Sunday, March 18, 2007

Everyone's Proposing A Carbon Tax

In mid Blo-vate, Sun columnist Neil Waugh notes this morning that Stephane Dion's recently announced "carbon budget" is:

... basically the same deal Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach will impose on what he calls the province's "specified gas emitters" starting July 1. They will have to reduce their "emissions intensity" by 12% or start paying a $15-a-tonne carbon tax into a technology fund.

So if the Dion plan is a carbon tax, which Waugh insists it is, then the Alberta plan is a carbon tax, and Ka Ching Ka Ching, Dion has political cover. Because, just as you can't be holier than the Pope, you can't be more Conservative than Alberta. So if a carbon tax is okay with Alberta, then Conservatives elsewhere in Canada should be prepared to eat a carbon tax. It will be very difficult to tar Dion's proposals as radical (although no doubt many will try).

And guess what? Environment Minister John Baird has been making Kyoto-like noises recently! We're apparently not pulling out of the treaty! We will "honour" our responsibilities! And now Canadian companies may be able to meet their targets through foreign investment, a la something like Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Furthermore, while there is no word yet on how Baird will enforce his "mandatory" emissions targets for industry, unless he intends to rely on harsh language, you can bet it will be through some scheme very much like Alberta's. So the Federal government will, over the next couple of weeks, propose a carbon tax.

Whoo hoo, baby, the Socialist in my heart is dancing naked through the streets!

But here's the thing. If everybody is going to be proposing a carbon tax, what's the difference between the various plans? Well, Dion is proposing hard, absolute emissions caps. After burnishing his law and order credentials, he is now getting TOUGH on polluters. Meanwhile, Harper's intensity caps, which will kick in a few decades down the road sometime, has gone SOFT on the people who are murdering our planet!

Not bad positioning, should an election be called in the next couple of weeks.


Anonymous said...

The fact that everyone, including some US jurisdictions, is talking about some form of CT means that Kyoto is dead. The UN run, worldwide, Marxist redistributionist monster envisioned by Mo Strong, Suzuki, and the euroweenie crowd is crumbling faster than Dion's poll numbers. Any CT program run by local admins can and will be designed/modified/watered to ensure the local pols don't get turfed. Put a fork in it, Kyoto is done.

Anonymous said...

Tax me, I am a stupid Ontario Liberal who thinks that it will only be Albertans who get whacked.

Reality check for you morons. Ontario Power Generation is the largest GhG emitter in Canada. @ $30/tonne it will increase you electricity bills about $1 billion annually.

Dofasco in Hamilton will get a tax increase of $200,000,000 annually. Can it survive ? Will the increased costs of its steel put car plants out of business ??

Have a nice life. Will the last person to leave Ontario please turn off the low wattage light.

Anonymous said...

Time for Alberta to take charge, have the referendum and go solo. We'd be so much better off.

" Alberta the target in greenhouse war, says CIBC seer (Edmonton Journal)

Rubin utters a simple, irrefutable truth: Alberta, and Albertans, will pay. Big time. Canada's energy province is the bull's-eye.

So too will Saskatchewan, whose falling population means its per capita GGH emissions now rival Alberta's.

Thus, the launch of any domestic carbon trading market will force Alberta's big emitters -- coal-fired power plants and oilsands producers -- to buy credits from provinces that are blessed with clean power. Read: hydro power.

In other words, the cheques will go to Crown-owned utilities in Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, Newfoundland and possibly Ontario. Alberta companies like TransAlta, Epcor, Syncrude and Suncor will be the losers.

Call it what you want. Agree with it or not. That's immaterial.

What it spells is a transfer of wealth, falling profits for Alberta companies, declining royalties for Alberta taxpayers, and in all likelihood, subsidized revenue streams for firms like Quebec Hydro, B.C. Hydro, and Manitoba Hydro. Which is helpful to know, don't you think? Might be kind of relevant.

"What today brings in billions of dollars in oil and gas royalties may tomorrow cost billions in greenhouse-gas emission credits," says Rubin, in a report released this week.

"Already accounting for 43 per cent of the recent growth in national (GHG) emissions, the hydrocarbon-intensive Alberta economy promises to bear a disproportionately large burden of any future measures to price carbon emissions," he notes.

Tack on projected production growth in the oilsands, where output is expected to roughly triple in 10 years, and you can see where this is going. For Alberta, the picture can only get worse from here"

Anonymous said...

Liberal commitment? McGuinty couldn't screw up the courage to fulfill his pledge to kill coal-fired generation in Ontario.

Ti-Guy said...

Time for Alberta to take charge, have the referendum and go solo. We'd be so much better off....

Boy, I thought the concentrated stupid in that first sentence would have been enough...but no. The comment went on and on and on after that.

For God sakes, hold a referendum already. Who's been stopping you?

Oxford County Liberals said...

Maybe the fact that only 0.3 % of Albertans supported separation in the last provincial election.

burlivespipe said...

just amazing that the .3% were able to figure out how two-finger type out the above anonymoos nonsensical diatribes.
Just think what would happen if they figure out the dexterity of the thumb, too.

Ti-Guy said...

They'd have to pull it out of their arse first.

Anonymous said...

Is Citron Dion lying when he says "It is not a Crabon Tax" That seems to be what you are implying. So please clarify - you are mistaken and this is not a carbon tax or Dion is lying to Canadians?

If this is such a great plan - why aren't the Liblogs falling over themselves praising it? You do have to admit, its kinda quiet out there. Or did you get a memo from the LPOC that Dion has changed his mind and now he has another plan?

Why is Dion's plan not evenly dsitributed so all Canadians must chip in? Why pick on ALberta? Oh yea..right.. nevermind.

bigcitylib said...


Technically, no, it is not a carbon tax. But it is close enough to one to be interpreted as one if you were so inclined. But then so is the Alberta plan, and so (I believe) will be the Federal Tory plan.

Anonymous said...

Yet again, money-sucking socialist scheme. Proven. Undeniable. Everybody agrees. The science is in.

Anonymous said...

No, it's 'environmental justice'.

I think what you 'believers' are saying is - don't worry about mercury or asbestos in the environment, forget about heavy metals in groundwater, ignore sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, smog, sewage, groundwater problems, those are all insignificant compared to carbon dioxide!!