Climate Change

British Columbia’s failed carbon tax

by Lorrie Goldstein


Source: Toronto Sun

To predict the future of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax and his looming clean fuel standard, which is another carbon tax, just look at British Columbia.

B.C. is Canada’s leader in imposing carbon taxes.

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It passed, to widespread praise from the chattering classes, what it boasted was the world’s first revenue neutral carbon tax on fossil fuels in 2007.

It was the model Trudeau borrowed from when he passed his national carbon tax 11 years later in 2018.

B.C. implemented its clean fuel standard in 2010. Trudeau will do so 12 years later, in 2022.

LILLEY UNLEASHED: We can’t believe a word the Liberals say on the carbon tax.

B.C.’s current carbon tax is $40 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the highest in Canada and higher than Trudeau’s current national carbon price of $30 per tonne. B.C.’s carbon tax directly increases the cost of gasoline by 8.89 cents per litre, diesel fuel by 10.23 cents per litre and 7.60 cents per cubic metre of natural gas, which the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says often costs residential customers more than the natural gas they actually use.

Then there’s the indirect costs to consumers because almost all goods and services require fossil fuel energy to be manufactured, grown, created and transported.

B.C. collected more than $1.4 billion in carbon taxes in 2018, the last year for which government statistics are available.

The problem is B.C.’s carbon tax, which is no longer revenue neutral, has failed to reduce emissions.

When B.C. introduced it in 2007 it set a goal of reducing its emissions to 33% below 2007 levels by 2020.

Based on the latest data from 2018, B.C.’s annual emissions are up 6% from 2007, up 3% from 2017, up 10% over the past three years and up five times in the last seven years.

Poised to miss its 2020 target, the government of B.C. Premier John Horgan recently changed the target, now saying the province will reduce emissions to 16% below 2007 levels by 2025, 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 80% by 2050.

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To be fair, there are a few qualifiers here.

First, B.C.’s emissions will be down this year — we won’t know the amount until 2022 — because of the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but only by 7% to 8% if the province is consistent with what’s expected to be the global average, with emissions rising again in 2021 as the global economy recovers.

Second, B.C. says changes to how the federal government calculates emissions — the feds keep changing the goalposts — accounts for more than 75% of its emissions gap between 2007 and 2018.

Third, B.C. says its per capita emissions are down 8% since 2007 while their carbon intensity is down by 16%.

Fourth, defenders of the carbon tax say emissions would have been higher without it. None of which changes the fact B.C.’s carbon tax has failed the acid test in its first decade of operation — to lower emissions.

Trudeau, apparently believing doing the same thing over and over again leads to different results, continues down B.C.’s path.

About to fail to meet his 2020 target of reducing Canada’s emissions to 17% below 2005 levels, Trudeau has now revised the target to 32% by 2030, on the way, he says, to net-zero emissions by 2050, when Canada’s carbon tax will be $170 per tonne.

Hold on to your wallet.


Default User
Goldstein is a long time right wing Conservative shill and Liberal-basher. Nothing he says can be taken as other than partisan opinion. He bashes BC for failing to meet emission levels projected in 2007 when the carbon tax was introduced. He did NOT mention that the first 10 1/2 years of administering the tax funds to environmental issues was under the BC Liberal government. In the absence of a Conservative presence in this province. the BC Liberals have been a gathering place for years for the old Reformers and Socreds, BC’s right wing faction. They have nothing at all in common with the federal Liberals, and are closely aligned to the federal Conservatives. They did NOTHING to alleviate carbon emissions during their two terms.
NDP Premier Horgan has had to deal with a minority government and then with COVID during the 3 years of his mandate so far. Three years is nowhere near enough time to start to turn around the damage done by the BC Liberals in ignoring the carbon issue while spending the money from the carbon tax elsewhere. Carbon taxes have worked elsewhere, and will work in BC and in Canada. The right wing, i.e., Goldstein’s, approach has been, ‘Carbon taxation hasn’t solved the problem yet, so it can’t be solved. Oh well, we’ll just ignore it and carry on.’
Sorry but you are very wrong. If you don’t like the carbon tax, come up with something that works. So far, all you have is hot air, which might heat the Toronto Sun offices and those of the Conservative Party, but it’s not nearly enough for our energy needs.

