If you've never heard British politician Daniel Hannan speak, you've never heard the art of the speech at its finest. I've been a follower of Mr. Hannan for three years now, ever since I heard what I consider to be the finest short speech since the Gettysburg Address. But since his realm is politics, and not directly relevant to my commentary on Go Wood, then I've never thought to introduce him to the Go Wood audience.
Now, however, he has given a one and a half-minute speech at the EU that is right in the spirit of our Go Wood energy policy posts. That is, he has addressed the issue of high energy taxes and economic growth, or lack of it, that they are currently experiencing in the EU.
Mr. Hannan makes specific reference to the difference in results between the EU's policy of fuel tax increases (which stifles economic growth) and the benefit we here in the states have received due to the boom in natural gas harvesting like that of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.
The "carbon tax" enacted by the EU is a direct reason why European countries are leaders in biomass energy utilization. It has effectively doubled the price of fossil fuels, and the taxes collected have gone into development of renewable energy production, mostly of wood chips and pellets, wind energy, and biodiesel. And some there think that additional taxation of carbon is a better way to solving current economic problems than "austerity" measures in government budgets. But thinkers like Mr. Hannan have observed that the price for alternative fuels has been a tremendous burden on the economies of the EU, and are effectively preventing the EU from growing its way out of its current economic woes.
Fortunately for us, we're following in Europe's footsteps, and have the opportunity to avoid the problems they've encountered. That is, we can pursue the American way of free markets, instead of the European way of government-controlled markets through targeted taxation and regulations.
That is what we're doing, right?