French Panel to Recommend Carbon Tax on Fuel for 2010

france fuel pump photo

photo: Sergio Calleja via flickr

It's just a recommendation at this point, but AFP reports that a French government-named panel will recommend that the nation enact a carbon tax on transport and heating fuel, beginning as soon as 2010, as part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to steer consumers away from energy-intensive goods and services. Here's how much the recommended levy would be:Equivalent of Less Than 50¢ a Gallon
For unleaded fuel, the price per liter would increase €0.077 -- the equivalent of $0.42 per gallon. Diesel fuel prices would go up €0.085 per liter ($0.46 per gallon). Estimated rises in home heating costs would be €60-170 ($85-143) per year.

All told the price increases on fossil fuels would generate an estimated €8 billion annually, some of which being used to offset price rises for the "most vulnerable French households and business."

Half of French Households Would See Net Decrease in Fuel Costs
Former prime minister Michel Rocard, who heads the panel, said that the about half of all French households would see a €300 per year cost reduction per year because of the proposal.

Electricity has not been included in the proposed scheme at this point, seemingly on technical grounds -- how to accurately account for the varied mix of sources used to generate electricity at any given time.

A Carbon Tax is Certainly Direct
OK TreeHugger readers, it's been a bit since we sampled opinion on the seemingly dead carbon tax v. cap and trade debate, but what's the mood out there right now?

I've always maintained that a carbon tax -- not necessarily this one, but carbon taxes in general -- seem to be a more direct method of incorporating the environmental costs of fossil fuels into their prices. But at least in the United States even mouthing the word 'tax' in a room is liable to send people into fits. Has the watering down of the American Clean Energy & Security Act, and the switch from auctioning off permits to giving them away, changed anyone's mind?

via: AFP/Yahoo News
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