In a surprise turnaround, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner has suggested that an increase on federal fuel taxes in the U.S. was an idea "worthy of consideration". Wagoner said that guaranteeing a minimum price of $4 a gallon on petrol, an idea proposed by AutoNation car dealership boss Michael Jackson, was a good way to help conserve energy and that it was “great” to see people finally discussing the option.

The auto industry, especially the Detroit 3, has vehemently opposed any hikes on federal fuel prices in the past, but with companies like GM finally focusing on building a new generation of fuel-efficient vehicles the game is starting to change. For GM, higher fuel prices would mean customers would be more inclined to buy hybrids and electric cars - the very same vehicles GM and others are spending billions of dollars on to help meet the new 35mpg CAFE regulations coming into play over the next decade.

Late last year when fuel prices spiked to more than $4 a gallon dealers started to see waiting lists on hybrids and compact cars grow exponentially, but as soon as fuel prices dropped so did the demand. With fuel prices now averaging just under $2 a gallon, hybrid cars at some of the biggest dealers in the country have been experiencing 148-day supplies, according to the Washington Post.

At least it’s good to see GM’s traditional viewpoint on fuel prices is starting to change. Incidentally, this is actually the second surprising statement from the embattled GM CEO in less than a week. On Tuesday Wagoner admitted that a pre-planned bankruptcy "could work" for the company.