Western Refining CEO Paul Foster raised eyebrows recently when he told Fortune Magazine the federal gasoline tax should be gradually raised to $2 a gallon.

It’s now 18.4 cents a gallon.

On one hand, this is certainly not the time to raise anyone’s taxes. We are in a recession.

On the other hand, Foster is thinking of the future.

As he said on the magazine’s Web site, a higher federal gasoline tax, as is charged in some European countries, would help wean citizens off petroleum products and force everyone’s hand at perfecting alternative — clean — sources of energy. ...

“I think the tax on gasoline needs to be at least $2 a gallon,” Foster said. “But I don’t think you can go there all at once,” he told the magazine. ...

We are certainly not proposing the federal government, or the state of Texas, raise its gasoline tax at this time.

However, by an oilman such as Foster airing his theories, it makes all stop and think about how important it is to eventually wean ourselves off the importation of foreign oil and devising ways to power our country with fuels that are renewable, less expensive and kinder to the environment. ...

— El Paso Times in Texas