Editorial: Trade the Carbon Tax for Fossil Subsidies

Everyone wins except Big Oil

Photo by Alistair Hamilton, CC, cropped from original

Those who seek common ground will be delighted with this solution to the carbon conundrum.

The big enviro outfits all support the carbon tax. So do the “lite green” politicos and even some oil and gas companies, or at least their PR departments. Meanwhile The Rest of Canada (led by Scheer, Kenney, Ford, et al) blame the price of gas on the carbon tax, whose purpose is to raise the price on pollution.

The only problem is… there is just slightly-more-than-zero evidence that the carbon tax actually works. Yes, BC gasoline sales are down 11% since the price skyrocketed. But in BC now, less than ten cents of what we pay per litre is carbon tax (some of which comes back to us as a tax credit).

If we are PO’ed at the price of this current daily necessity, what if we were to comprehend the scale of the subsidies, also coming from our pockets, to the oil and gas corporations?

Those raving radicals at the International Monetary Fund have estimated the growing global subsidies were $5.2 trillion in 2017, and $43 billion in Canada ($US). By the way, in contrast, the federal Department of Finance predicts the carbon tax will bring in $2.36 billion in 2019-20, with 90% returned to households.

So here’s the deal. Forget the carbon tax. Kill the subsidies. Everyone is happy. The price of carbon fuels will reflect their cost. Pure capitalism. Use the savings for social programs instead of corporate profits. Consumption will fall without government interference.

A perfect solution for all sides – oh, except those corporations causing climate chaos.

—Delores Broten, Comox, BC, June 2019






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