I was going to summarize an interesting email I received this week from 40mpg.org for E&P readers when it occurred to me that I would do a greater service by publishing in my blog the information as it appeared when I opened it in my Inbox. I’ve taken the time to make all of the links live as in the original so if you are interested, you can get additional information (as I did) as you read. If you do, you even get an extra blog. Here goes! As details start to leak about the compromise Kerry-Lieberman-Graham climate and energy bill, one item in particular piqued our interest - a possible gas tax hike. Mother Jones blogger Kate Sheppard asks the question many are now asking: "If a gas tax is included in a climate and energy bill, will it actually achieve the desired goals of reducing emissions and oil use?" Seems to us to make sense, just like the health benefits from higher cigarette taxes. Yes, the government raises more money in the short term, but it also reduces the ill health effects of lighting up. Of course, much of the gas-tax debate is now centering on how the funds from the proposed tax would be allocated. A group of eight Democratic senators and a group of industry and labor organizations have sent letters to the bill's authors saying that the funds should go into the Highway Trust Fund used to fund road and bridge repairs, which is where federal gas tax dollars currently go. They say federal infrastructure policymakers are already facing a funding crisis so considering alternatives for where to put the additional gas tax revenues would be irresponsible. The senators point out that investments in infrastructure create jobs which are sorely needed with the current economy. High gas taxes do seem to have made an impact in Europe, but the proposed increase in the US is nowhere near as much as is paid on the other side of the pond. With the new US fuel rules in place, it was only a matter of time before we heard from more car companies looking to increase fuel economy of their engines while trying to hold on to the performance Americans crave. Following reports in the past few weeks from Mazda and Ford, Audi has now come out with a new V6 engine that gets 27% better fuel economy than their V8. And there is more high-MPG/small-car news from the New York Auto Show last week: Toyota unveiled a production version of the Scion iQ, meant to compete with the Smart for two and Mini Cooper. Although Toyota didn't have specifics on exactly how good the numbers would look, executives said fuel economy would be "in the high 30's." The 2011 iQ is expected to arrive early next year and we should see the actual specs -- including final fuel economy numbers and pricing -- by the end of the year.