuclear power. It is an economic certainty that anything that is taxed is discouraged, and it is a respectable conservative principle to therefore tax what you don't want to have, rather than regulate against it. But forcing a behavior change on people who otherwise wouldn't be ready for the change is likely to accelerate bad reactions to the change.