With cap-and-trade in the news, I have a more modest proposal to reduce carbon emissions (or at least suck in government funds by trying to do so) and discourage unnecessary gasoline consumption.
Driving home on the interstate yesterday afternoon, I had to kill the cruise control in the face of an irritating line of red brake lights. It ended up taking me 20 minutes to finally move five miles down the road and past the wreck responsible for the jam. Given the 60 mph or so traffic would otherwise have been moving at, this basically translates into 15 minutes of idling. Contingent on make and model, a rough average of one gallon per hour is burned while idling. Thus the delay cost me a quart of fuel, or about 50 cents at current prices. Crawling along, I estimated six cars per second zipping along the interstate in the other direction.
So if this wreck took an hour for tow and cleanup, it caused around $10,800 ($.50 * 6 cars per second * 3600 seconds in an hour) in gas to go up in smoke, er, C02. Slap that fine on the driver responsible for the wreck in addition to the other citation he has coming for him and hopefully he'll be more careful next time!
Let states keep half of this 'revenue' for their own purposes while remitting the other half of it to the federal government to be squandered on whatever green initiative is in vogue at the time, and we'll have a tax hike I'll gladly support.