Apparently, the California legislature is considering feebates to make new cars and trucks more fuel-efficient. Go, Cali!
You can read more about feebates here. It’s a pretty awesome idea: people who buy gas guzzlers pay a fee, which gets rebated to people who buy gas misers. If it works right, it can be even more effective than CAFE standards and the like, because there’s no limit to how efficient the cars will get: the feebates provide a perpetual incentive for greater fuel-efficiency.
Sightline (among many others) has been touting feebates for at least a decade. But—as has been typical in recent years—California’s the first out of the blocks in this part of the world in giving them a serious airing. I don’t mean to downplay what Washington and Oregon have been doing recently on energy policy; but do we always have to play follow the leader when it comes to climate change?
Carbon trading was explored recently in the NYT and expanded upon here. The point about trading: it promotes free riding. Perhaps a catchy tag line for the success of feebates can be explored in human nature, where we consider that people getting free money from wasters can be a motivator – I propose we call it “freeness envy”.D
More on this topic here.