This is an insightful article, and while I doubt the "doomsday" scenario will come to pass, it does appear that the EU is determined to level the gas/diesel playing field in Europe.
-GrahamAmerican auto enthusiasts often bemoan the lack of diesel options offered on the US market, looking to Europe as the promised land of oil-burning efficiency. But Europe's love affair with diesel, which has been manifested in a 50%+ diesel sales mix for years, may be coming to a close. The WSJ reports
The European Commission-which has executive powers in the European Union-will propose to levy a minimum EUR20 per metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted on products like gasoline, diesel, natural gas and coal starting in 2013. But it will also propose adjusting the existing legislation by gradually increasing a minimum levy on the energy content of diesel to bring it to the same level as that of gasoline starting in 2018
Here's the key: in addition to basing taxes on C02 emissions, the EU tax structure shift will result in fuel taxation based on energy content rather than volume alone. Accordingly, diesel's higher energy content means it will see a more dramatic increase in taxation levels. And this single common-sense proposal is unleashing an intense debate in Europe about energy, taxation and the future of the auto industry.