Support for a Carbon Tax

The  2008 election rejected the Liberal party that campaigned on the promise to levy a carbon tax that would reduce Canada’s carbon footprint.   Since then Carbon Tax has been below the political radar, but  a short while ago 4RG sensed that the subject was ready for polite society.   Our blog pointed out developments in the media that suggested awareness and acceptance of the tax was increasing.

Further facts to consider:

  • no less a respected stateman than Joe Clarke claims that current Canadian public opinion is not against a carbon tax.
  • A respected parliamentarian, Preston Manning , supports a carbon tax, and referred to  certain communication  strategies that would improve its acceptance.
  • The Globe & Mail has taken an editorial position in favour of a national carbon tax.

The Globe editorial urged our Federal Conservatives to recognize that this mechanism of putting a price on carbon is consistent with conservative political philosophy.

“A carbon tax works because it’s Economics 101. It’s about putting a price on pollution, and leaving it up to millions of people and businesses to figure out how to reorient their behavior so as to minimize their costs.”

When interviewed by Peter Mansbridge recently, Prime Minister Harper indicated a preference for a different method of “putting a price on carbon”.  Harper identified that method as the Alberta’s Greenhouse Gas Regulatory environment.

Alberta’s Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER) applies only to major industrial facilities and requires that they reduce “emissions intensity” by 12% from their baseline performance levels within nine years, after which they must maintain that reduced levels.  Companies subject to the Regulation have the option to either

  • make the reductions in-house,
  • buy credits from companies that have met their targets or
  • pay $15 per tonne of emissions into a tech fund to develop clean technology.

From this we conclude that current thinking in the Federal Conservative Party is amenable to “Cap and Trade” but will not support a “job-killing” carbon tax.

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