Using Incentives to Power the Green Revolution

While the tea-stained mood of the nation seems to suggest that folks aren't taking too kindly to taxes and government spending in almost any form, it is also true that, next to prostitution, tax collecting might be the world's second oldest profession. And so long as governments exist, taxes, like prostitution, will continue to be a fact of life. It is also true that, while debate rages over global warming, with allegations of cover-ups, and conspiracies held up by an underpinning of poltical gamesmanship, anything that can be done to lessen dependence on foreign energy sources is probably a very good thing.

With these two facts firmly established, one logical conclusion could be that, if taxes are to be collected anyway, and if energy independence is a positive, the government should do what it can to incentivize citizens to become more green. In many ways, some more subtle than others, it does. One of the more recent developments, and one that has a great relevance to many citizens of the auto-centric US, is strong incentive schemes for hybrid cars.

In The New York Times this weekend there is a solid article outlining some of the incentives for the latest technological leap in the history of clean vehicles; mass produced pure electrics. The articles focuses on the first to market Nissan Leaf, however with other names scrambling to produce their own versions of electric-only vehicles, incentive schemes such as the ones outlined (which, in combination, appear to take anywhere from 30-40% off of the retail price of the Leaf) will become more widely discussed.

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