The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

31 August 2007

Pay at the pump

The Germans build a lot of high-end automobiles. (They also build some bottom-feeders, but those don't get sent over here.) There is, therefore, a chance that they might chafe a bit under a European Union proposal to ban fast cars.

Guido Reinking, the editor of Automobilwoche, has a better idea:

The burning of every liter of gasoline emits 2.32 kilos (about 5.1 pounds) of the presumed greenhouse gas CO2. The person using that liter should be charged accordingly. Benefits would accrue to anyone who may have a high-performance car in his garage but who uses his bicycle to go to the bakery or post office. The full-throttle fraternity pays extra, but anyone who drives reasonably and economically saves. This also could promote the purchase of second and third cars. Go shopping in the city in your Mini; go on vacation with the family in your 5 series or S class.

The advantage of this approach is that it makes a certain amount of sense even for us fans of carbon dioxide. (I polished off a bit more than a pint of Dr Pepper today.) And the funds thus raised could conceivably be used for staking out airport restrooms something useful.

Posted at 7:49 AM to Driver's Seat , Family Joules

Biggest problem: it remains unproven that CO2 emissions are harmful to the environment.

So... they can get back to me once they've done that.


Posted by: Mark Alger at 3:38 PM on 1 September 2007

I suspect if we removed all the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we'd regret it. :)

That said, I don't have any problem with a consumption tax of this sort, provided it's pitched as a consumption tax rather than as some sort of palliative for Mother Gaia's hemorrhoids.

Posted by: CGHill at 3:54 PM on 1 September 2007