Carbon tax pie in the sky

Posted by Rumin Mann
August 3rd, 2010

Three Canadian provinces are reported to be working independently to introduce a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system that would price carbon. Along with Ontario and Quebec, the province of British Columbia will join California and New Mexico as part of the “Western Climate Initiative”.

The most frustrating part of learning about this is that British Columbia already has a carbon tax, which currently sets a price on carbon at around $20 per tonne of CO2 emissions. That price is set to rise to $25 per tonne in 2011, and $30 per tonne by 2012.

According to the B.C. government website, the carbon tax will top out at 7.24 cents a litre for gasoline at the pump by 2012. But although some people living outside of the province might think the tax only applies to gasoline, the list is much larger and more comprehensive than that.

Diesel will be 8.27 cents per litre, along with light fuel oil. Heavy fuel oil will rise to 9.33 cents per litre; aviation gasoline to 7.34 cents; jet fuel to 7.87 cents; kerosene to 7.68 cents. But it doesn’t stop there.

Home owners pay $1.49.64 per Gigajoule on natural gas heating, widely touted as a “clean energy”. We also pay taxes if we buy propane for our barbecues, butane, ethane, pentane, and oven gas. Hell, the province will charge $62.40 in taxes for each tonne of whole rubber tires.

The carbon tax has already pushed Vancouver to the distinction of having the highest gasoline prices in the country. Not that it’s managed to magically remove cars from the road, as the B.C. government had predicted. If anything, the roads have never been more congested.

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