Monday, February 25, 2008

Carbon taxes are here!

Last week the BC government brought down its ‘green theme’ budget implementing one of Canada’s first carbon taxes. Finance minister Carole Taylor showed up for the cameras in a cutesy green outfit with green shaded visuals as a backdrop. Bleecchh!

The tax starts small at 2.4 cents/liter of gas (starting in a couple of months) and equivalent taxes on heating fuel. Aside from mild annoyance, there was very little adverse reaction from John Q Public; and a day or so later there was a market-forced bump of about 6 cents at the pumps which all but swamped the announced carbon tax.

Should we be blasé? Here’s Terence Corcoran’s take: B.C. launches CO2 planning nightmare:

Very neat, aside from one slight problem. When will we know if it works? B.C. Finance Minister Carole Taylor had a lot to say about her new carbon tax -- who pays, how it's "recycled," who gets it back, how much is collected, details about its impact on Toyota Matrix drivers -- but nothing to say about what the tax might be expected to accomplish in terms of, well, cutting emissions.
This is planning without having to set targets or prove they work. The only test will be to try to figure out whether carbon emissions go down in future. And if they don't, as is likely, the only option will be to ratchet up the taxes and regulations to a new level. It's a planner's paradise.
This is just the beginning and it’s a sign that the government has completely swallowed the global warming kool-aid. It will only get worse from here. In a couple of years the gas tax is slated to go to about 7+ cents/liter and who knows what other draconian, economically destructive anti-carbon tax measures they’ll dream up.

Over at Blue Like You, Joanne tells us that Kooky Suzuki thinks carbon taxes will bring, wait for it ... lower taxes. Aside from being a fruit-fly and climate expert, Kooky is now a master economist.

See also: this poll; and Lorrie Goldstein's "Green fever madness".


Joanne (True Blue) said...

And here I thought we had the worst Premier in the country.

Zookeeper said...

I just want to know what the effect will be on the temperature. That's what this is all about, right?

JR said...

Yeah, Joanne, it's tough to beat McGuinty all right, but sometimes it happens. Worse, though, the Liberal Party is as far right as we get in BC. Time to resurrect Reform or Socred.

Halfwise, you're right. Measuring the effect of the BC carbon tax could be tricky - especially given that completely shutting down the entire Canadian economy would have negligible effect.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Worse, though, the Liberal Party is as far right as we get in BC.

Well, we have an NDP party and two Liberal parties so we're not much further ahead.