Bradford Plumer says that Detroit has a dilemma:

It's a real conundrummost carmakers still make money off their gas-guzzlers, whereas the new hybrid models are pricey and won't be profitable for years. Toyota's Prius was a money-loser for a whole decade before finally going in the black last yearand, of course, Toyota wasn't on the verge of bankruptcy that whole time in the way, say, GM is right now. So that puts the automakers in a cramped spot. Granted, the Obama administration could just relax fuel-economy standards or tell automakers not to bother with the whole green car thing, but that would be short-sightedoil prices are likely to rise eventually, and someone needs to develop affordable plug-in hybrids fairly soon if we want to get our carbon emissions under control.

This is why we need a carbon tax.

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