NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 27, 2008

While American politicians mull a carbon cap-and-trade system for industry, the British are already contemplating the next step: personal CO2 rations.  And you thought the talk about a "war" on global warming was just rhetoric, says the Wall Street Journal.

According to a Parliamentary committee proposal: 

  • All British adults would be given "carbon allowances" that they would be required to spend when buying gasoline, airline tickets, electricity or natural gas.
  • Britons who wanted more credits than they were issued could try to buy them from those who hadn't spent their allotment.
  • It would cost a country like Britain billions of dollars a year to run a personal cap-and-trade system nationwide.
  • All of this is supposed to give people a financial incentive to shrink their energy consumption and thus their carbon footprint.

This is the clearest picture yet of how environmentalists want to touch every aspect of modern life, with wartime-like rations for energy, says the Journal.  The duration of the global warming fight would make the decade and a half of British rationing for World War II seem like a fleeting moment. 

Americans haven't even embarked on cap-and-trade for industry yet, although both Barack Obama and John McCain say they favor such a system.  Now is the time for U.S. voters to ask the candidates whether they, too, plan to put the "ration" in irrational responses to rising temperatures, says the Journal.

Source: Editorial, "British Rationing," Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2008.

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