Christy Clark’s proposed tax on thermal coal would hurt Alberta, U.S. – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – May 3, 2017)

VANCOUVER — BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark wants to slap a hefty $70-a-tonne carbon levy on exports of thermal coal from British Columbian ports, a move that would devastate producers in both the United States and Alberta while sparking a rift over interprovincial trade.

“I think in the fight against climate change, we all have a responsibility,” Ms. Clark said Tuesday during campaigning for the May 9 provincial election.

She is linking her coal-levy proposal to the Trump administration’s decision last week to collect countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports south of the border. British Columbia is Canada’s largest lumber exporter into the United States.

The BC Liberals’ decision is drawing ire in Alberta, which has clashed in the past with its western neighbour over the now-rejected Northern Gateway oil pipeline project that would have gone through British Columbia.

“It would apply to all because we don’t intend to just single out American coal,” said Ms. Clark, whose party is in a close race against the BC NDP led by John Horgan. Both parties are fending off a challenge in some ridings from Andrew Weaver’s BC Green Party.

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