Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ETS 'scandal'

The power sector is especially annoying because it actually passes [the] costs on to the consumer, even though it doesn't actually pay for the permits, which are mostly given away in the EU system...They can pull this trick off because they are an oligopoly and don't face competition from producers outside the system. So even allowing for the permits that they have to buy because they are given fewer allowances than they need, the power companies profit from this by €1.8 billion.
-- from Emissions trading - notes on a scandal by Clive Bates.

(See also Tax not trade).

The good news from all this may be that the issue is extremely 'campaignable': not hard to construct a sense of political purpose around the outrage and (maybe) channel the energy into support of a tax regime that can serve the public good.

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