Jay Mat
The Lieberals have not said (nor have the Cons) that , without a massive leap in technology, the target is IMPOSSIBLE. To meet the target, the equivelent of 100% of the emissions from agriculture AND transport will have to be cut!!

Jay Mat
While the economy of western Canada is devastated by the transfer of wealth to Quebec. Guess what. The cost of “low Carbon” natural gas and crude and whatever else the west sends east will rise and Quebec will simply stop buying from the west. They now buy crude from western Canada (about 44% of their total). They purchase over half of their crude needs (56%) from Algeria and the USA because it is cheaper. This is a double whammy for the west!! Is anyone else tired of being a serf for Quebec. We will have a standard of living less that Arkansas while Quebec standard is comparable to the highest in Europe PAID FOR BY US!!

Earl Chinchilla
The Carbon spewing Conservative Destroy the Earth For Profit truth twisters are at it again. If you look at per capita emissions they indeed have dropped since the start of the program. Have you Brainiac’s noticed the Population of British Columbia increased in that time and each new person adds to the total CO2 consumption? Your oily overloads dictate the alternative facts to keep the machine lubed and ruining.

Jay Mat to Earl Chinchilla
The carbon targets are for Canada (tonnes/year.) as a whole, NOT per person (tonnes/person/year.). An interesting but useless statistic.

Ron Kennedy
The green scam and related taxes, which go mostly to political friends, pretty much sewer ed Ontario for decades to come with zero results for the “environment”. Any idea who engineered that failure? Butt, Butt, this is different!!!! Way to take the whole country down!

Tom Kitta
Carbon tax works just as any other tax – by making population poorer you decrease their carbon footprint. If you make Canadians as poor as the people of India, then our carbon footprint will drop many times. We be very poor and very green.

Jay Mat
Interesting that “nobody” believes any data in Canada where the whole issue has been politisized by the Liberals. What Canada has is a means of transferring wealth to Quebec from the ROC. The solution for Canada is to separate from Quebec as it was before they were given the massive Ungave region in the 1920’s. This is the same as Russia taking the Crimea back from the Ukraine. We will see how Quebec survives with their little strip of La Francais along the River. They will be broke and a province of France within a few years meanwhile the ROC will flourish having dropped ‘boat anchour’ province of Quebec.

James Tripp
The ratios of isotopes in modern history since the last ice age have remained relatively constant until about 150 years ago. Then the ratio of C12 to C13 began to change. The CO2 molecules in the atmosphere not only increased from about 282 ppm to over 400 ppm today, but the ratio of C12 to C13 changed dramatically. The carbon isotope C12 began to increase. The change corresponded to the onset of the industrial revolution and increased use of fossil fuels. What the developed nations of the world have to do is be accountable and acknowledge responsibility as the primary contributor to the current problem. The problem is a direct result of the use of toxic fossil fuels as the energy source that fueled development for decades. Development has provided the “developed nations” with the bulk of their wealth but since it has also simultaneously poisoning the global ecosystem (including the atmospheric fund pollutant CO2), the onus is on those developed nations to lead the way in technology, implementation and funding to develop and disseminate clean sustainable sources of energy and to aid in adaptation to the global physical changes resulting from climate change. This is all the more important if the estimates of 1.5 to 2 Billion middle class consumers projected to emerge in the Asian and Indian markets are correct, and they all expect to build the same type of middle class life style as the developed nations currently enjoy. If they choose to do this via fossil fuels, then the ecosystem is in for a real beating and the future prosperity of the human species is at risk.

Earl Chinchilla
People are brainwashed by the oil industry and by misinformation printed by this Conservative rag. They will not see the big picture until they are fighting and starving in the streets. Its the idiots destiny.

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