An Energy Tax for Europe

George W. Bush’s disastrous war in Iraq has put Europe in a bind. The United States long has been Europe’s protector. Now, because of a war it wanted no part of, Europe finds its security undermined.

Chaos in Iraq has empowered Iran – a much more dangerous country for Europe than Iraq ever was. And, with America bogged down in Iraq, Russian President Vladimir Putin has resurrected Soviet-style bullying tactics. Would Russia otherwise have dared to threaten to re-direct its nuclear missiles at European cities?

Not only has Bush destroyed Iran’s most formidable enemy and bogged down US troops in a hopeless cause; he also has enriched energy-abundant Iran and Russia by pursuing a war that has dramatically raised energy prices. High crude oil prices make it easier for Iran to build nuclear weapons and for Russia to use energy blackmail to threaten Europe.

But Europe can fight back. By imposing a stiff tax on energy consumption, Europeans would reduce both consumption of energy and its price in world markets, in turn cutting the flow of funds to Russia and Iran.