France's Constitutional Council rules carbon tax illegal
I note that this story didn't make many newspapers in America and probably for good reason; the cap and trade bill (that may be dead anyway) is very similar to the French legislation and could be unconstitutional for many of the same reasons.
Anthony Watts at Watts up with that has the story:
France's Constitutional Council has struck down a carbon tax that was planned to take effect on January 1st. The council, which ensures the constitutionality of French legislation, said too many polluters were exempted in the measure and the tax burden was not fairly distributed.Australia shelved their own carbon schemes recently while New Zealand is rethinking theirs. Here in the US, it appears that coal state senators are set to torpedo any cap and trade legislation that is introduced while the whole idea of selling carbon credits to reduce global warming in Europe is being challenged.
It was estimated that 93 percent of industrial emissions outside of fuel use, including the emissions of more than 1,000 of France's top polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax, which would have charged 17 euros per ton of emitted carbon dioxide.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has argued the tax is necessary to combat climate change and reduce the country's dependence on oil.
However, the council's ruling is a severe blow to both Sarkozy's environmental plan as well as France's budget for 2010. The government now has to find a way to come up with about 4.1 billion euros in revenue that was expected from the tax.
Unfortunately, some very powerful interests are heavily invested in carbon trading so it is not likely that we've seen the last of it. But if big countries continue to question its fairness and efficacy, Al Gore and his friends may be in line to lose a bundle.