Friday, June 29, 2012

Preston Manning Repeats Himself

“(Mulcair) waxes quite eloquent on that in relation to the oilsands, but then the question is going to eventually come back, ‘Well why didn’t you apply those principles then to Quebec Hydro when you were in a position to do so?’ You want to talk about a carbon tax for the petroleum guys, fine, well where’s the reservoir tax for Hydro?’” Manning said in an interview with iPolitics this week. “I don’t think that discussion has even started to occur, but when it does occur, I think that any temporary surge of the NDP as environmental champions will be knocked back.”

So I will repeat myself.  Past aside, if such a discussion were to occur today, Mulcair and the people of Quebec would be all smiles.  Because though hydro causes extensive emissions during the construction and early operations phases, these return to background levels after about a decade, after which they are no longer even counted in Canada's National Inventory Report, which outlines the nation's carbon budget.  Most of Quebec's push for hydro took place twenty years ago, so a reservoir tax on those projects would raise bupkis.  And even their most recent projects would only suffer under a tax for a few more years.

In other words, try again please Preston Manning.

The longer version of my argument can be found here.


Frunger said...

Your facts are accurate in that today those construction emissions wouldn't count and couldn't be taxed. Taxing them retroactively would be a stupid idea.

You fall on your face when you think that puts Mulcair on the winning side of the argument.

The way I see it, if Mulcair only cares about taxing emissions AFTER Quebec won't be subject to them, it makes him a scoundrel not a saint.

I graduated university more than 10 years ago. It would be like me championing a drastic hike in enrollment fees. Pure self interest, plain and simple.

bigcitylib said...

Mulcair will have more of an issue when it comes to doing something about, lets say, mileage standards and the auto unions raise heck. I'm arguing here that, with Hydro, I don't see him having a problem

Unknown said...

Brilliant logic, Frunger.

Let's call it Frunger's Law:

One must never advocate a course of action that one hasn't advocated for their entire life.

liberal supporter said...

Did Parson Manning bother to quantify the emissions of a hydro project? He claims they flooded an area the size of Lake Ontario. The decaying trees under the water would presumably provide carbon emissions, if in fact they decay and release carbon.

How many tonnes of GHG are we talking about? And what is the comparable number from bitumen extraction, refining and burning?

I thought the difference between trees and oil is with trees, you are releasing carbon that was fixed in the last few decades and if you release it (by burning or decay) it will again be fixed by other trees, thus maintaining a "current carbon account" balance. How much will not be fixed due to flooding of an area the size of Lake Ontario?

Contrast that with releasing, over a couple of hundred years, carbon that was fixed over a period of many millions of years.

Where's the data? Where are the numbers? Is this like Rob Ford claiming $30 billion for 30 years to build all the subways he wants as too expensive, yet his own "solution" has no specifics, other than he had 30 developers in his office who while unnamed, were prepared to put up lots of money to build subways. But no actual numbers.