Roper: France riots over a carbon tax

By Rob Roper

Burning cars lit the Arc D’Triumph on Champs-Élysées in that Democratic Socialist paradise of Paris, France, this week as thousands of angry citizens protested that country’s carbon tax on vehicle fuels. Tear gas and water cannons were used to dispel the crowd. This was, according to the BBC, one of 1,600 protests across France on Saturday.

Rob Roper

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

The source of citizen ire is primarily a fuel tax on gasoline and diesel fuel amounting to 3.9 euro cents per liter on the former and 7 cents on the latter. Another increase of 2.9 cents 6.5 cents respectively is set for January 1, 2019, with the promise of more to come. But, beyond the fuel tax, the BBC reports that the protests also “grew to reflect anger at rising living costs, particularly in rural areas, and other grievances against President Macron’s policies.”

Hmm. Sounds a lot like Vermont, doesn’t it?

French President Macron “insisted that the fuel tax rises are a necessary pain to reduce France’s dependence on fossil fuels and fund renewable energy investments, which is a cornerstone of his reforms of the nation.”

Sounds like the French president is wildly out of touch with the actual priorities of his people. This is what happens when politicians serve an ideology rather than the interests of the people who elected them. Which also sounds a lot like Vermont.

When our legislature returns in January, expect the new supermajorities of Democrats and Progressives to bring back a Vermont carbon tax bill. The Vermont Conservation Voters, a group that spent considerable money helping to elect these folks, has made this one of their priorities. If it passes, it will make Vermont a less affordable place to live, especially for rural, working Vermonters. The question is, who will our politicians serve?

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

4 thoughts on “Roper: France riots over a carbon tax

  1. Vermont State government is subsidizing a heat pump program, which could not be successful (reducing energy cost and CO2eq), unless at least 85% of all buildings had deep retrofits. This was known before the program was started, but RE rah-rah got it going anyway.

    VPIRG, a booster of renewable energy, mostly financed by Vermont RE businesses, estimated the annual household savings of a heat pump at $1000 to $1500 on a $3000 heating bill. It appears, VPIRG grabbed a number out of the air, because it looked good.

    Efficiency Vermont, a taxpayer-financed, quasi-government entity, had a “fact sheet” (no longer available on its website) with $1842/y of savings (not only is such accuracy astounding, but it proved (after field tests) to be grossly overestimated.

    I wonder what other savings EV has over estimated to justify its existence and huge budget for over 20 years.

    After many complaints by duped households that spent up to $10,000 for heat pump systems, VT-DPS belatedly performed a survey of actual heat pump installations and their performance.

    – The DPS study found the seasonal average COP of the surveyed households was 1.2, which is dismal; not the 2.5 – 2.7 that is often bandied about.
    – The average energy saving was $200/y, which is grossly less than advertised; not the $1000 to $1842 per year, according to the websites of VPIRG and EV.

    NOTE: Now these households have two heating systems, one for when it is not so cold, and one for when it is cold. These systems have an annual owning and maintenance cost during their 15 to 20 year life. The $200/y energy saving would not even make a small dent in those annual costs, all that courtesy of state incompetence and conniving with RE boosters to “save the world”.

    Over eager contractors installing heat pumps in houses that were completely unsuitable for them.
    The state should get out of the energy business. Make sure to read the VT-DPS report. It is an eye opener. See URL.

  2. Vermont’s CO2eq has been increasing as shown in the table.

    Vermont GHG Emissions 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015
    Total CO2eq, million mt 8.588 9.624 10.214 9.095 9.545 9.990

    This is abundant proof Vermont’s government has been implementing heavily subsidized, ineffective energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, which, when taken together, have been ineffective CO2eq reduction programs.

    With such a dismal track record, the state should stop wasting valuable taxpayer money, stop burdening taxpayers with higher electric rates, and taxes, fees and surcharges, and finally get out of the energy business, instead of agitating for unilateral carbon taxes at $500 million per year to make things far worse. See URLs.

  3. A carbon tax is great if you live in a urban area but if you live in a rural area, it is going to cost you dearly. It’s what you get when you vote these liberal/progressives fools into power. They always know what’s best for you.
    The way this State is going, in 10 years or less there won’t be anyone left to pay the taxes as most of them will be bailing out of here.

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