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From a 1998 paper from the American Petroleum Institute: gasoline prices would need to rise from $1.25 per gallon to $4.23 per gallon in order to achieve the goals set by the Kyoto Protocol (a factor of 3.4). Remember that Kyoto asked that we reduce our CO2 emissions by (I think) 6% below 1990 emissions level by the year 2010. The price increases cited by this paper were a result of a meta-study of other estimates by economists of how much consumers would reduce gasoline consumption if prices rose by various amounts.

So what happened?

According to the EIA, average retail gas prices in 1998 were $1.06. In March of this year, average prices exceeded $3.86. Even after considering that the price level in the economy increased by 41% over this time period, the real price of gasoline seems to have increased by a factor of ¬†over 2.5. So if gas prices rise by just a few more cents, as they “surely” will, then we’ve achieved our emissions reductions targets. Global warming problem solved. Right?

3 Responses to “We Almost Did It! Again!”

  1. Rod says:

    Every time I hear or read "Kyoto Protocol," I want to gag.  It has a scientific ring to it, as if the United Nations actually derived a method for preventing the planet from warming according to the predictions of the hockey stick graph.  Instead, it's a scheme to lower living standards wherever capitalism has improved living standards, and it gives exemptions to socialist "developing nations" and orders transfers of wealth from the United States to everywhere else. 
    There's a limit, of course, to how elastic demand for gasoline can be.  Few Americans are going to buy Volts and those stupid clown cars, and because zoning separates residential areas from commercial and industrial areas, one has to get in the car to do practically anything.  Frack on, I say!

  2. RIT_Rich says:

    Ha! Bringing up "history" like this is very fascinating. It shows just how off the "analysts" were, and are. Incidentally, in Washington State gasoline prices are already at $4.23. In fact I think that's exactly how much I paid a few days ago for it. 

  3. chuck martel says:

    Hopefully, one of the last meetings of one of our most effective rent-seeking groups:  http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_20780998/ethanol-producers-gather-minneapolis

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