The Price Is Wrong
French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin announced yesterday that his nation will launch a sweeping plan to conserve energy by the end of the year. As France emerged from a week of disruptive protests by truckers and others over high gasoline prices, Jospin said soaring fuel costs should be an incentive to conserve energy and promote alternative energy sources. Some political observers viewed Jospin’s announcement as a move to appease environmentalists in his coalition government, who were angry that he responded to the protests by agreeing to cut gas taxes. Meanwhile, as gas-price protests are spreading to other European nations, Green Party politicians throughout Europe are sticking to their contention that gas taxes shouldn’t be lowered. The Greens hope anger over rising prices will convince citizens that society needs to move beyond fossil fuels.