Toronto Star Backs BC Carbon Tax

Wed, 2009-04-15 19:05Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Toronto Star Backs BC Carbon Tax

In an editorial under the headline: “Carbon tax battle may not be over,” the Toronto Star has taken note of the issue that is currently dominating the BC election conversation.

The Star concludes:

“…American commentators, ranging from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to right-wing economist Arthur Laffer, are calling for a carbon tax as an alternative to cap-and-trade. ‘Since the opponents of cap-and-trade are going to pillory it as a tax anyway, why not go for the real thing – a simple, transparent, economy-wide carbon tax?’ asked Friedman in his column last weekend.

“Why not, indeed.”

Comments

… and that’s the genius behind Campbell’s carbon tax in B.C.- it shifts the responsiblity for cleaning up the mess that big business and big industry have created, by maiking the little guy pick up the tab - again.

Instead of regulating oil and gas companies to make sure they comply with real ‘hard caps’ on emissions, and invest in new technology to reduce GHGs to meet publicly-set targets, they get the average Joe to pay the freight every time they fill up their tank and turn on their furnace.

This is perfectly in keeping with neo-con philosophy of downloading responsiblity to fund corporate profit, by taxing us while they continue to cut taxes and responsibilities for big business.

With a carbon tax, they won’t have to worry about changing the way they do business. We’ll do that for them. And they will continue to laugh all the way to the bank (in the Cayman Islands, of course, because all the American banks are broke).

What the heck are you going on about?

Do you think making polluters pay through a cap and trade system won’t trickle down to the average joe?

A carbon tax and cap and trade both have merits, but they are pretty much the same thing, they put a price on carbon and the price increases the cost of fossil fuels, ie. gasoline. There is a cost to EVERYONE, polluters and consumers, that’s how it works. Your comments are completely misguided and oversimplify something that is way more complex than you would like it to be to fit into your strange “i hate capitalism” argument.

The US is right now in the midst of debating a cap and trade bill and guess who the biggest lobbyist are that are pushing it? The banking sector, the same people that just crash the entire world economy. Know why they want cap and trade? Because they stand to make a fortune gaming it.

Here’s a great back and forth on the merits of a cap and trade vs carbon tax by some people who know what they’re talking about: http://whatmatters.mckinseydigital.com/the_debate_zone/carbon-tax-vs-cap...

Read up before making such misinformed comments.

Jesse, the carbon tax and cap-and-trade systems are not the same in any real way. A carbon tax is regressive taxation policy, bacause it impacts the lowest 20% of wage earners much more than the highest 20%. In addition, Campbell’s carbon tax plan leaves almost 30% of emissions untouched including oil and gas flaring, cement and aluminum production, agriculture and landfill and others.

Also, the BC Liberal system does not place real ‘hard caps’ on emissions, as the NDP proposal does. They leave it to the vagaries of a yet-to-be-defined emissions trading market to realize the emissions targets.

A fuel tax is recognized by economists as relatively unresponsive to price fluxtuations, as noted in this CCPA post:

“Axing the Liberals carbon tax will mean fuel prices by 2012 may be 7 cents per litre less than they would otherwise be. That is a relatively small difference in price (less than the very annoying daily swings in price that sometimes take place at your friendly service station). And that in turn will have only a marginal impact on fuel consumption and related emissions. The demand for fuel is widely recognized by economists as inelastic (relatively unresponsive) to price.”

I have my reservations about a cap-and-trade sytem too, but if it’s done properly, with REAL hard caps on emissions in place, as the NDP is proposing, it can work. The carbon tax will not work at reducing emissions, which is why this is the only jurisdiction in North America that is seriously considering it.

Krsipy, we as consumers are more responsible then oil companies are. So we, as consumers, should pay the cost. It’s not that hard a principal to grasp. But then again, what I’ve said is only true if you are serious about reducing GHG’s.

Kevin, I’m just an interested BC citizen who is appalled at this orchestrated effort to push an ineffective and regressive tax and pillory the BC NDP, under the guise of a supposedly non-partisan environmental organization.

More important, I think is the question, ‘Who is Kevin Grandia, the Operations Manager of DeSmog blog?’ Well, here is a July 19, 2004 post on the Public Eye website on Kevin’s background, for your readers’ reference:

“Concerned citizens have informed us that provincial government event coordinator Kevin Grandia, a former ministerial assistant who has a reputation for being the public affairs bureau’s “event guru,” is abandoning his disciples. Mr. Grandia has been responsible for managing many of Premier Gordon Campbell’s centre-stage announcements. He also reportedly has a good working relationship with the premier’s deputy chief of staff Lara Dauphinee and was expected to play a prominent role in the upcoming election (which, by the looks of it, is already underway).

“But apparently that promise/threat wasn’t enough to keep Mr. Grandia, once and current Richmond MP Raymond Chan’s former constituency assistant, from breaking chief of staff Martyn Brown’s heart and going back to work for his old boss.”

So let’s see, James Hoggan, founder of DeSmog is a prominent BC LIberal supporter and contractor to the govrenment. Kevin Grandia, the Operations Manager of DeSmog Blog is a former high-profile staffer for Gordon Campbell and former federal Liberal MLA Raymond Chan.

And DeSmog Blog says it’s non-partisan? That the ‘only issue in the election is the carbon tax’? It is obvious that the principles behind this web site are to use it as a partisan wedge to drive votes away from the BC NDOP and work to re-elect the BC Liberals.

I can’t stand such underhanded, disingenuous behaviour, and my goal is to make sure that your readers at least get the other side of the issue, so that they can make up their own minds on the issue.

This gives me another reason not to spend and be extra thrifty again. It just dawned on me I have yet to pay a contractor from Toronto.