British Columbia Begins Taxing Carbon
The carbon tax, introduced in the Feb. 19 budget, taxes carbon-based fuels like gasoline, diesel, natural gas and home heating fuel. The rate of taxation is $10 (Can.) per ton of greenhouse gases generated. The carbon tax will rise $5 a ton for the next four years until it hits $30 per ton in 2012. The tax increase works out to an extra 2.4 cents a liter on gasoline, increasing to 7.24 cents per liter by 2012.
The government has said all carbon tax revenue (roughly $1.8 billion over three years) will be returned to British Columbians through reductions to income and business taxes. But with rising gasoline prices, the addition of the new carbon tax will certainly be making some British Columbian drivers cringe when they fill up at the pump.
In an op-ed piece at the Globe and Mail, Gary Mason points to the political battle brewing as these two economic forces collide and drive up fuel prices. Mason cautions that knee-jerk reactions from the “well-orchestrated but morally bankrupt campaign led by the NDP Opposition” will only feed the division between those who think the tax is the right way and those who don’t. Mason writes:
“Suddenly, it’s being viewed as a financial burden in a way it wasn’t before. Now, combined with the current price of gas, the tax is forcing people to seriously contemplate changing their emissions-producing ways, which is precisely what it was intended to do.
Still, it wouldn’t take much for people in B.C. to recoup the money the carbon tax will cost them. They could do it by driving into the office four or five times less a year or taking transit the equivalent of a couple of weeks. They could also do it by implementing any number of cheap, energy-saving measures in their homes.
But the NDP in B.C. doesn’t want you to believe that. It just wants people to feel rage over how “wrong and exploitive” the tax is. I say don’t listen to the NDP’s leaders, because what they are doing is playing politics with the planet.”
Other posts about the BC carbon tax:
Photo: woody1778a via flickr under a Creative Commons License