Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 194

Yea, when all is said and done, AS USUAL it’s the common people who have TO PAY EVERYTHING while the politicians have exempted ALL with political connections.

JANUARY 4, 2010, 4:01 P.M. ET

Sarkozy’s Carbon Tax Goes Up in Smoke

Last week France’s Constitutional Council blocked a new tax on carbon emissions that was set to take effect on January 1. The eleventh-hour ruling is a blow to President Nicolas Sarkozy’s efforts to present himself as a champion climate crusader. But environmentalists can take heart: The tax, which would have failed to apply to 93% of French industrial emissions, wasn’t exactly going to put a stop to global warming.

When Mr. Sarkozy announced the tax in September, he promised that ”The aim of ecological fiscal policy is not to fill state coffers but to incite French people and companies to change their behavior.” But the details of the policy spoke otherwise, most notably by fully exempting oil refineries, power stations, cement works and other major producers of carbon, and partially exempting politically connected constituencies such as farmers and fishermen. Instead, the tax was to be paid by people heating their own homes and driving their own cars—in other words, anyone too politically vulnerable or disorganized to get the ear of the Élysée Palace. Thus it typically is with environmental regulations written in the name of saving the planet.

On the other hand, the tax, levied at a rate of €17 (about $24.50) per ton of carbon dioxide emissions, was expected to raise a cool €4.1 billion in revenue. With the OECD expecting a French budget shortfall of 8.6% of GDP in 2010, the funds would surely have come in handy. Mr. Sarkozy’s government is now set to present a new plan by Jan. 20.

The carbon tax hasn’t been Paris‘s only effort to cloak misguided economic policies in the mantle of environmental virtue. Mr. Sarkozy has been pushing for the entire European Union to impose a carbon tax on goods entering its borders—an move that would do more to protect European businesses from competition than it would to protect the environment. The brainstorm has gone trans-Atlantic, too, with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu also pushing for a carbon tariff on imports, an idea that was included last year in the House of Representatives’ cap-and-trade bill.

Proponents of carbon taxes have long argued that they offer a more honest approach to curbing carbon emissions, without the opportunities for corruption and political gamesmanship endemic to a cap-and-trade system. But if Mr. Sarkozy’s carbon-tax play is anything to go by, that charitable assessment must—like so much else that was previously thought to be settled in matters of global warming—now be reconsidered.

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