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The heat is getting to Miliband

Telegraph | News | Miliband backs idea of carbon rationing for all

David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, yesterday backed the idea of carbon rationing for all, based on smart credit cards that record an individual's energy use....
The idea has been floated before, by Elliott Morley when he was an environment minister

Enuff said - if Morley thought of it it is stupid - ergo sum.

In a speech to the Audit Commission last night, Mr Miliband said: "Imagine a country where carbon becomes a new currency. We carry bank cards that store both pounds and carbon points.

"When we buy electricity, gas and fuel, we use our carbon points, as well as pounds. To help reduce carbon emissions, the Government would set limits on the amount of carbon that could be used.

"Imagine your neighbourhood. Each neighbour receives the same free entitlement to a certain number of carbon points.

"The family next door has an SUV and realise they are going to have to buy more carbon points.

"So instead they decide to trade in the SUV for a hybrid car. They save 2.2 tons of carbon each year. They then sell their carbon points back to the bank and share the dividends of environmental growth."

Buzz word bingo - tick for trade, dividends and growth even though he is describing a restrictive rationing scheme. With Big Brother watching every time you buy a gallon of unleaded - "vy are you driving to Salisbury every Wednesday? - what a wondeful world it will be. And of course this scheme will be a lovely huge Government IT project - will it work as well as the Tax Credits or the NHS records system?

Anyone want to buy a load of off ration logs?


By logical extention we would also then have a cashless society. To kill this idea, just point this out to your local MP and it won't be long before he's worrying about the demise of the brown envelope.

How is this scheme any different from selling the carbon permits to the petrol companies (apart from being absurdly more bureaucratic, that is)?

If you make petrol companies buy carbon permits (which are fixed in number) for the petrol that they produce, the price of petrol rises to account for it.

If you make individual people purchase extra carbon permits from the same fixed pool in order to fuel their SUVs, the price of petrol has effectively risen in the same way. Those owners of MCC smart cars that go to the supermarket once a week and no further will find themselves in possession of a clutch of valuable carbon permits, which they can sell, unless they buy petrol. In other words, their marginal price for petrol has risen to the same value as the SUV owner's.

What is the supposed advantage of running the permit scheme at the end-user end rather than at the producer's end?

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