High gas prices may be eating away at Americans’ bank accounts, but at least they’re supposedly helping the environment. Leave it to NBC “Nightly News” to find a green lining in the dark cloud.
As American automakers struggle – with rumors even swirling about the possibility of General Motors going out of business  – NBC’s chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson found a positive in high gas prices because they are promoting the sale of fuel-efficient automobiles.
“There’s plenty of talk about high gas prices, but still no clear path to energy independence,” Thompson said. “So it might surprise you that Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, the biggest car dealer in the country, is happy to see $4 gas.”
Jackson told Thompson gas prices had to remain high for him to succeed in selling more of these automobiles.
“The technology exists for much greater fuel efficiency,” Jackson said. “We have the technology. But if gas is cheap, people will not pay for it.”
Thompson suggested presidential candidates Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) should not strive to help ease gas prices because of the emission of greenhouse gases.
“The two men competing for president must tell voters the truth, says Jackson, that you can’t have cheap gas and cut greenhouse gases,” Thompson said.
“You can’t sit over here and talk about global warming and then five minutes later, as a leader, talk about how you are going to keep the price of gasoline down,” Jackson said to Thompson. “They don’t go together.”
Thompson used Jackson as anecdotal evidence that the green effort is good for business.
“Now in this era of $4 gas, business leaders like Jackson are finding they share common ground with environmentalists because what was once a climate issue today is becoming an economic one.”
Lester Brown, head of the liberal Earth Policy Institute , compared the green movement to war preparation – a throwback to the controversial Time magazine cover  featuring a doctored image of the famous Iwo Jima photograph.
“What I think we need is almost a wartime mobilization to provide some really strong incentives to switch to plug-in hybrid cars,” Brown told Thompson.
According to EPI’s Web site , the group proposes cutting CO2 emissions a dramatic 80 percent by the year 2020 – which means implementing two drastic measures: “replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources for electricity and heat production” and “restructuring our transportation systems and reducing coal and oil use in industry,”
Thompson is not the first reporter to point out the “benefits” of high gas prices from an environmentalist’s perspective. The Business & Media Institute reported in June that global warming alarmists – journalists, activists and politicians – see high gas prices as good news .