Discussion of the idea of the carbon tax in Britain...?

The British government has started to research ways to ration energy use, not just for commercial ventures and government facilities but for each and every person in the UK.

The Telegraph reports that Tony Blair's ministers have started thinking about imposing a system of "personal carbon allowances" that residents can barter or trade as they see fit, but which would restrict access to all forms of energy for consumers:
Every individual in Britain could be issued with a "personal carbon allowance" - a form of energy rationing - within a decade, under proposals being considered seriously by the Government.

Ministers say that increasingly clear evidence that climate change is happening more quickly than expected has made it necessary to "think the unthinkable". ...

Under the scheme for "domestic tradeable quotas" (DTQs), or personal carbon allowances, presented to the Treasury this week, everyone - from the Queen to the poorest people living on state benefits - would have the same annual carbon allocation.

This would be contained electronically on a "ration card", which could be the proposed ID card or a "carbon card" based on supermarket loyalty cards.

It would have to be handed over every time a form of non-renewable energy was purchased - at the filling station, or when buying tickets for a flight - for points to be deducted.

High users of energy would have to purchase points from low users, or from a central "carbon bank", if they wanted to use more energy.

As much as I like the sound of it, my first, and truly American, reaction is: "oooh, that sounds like it would suck." But then, my peak oil conscience kicks in and says "Goose, that's a good idea and necessary to slow down the progress over the peak."

It will take years (or a massive crisis) before something like this would ever fly in America. Britain is used to more socialist/governmental ideas. I wonder if we ever will be.

This article also raises the question: is global warming going to be the excuse for addressing peak oil, or is peak oil going to be excuse for addressing global warming? I guess I think of the two as inexorably linked, but some do not.

Technorati Tags: ,

Worth reading: Jan Lundberg's Goodbye American Dreamland referencing Roscoe Bartlett's "Special Order Speech" to the House of Representatives (from the Energy Bulletin, May 20th). Excuse me if this has mentioned elsewhere on the Oil Drum.

Hey, this President likes personal accounts....Maybe the personal carbon accounts can be linked to his idea for personal social security accounts?

More relevant to start with the carbon accounts IMHO

This sounds like another mad government control plan, after national identity cards and gps-controlled vehicle speeds.

How are they going to stop me buying my air tickets online, from a foreign outlet? Or will this system be global? What if I am refilling the car for my wife? Does my child have a quota too?

How will the Co2 load of manufactured goods be taken into account? Surely I should take a hit if I buy a product that was made in a CO2-unfriendly manner, regardless of its operational costs.

It is much simpler to impose a CO2 tax on fossil fuels, including airplane fuels. No per-user quota, just per-use billing. If you also include a cleanup-tax on nuclear fuels, it should even out the current cost disadvantages of renewable energies.

Also the govt. could do more to fund renewable energy, to help bring it to market. But no, a grand carbon-police-state is more amenable to the Uk government.