As I have written several times now, Canadian economist and AGW skeptic Ross McKitrick got his start challenging certain aspects of Michael Mann's hockey stick graph. Recently, he has been promoting a fascinating but flawed version of the carbon tax.
However, in May of 2006 he published a paper entitled "The Politics of Pollution: Party Regimes and Air Quality in Canada" in the Canadian Journal of Economics. While he concluded that "the data examined herein suggest that the political stripe of the government is not likely to be a reliable predictor the near-term evolution of air quality", some of the commentary on individual pollutants and their increase/decrease under different "party regimes" told a different and surprising story.
On Carbon Monixide (CO):
Relative to a Liberal government, a shift to either the left (NDP) or the right (PC) is associated with higher urban CO levels, which derive mainly from motor vehicle use.
On Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), also primarily associated with motor vehicle use:
Neither the federal nor provincial PC parties exert an identifiable effect, but a shift to the left (NDP) is associated with a significant rise in NO2 levels of about half a standard deviation.
On Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), created mostly by "industrial processes:
The provincial PCs are associated with higher SO2 levels, while for the provincial NDP and federal PCs the effects are very small and insignificant.
Overall, there is evidence that associates the federal and provincial conservative parties with conflicting influences on CO air pollution levels (compared to the Liberal reference group), while the provincial party is also associated with relatively higher SO2 levels and the federal party with higher ozone levels. On the other side of the spectrum the provincial NDP (or Parti Quebecois) parties are associated with higher CO and NO2 levels. This tentatively suggests that the reference party (Liberals or equivalent) at the provincial level is most consistently associated with lower air pollution levels.
As I say, surprising stuff, and from a guy that you would at least superficially think (given his other allegiances) would not be particularly friendly to progressive parties.
I wonder how much of the NDP problems with NO2/CO2 comes from pandering to the big auto unions that provide such a large portion of their political base?