This ban is interesting on a number of levels.
On one level - and once again the conspiracy theorist in me is leaping out of his chair and shouting - this could be interpreted as an attempt to tighten up the Championship by penalising Red Bull, who, let's face it, have made this system work and have reaped the benefits and racked up the points. A ban might well see them lose a significant amount of laptime and allow the chasing pack to close up and bring the Championship back into play for Ferrari and McLaren, spicing up the back end of the season.
On another level Todt was right from an environmental perspective when he said that "It's a pointless consumption of fuel" as Renault had said that their engine had used 10% more fuel in Melbourne 2011 than last year
But from a racing perspective there is no such thing as a pointless consumption of fuel. http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/category/exhaust-driven-diffuser/ is the place to go to see just how this system works, but basically what happens in the Red Bull is that, when the driver takes his foot off the accelerator the Renault engine throttle opens up fully. This provides a constant flow of exhaust gas maintaining the downforce levels while the car is cornering and allowing for increased cornering speeds. Those who know reckon it might cost the RB up to eight-tenths a lap in pace - more than enough for the rivals to sew up pole position and the race.
All of the teams have designed their cars to take advantage of downforce provided by the engine exhaust including Ferrari and McLaren, with Ferrari apparently pushing very hard to catch up to Red Bull.
Charlie Whiting has initiated the ban because he's come to the conclusion that, as ScarbsF1 says "when off throttle the engine is being used purely to drive the aerodynamics, this contradicts the regulation on movable aerodynamic devices".
Interesting interpretation. Will it lead to another final race decider in Brazil? (You can read that question in two ways)