Hicks on Biz: Carbon tax a colossal waste of money BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED Edmonton Sun: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 07, 2016
No matter that Canada’s contribution to global warming is negligible.
No matter that China, India and the USA are the culprits, not Canada.
No matter the consequences, the carbon tax is going to happen in Alberta.
On January 1, the carbon tax will bump up the cost of gasoline by 4.5 cents a litre, diesel by 5.4 cents a litre, home heating costs by $1 a gigajoule. In winter, my 2,100 sq. ft. home burns eight to 10 gigajoules of natural gas per month.
The carbon tax will add to most of your purchases. Municipalities will pass on carbon taxes in higher property taxes. Grocery stores will pass on the added cost of transporting food.
Carbon taxes won’t go away. Those two great world saviors Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau will keep raising the carbon tax every year for the next six years. By rough calculation, the carbon tax on gasoline will be around 17 cents a litre by 2022.
This tax grab is the equivalent, respected Calgary economist Jack Mintz says, of a 3% provincial sales tax.
But no matter how successful Alberta is at carbon reduction, we won’t affect global greenhouse gas emissions. If all Canada follows these policies, Canada will drop from 1.6% of the world total to 1%.
It’s the other side of this coin – the spending of the Alberta carbon tax income - that scares me.
According to the provincial government’s own figures (at www.alberta.ca/climate-carbon-pricing.aspx) we are handing over $9.6 billion dollars to the New Democrat government to spend like kids in a candy store. (With Trudeau’s dictum that provinces increase carbon taxes through 2022, that figure will be higher.)
The NDs promise that this gusher of non-committed cash will be “reinvested in the economy and rebated to Albertans.”
Ten billion dollars, to spend as they wish on their favourite “green” projects!
And here’s the bitter reality. There’s not a dime directed to the greening of our oil and gas industry!
These government MLAs, these naive social workers and teachers, sincerely dislike the oil and gas industry that makes up 25% of the provincial economy. Their goal is to see Alberta’s reliance on fossil fuels reduced by 50% by 2050, 100% by 2080.
Here’s how the NDs plan to “reinvest” your carbon tax moola. It’s all on the website mentioned above.
Of the $9.6 billion (before Trudeau’s added gift):
$3.4 billion for renewable energy, bio energy and technology projects.
$2.2 billion for “green infrastructure” like transit.
$645 million to a new agency, Energy Efficiency Alberta, to “support energy efficiency programs and services for homes and businesses.”
$2.3 billion in “carbon rebates” for low-and-middle-income families
$865 million to cover a cut in small business tax rates from 3% to 2%
$195 million to “assist” communities hammered by anti-carbon policies – i.e. mining towns.
Not a word about emission reduction in the oil and gas industry!
Not a word about building on Alberta’s world-leading expertise in producing “clean” oil!
Not a word about support for the promising new technologies already dropping CO2 emissions and water use in the oilsands!
Not a word about the carbon capture projects with the realistic potential – given some cost-effect government support – to capture 100% of GHG emissions from ALL Alberta’s refineries and petro-chemical plants!
Instead, the young socialists will merrily dole out billions of taxpayer dollars to their new best friends – the renewable energy gang that thrive on government hand-outs.
Legions of new bureaucrats will be needed to collect (then give back) the carbon tax, to staff the new agency, to oversee all the grant giving.
This Energy Efficient Alberta will be a political pork barrel, with “free” money to buy energy-efficient dishwashers, washing machines and furnaces. The truth is energy efficiency pays for itself – especially when the electricity price will soon double thanks to other ND policies.
If the Alberta carbon tax made any noticeable difference in world climate change, if it helped the oil and gas industry keep lowering emissions, it might have merit.
Otherwise, this government is once again sacrificing Alberta to save the world.
If I’m an oil and gas guy, I’m moving to Saskatchewan.