Inquiring minds are noting Court throws out Sarkozy’s carbon tax.

France’s new carbon emission tax, due to have gone into effect tomorrow, has been ruled illegal by the country’s constitutional court because it exempted too many polluters.

The Conseil Constitutionnel struck down the tax on Tuesday because the exemptions breached ”the principle of [tax] equality”.

It estimated that 93 per cent of industrial emissions outside of fuel use, including those of more than 1000 of the country’s most polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax of €17 ($27) a tonne of emitted carbon dioxide.

The ruling is a blow for the President, Nicolas Sarkozy, as the measure was one of his flagship initiatives to cut emissions. It also leaves the Government with a €4.1 billion hole in its 2010 budget.

Meanwhile, the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has signed a law requiring that Brazil cut its projected greenhouse gas emissions by 39 per cent by 2020, meeting a commitment made at the Copenhagen climate change summit.

Winners, Losers, Inequality

The Conseil Constitutionnel made the correct ruling. It’s clear to see what the policy was: handouts to 1000 favored industries at the expense of everyone else.

Walmart Wins Oregon Loses On Energy Credits

Please consider Walmart, others make money on Oregon’s energy tax credits.

When Oregon started handing out jumbo tax subsidies for renewable energy projects two years ago, one of the biggest beneficiaries was also one of the world’s richest corporations — Walmart.

No, the retail giant hasn’t branched to solar panels or wind turbines.

Instead, Walmart took advantage of a provision in Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit that allows third parties with no ties to the green power industry to buy the credits at a discount and reduce their state income tax bills.

State records show Walmart paid $22.6 million in cash last year for the right to claim $33.6 million in energy tax credits. The cash went to seven projects, including two eastern Oregon wind farms and SolarWorld’s manufacturing plant in Hillsboro. In return, Walmart profits $11 million on the deal because that’s the difference between what it paid for the tax credit and the amount of its tax reduction.

The loser in the transaction is Oregon’s general fund — which pays for public schools, prisons and health care programs — because the state is out the full $33.6 million in tax revenues.

Walmart isn’t alone. An analysis by The Oregonian shows Costco and U.S. Bank, which also rank among the nation’s top 200 wealthiest businesses, have made millions by buying up energy tax credits to cut their Oregon tax bills. Dozens of other companies and hundreds of individual Oregon taxpayers also have cut their tax bills by buying up the tax credits.

“It’s so convoluted,” says Eric Fruits, an adjunct economics professor at Portland State University who has studied Oregon’s energy incentives. “You’ve got all these dollars swirling around. Everyone is trying to grab them as fast as they can.”

Walmart, Costco and U.S. Bank, which top the list of energy credit buyers, shelled out a combined $67 million to avoid paying $97 million in Oregon income taxes.

Walmart and others are making money on projects that were closed, went belly up or never produced the energy or energy savings they initially claimed.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski and state energy officials say they recognize problems with the energy tax credits and are working to overhaul the program when state lawmakers convene for a short session in February. Among the targets of the overhaul is the pass-through option.

“The governor believes there’s been a public value to the program,” says Anna Richter Taylor, Kulongoski’s spokeswoman. “That said, he also is very supportive of efforts to align the rate better with other public investment portfolios.”

Insanity of Cap-And-Trade

Oregon thinks it knows how to fix the problem, but the whole idea of granting companies credits that they can trade is simply fatally flawed.

Walmart, Costoc, and US bank made millions for doing nothing and Oregon taxpayers got clobbered.

In Europe, the Cap-and-Trade Carbon Credit Extortion Scam In Full Swing.

The world’s biggest polluters wanted the carbon cap so they could trade their permits (acquired for free), to other businesses who will have to buy them to expand.

Now some of those polluters are going to move to India anyway after extorting extra permits out of the EU.

Not only is the global warming data bogus and manipulated, the whole cap-and-trade program is now easily seen as nothing more than an extortion scam, a scam that has fittingly blown up in the face of the EU and UN clowns who created it (unless of course that was their intention all along).

Unfortunately, EU workers and taxpayers are the ones who are going to suffer over this, not the clowns who created this ridiculous scheme.

Such is the insanity of Cap-And-Trade. It creates a big stream of winners and losers out of thin air, with taxpayers being the most likely loser.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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