Sunday, October 09, 2016

The Forest And The Trees



When it comes to taxing carbon, the Conservatives are into self-flagellation. Foremost among them is Brad Wall. Stephen Maher writes:

Like the previous federal Conservative government, Wall seems to represent the view held by some fossil fuel companies — that climate change likely isn’t caused by carbon emissions, but even if it is we shouldn’t do anything about it, since little Canada can’t have much impact on global emissions and we’d be certain to lose revenue and jobs.

That seems to also be the view of Calgary MP Michelle Rempel, who took to Twitter to attack Telus and other companies that support Trudeau’s carbon plan.

On Friday, even the  Globe and Mail came out in support of the prime minister's plan:

Economically speaking, the Trudeau government’s approach is the right one. Environmentally speaking, too. The question is whether, over the long run, it can be sustained politically. That’s up to you, dear reader and dear voter.

Ottawa is creating a national standard and leaving it up to each province to decide how to meet it. Beginning in 2018, carbon will have to be priced at $10 a tonne, with the price rising by $10 a year until it hits $50 in 2022.

What’s all that in plain English? A $10 tax on a tonne of carbon is equivalent to a tax on gasoline of 2 cents per litre. A $50 per tonne price means a gas tax of 11 cents a litre.

And the Globe pointed out that, if Wall so chose, that money could go to tax cuts:

A conservative provincial government, like Mr. Wall’s Saskatchewan Party, could decide to take advantage of higher taxes on gasoline, diesel, natural gas and coal to lower taxes on things everyone wants more of, like income and investment. A conservative-minded premier could promise to turn every dollar of carbon levy into a dollar in tax cuts. That would make for an interesting contrast to Alberta and Ontario, which are largely planning on spending their carbon billions.

As usual, Conservatives can't see the forest for the trees. 

10 comments:

Rural said...

The phrase 'Sticking your head in the sand' seems like an appropriate response to these Cons, Owen

Owen Gray said...

An accurate description, Rural. In some circles, willful ignorance remains quite popular.

Steve said...

I think they dont know what they know cause it pays so well.

Owen Gray said...

Money can cloud your vision, Steve.

The Mound of Sound said...

Wall, like Harper, is an ideologue. They don't do science. Theirs is a belief-based pursuit, one of many faith/belief structures so instrumental in the problems and perils that beset our world today.

Owen Gray said...

Faith may move mountains, Mound. But misplaced faith is folly.

Hugh said...

It's all kind of pointless anyway. $30 per tonne carbon tax in BC hasn't reduced gasoline consumption.

Owen Gray said...

On Question Period yesterday, Evan Soloman pointed to a study that claimed it had reduced consumption, Hugh. It may not be enough. But it's a beginning.

Kirby Evans said...

I don't actually think that the Prime Minister's approach is correct. Putting a price on carbon is really just another attempt to use market mechanisms to solve a problem that the market helped to create in the first place. Just as the only solution to capitalism's tendency toward monopoly is to create laws outlawing monopolies, the solution here needs to be regulatory. Governments need to use regulations to force auto producers, for example, to stop making gas-guzzlers. Simply putting a price on carbon means that the wealthy will still drive hummers and waste energy because they can afford it. Meanwhile the poor will suffer. Carbon pricing will do little to change things. Regulating its use, on the other hand, will.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that regulations -- particularly on the auto industry -- are on the way, Kirby. But this is a beginning.