Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Driving to Kyoto

Tim Haab at the Environmental Economics blog does some rough calculations on what it would cost to meet our Kyoto emissions target. To achieve automobile driving's share of a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions, the cost per mile driven would need to increase 74%. This would be an average cost increase of $.10/mile, or $1200/year for an average driver driving 12000 miles/year. Are we willing to pay that much to meet your share of our Kyoto targets?

A 2004 JEEM study notes that "our most conservative estimate of annual household [willingness to pay] for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global warming is $200". Given that we had a tax revolt in California recently when the car tax was tripled, I think that this is a non-starter. The car tax rate was (illegally) raised from .67% to 2% of the car value, which is an increase of $400/year for a new $30k car. Some of the resistance was because of the legislative tactics used to raise the tax, but the car tax was a major issue in the California Recall. KFI AM 640 had a big radio contest where they would pay one caller's tripled car tax bill each day. This real world data point supports the $200 JEEM figure.



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