bc carbon tax

Jaccard: Voters being misled on BC climate policy

“I know this sounds cynical. But politicians implementing a carbon tax face a great risk that unscrupulous political opponents will mislead the public by claiming we can reduce emissions without taxing gasoline, conveniently failing to mention that their cap-and-trade alternative should have the same upward effect on its price for the same emissions reductions.”

That quote is from an opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun today on BC climate policy and the current BC election, by Simon Fraser University economist Dr. Marc Jaccard.

Jaccard writes:

“A recent B.C. NDP press release states that Canada’s National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy (on which I serve) “clearly supports” the NDP’s climate policy proposal to scrap the carbon tax and that I am Premier Gordon Campbell’s ‘top adviser’ on B.C.’s carbon tax. Neither of these statements is true.”

While the BC NDP will no doubt try and paint Jaccard, an internationally respected academic on climate policy, as some how in bed with the BC Liberal government, the reality is that Jaccard has worked to advise the BC government for many years, including previous NDP ones.

As Jaccard rightly point out:

“Of course, the NDP did not call me Campbell’s ‘top adviser’ from 2001 to 2006 when I repeatedly criticized his ineffective climate policies of that period. But now that I am applauding his recent climate policies and sharply criticizing the NDP’s alternatives, their strategy is to claim I am no longer independent.”

Yale Economist William Nordhaus on Carbon Tax

Given the debate over BC’s carbon tax, we thought we would search about for some expert opinion on carbon emission policy. Few leading thinkers present the issue as an either/or carbon-taxes-or-cap-and-trade option. Most policy analysts favour using both instruments.

An exception is Dr. William Norhaus, the renowned Professor of Economics at Yale University, who recently called for “an internationally harmonized system of carbon taxes.”

This, Nordhaus said, would be much more efficient than an international patchwork of emissions caps; small countries wouldn’t have to worry about achieving certain emissions levels and the system would be much less prone to corruption or cheating.

Most importantly, Nordhaus said, Taxes, “while hated,” are a long-standing and “proven” financial instrument.

National Roundtable Climate Expert challenges NDP policy position

The chair of the National Roundtable on the Economy and the Environment (NTREE) dismissed the B.C. NDP’s claim today that the party’s cap-and-trade scheme would punish polluters and save money for consumers.

Whether you manage climate change with a carbon tax or with cap and trade, “the price is going to be paid for by the consumer one way or another and I don’t see that as the major difference between the two systems,” Bob Page told CKNW talk show host Bill Good.

Global TV's Keith Baldry: NDP sells environmental soul

Global Television’s Chief political correspondent Keith Baldry has published an opinion piece today on the BC NDP’s stance on the carbon tax and climate change.

Baldry writes:

“The NDP’s opposition to the carbon tax – a position that is the starting point for its entire platform – appears to be based on two reasons: it was unpopular when it was introduced last summer because the price of gasoline was so high at the time, and it was a B.C. Liberal creation, so therefore it must be bad.”

Here’s the entire column: NDP sells environmental soul

BC NDP Voted Against Cap and Trade Legislation in 2008

Update: Per a comment below, after I posted this story, Sean Holman at Public Eye Online called to say that the NDP had voted against this cap-and-trade enabling legislation because of secrecy provisions within. (Thank you, Sean.)

In turns out that the David Suzuki Foundation objected on the same grounds (see the first attached document), after which the government withdrew the secrecy provisions (see the second attached document), before the final, contrary vote.

On April 3, 2008, the BC government introduced the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act.

On May 28th 2008, the BC NDP, who claim that the issue of climate change must urgently be addressed, voted en masse against the bill.

NDP Environment Critic brushes off former NDP Government Advisor


In reaction to a scathing economic analysis of the BC NDP climate change plan, the party’s environment critic, Shane Simpson, is making the ridiculous claim that the author is somehow misguided in his findings.

Released on Friday, the economic analysis by renowned Simon Fraser University economist Dr. Marc Jaccard finds that the NDP’s climate plan could lead to 60,000 direct and indirect job losses by 2020.

According to a Province news article this weekend, NDP environment critic Shane Simpson claimed that:

He [Jaccard] has been a critic of ours (the NDP) and I don’t believe Mr. Jaccard has an independent view on this.”

It’s insulting to an academic like Jacaard to be accused of dishonesty and being in collusion with government. What makes it even worse is that Simpson fails to mention that Jaccard has also been an advisor to previous NDP government’s - so much for his conspiracy theory.

On the very first page of Jaccard’s analysis it states:

“Professor at Simon Fraser University specializing in sustainable energy modeling and policy, Dr. Jaccard has been appointed by NDP, Conservative and Liberal governments to energy-environment policy advisory and decision making positions over the past two decades. The BC NDP government of the 1990s appointed him to chair the BC Utilities Commission (1992-1997), the Electricity Market Review (1995), the Public Inquiry into Gasoline Pricing (1996), and the Task Force on Electricity Market Reform (1997).” (my emphasis)

The election campaign here in BC hasn’t even begun and the NDP are already spinning hard to put lipstick on their “axe the tax” pig. Check back on DeSmogBlog for our analysis and coverage of the 2009 BC Election.

BC NDP's Cap and Trade Proposal Nothing New

BC NDP leader Carole James defended her party’s proposal to scrap the BC Carbon Tax by promising to “implement a cap-and-trade system to put a price on carbon.”

This of course is nothing new in that British Columbia is already a partner in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI.)

Under the WCI framework member States and Provinces are well underway in identifying, evaluating, and implementing “collective and cooperative ways to reduce greenhouse gases in the region, focusing on a market-based cap-and-trade system.”

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