Green taxes put us in the red


Lorrie Goldstein

Thu, February 21, 2008
Green taxes put us in the red
By LORRIE GOLDSTEIN

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Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government in British Columbia has done a public service by introducing Canada’s first real carbon tax this week.

What it demonstrates is that when governments “go green” they are essentially launching a tax attack on the middle class, while letting big industrial greenhouse gas emitters off the hook.

That’s already happened in the European Union’s three-year-old carbon emissions trading market, where big energy companies are doing fine, while electricity rates for many consumers have skyrocketed.

It’s what has started happening in Quebec, where the public was told by the government a pseudo carbon tax would be paid for out of oil and gas industry profits, when in reality the province’s fossil fuel industry has simply passed along the new tax to its customers, and will now remit that money back to the Quebec government for its so-called green fund. Government spokesmen are now telling angry consumers that of course the new tax means they’ll pay more for gasoline and natural gas, because how could the government possibly control the market decisions of oil and gas companies?

That’s almost as disingenuous as the coal-fired electrical utility in Europe which, when asked why it was passing along the entire cost of buying carbon permits under Europe’s cap and trade emissions trading scheme to its customers, when the utility had received the initial permits for free, responded the whole purpose of cap and trade was to raise electricity rates.

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SURPRISE!

In reality, there’s no way governments can or will make “Big Business” pay more for disgorging carbon into the atmosphere and heating up our planet.

Obviously, they’ll just pass along the added costs to their captive customers — us.

And don’t worry about Big Oil. At $100 a barrel and rising, it’s going to come out of this global warming “crisis” just fine, while Big Government works hand in glove with Big Business to screw us.

That was the part Al Gore left out of An Inconvenient Truth.

It’s the part the charitable David Suzuki glosses over when he rants (non-partisanly, of course) about how we should throw politicians such as Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in jail, or out of office, for doing nothing about global warming for the past two years and … uh … what? … replace him with the Liberals who did nothing for 12?

Meanwhile, Suzuki-endorsed Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, whose “green” plan involves building more nuke plants (does Dr. Suzuki know?) while allowing pollution-spewing, coal-fired energy plants to choke the life out of Ontarians until 2014, after promising in 2003 to have them all closed by now (“Paging Dr. Suzuki! Paging Dr, Suzuki!”) — has no real “green” plan either. Unless you think paying boutique, solar energy plants outrageous sums of taxpayer money to subsidize the production of very little power qualifies as “green.”

NEUTRALITY

B.C. will bribe taxpayers with $100 of their own money, just before it introduces its escalating carbon tax July I, which it promises to keep “revenue neutral” via other tax cuts.

You can decide, gentle reader, on the likelihood of that promise being kept over the long term, but early skeptics (should we jail them for climate change denial?) include B.C.’s NDP and Green Party.

On the other hand, The Suzuki Foundation and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce both pronounced themselves pleased.


• You can e-mail Lorrie Goldstein at lorrie.goldstein@sunmedia.ca

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One thought on “Green taxes put us in the red

  1. Hi there i am kavin, its mmy first time to
    commenting anywhere, when i read this piece of writing i thought i
    coould also make comment due to thyis brilliant post.

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