Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

Carbon taxes fail to satisfy the smell test for voters. What went wrong? – by Jack Mintz (Financial Post – August 8, 2018)

Why are carbon taxes so unpopular? According to the latest World Bank report on carbon pricing, 23 countries have carbon taxes (another dozen jurisdictions have only emission trading systems like the one recently dropped by Ontario).

At least two jurisdictions— Australia and Washington State – have disbanded carbon tax proposals in recent years. Another carbon tax will see its death if Alberta’s Conservative party leader, Jason Kenney, has his way in 2019.

In contrast, 176 countries have targets for renewable energy and/or energy efficiency and 110 jurisdictions have feed-in tariffs. With relatively so few countries using carbon taxes, a new paper published in WIREs Climate Change asks why this is the case — a question to which Canadian politicians should also pay attention this coming election year. Continue Reading →

Ford’s Ontario is only ‘closed for business’ to businesses hosing Ontario – by Kevin Libin (Financial Post – August 3, 2018)

They used to say that when you find yourself in a hole you should stop digging, but there’s a new law of holes being written just for Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Elected recently to pull his province out of the fiscal crater it’s in after 15 years of Liberal rule, Ford is now being scolded for easing up on the spadework.

Ford is accused of sending a message that Ontario is “closed for business” because he’s cancelling government renewable-energy contracts and carbon-permit programs that businesses had invested in. But the alternative is not cancelling them, which would mean sinking Ontario further into the muck of the last government’s punishingly expensive climate-control agenda.

And if tearing up contracts for new wind farms and cancelling carbon permits leaves businesses nervous about making deals with government, so be it. Let them focus instead on building actual wealth in the private sector. Continue Reading →

Ottawa looks to soften carbon tax impact as battle with Ontario looms – by Alex Ballingall (Toronto Star – August 2, 2018)

OTTAWA—The Trudeau government is scaling back its carbon tax plan over concerns about competitiveness, a move being hailed by Ontario’s environment minister as a welcome “climb-down” and decried by environmentalists as putting short-term economic interests ahead of the health of the planet.

Under the new plan, which Environment and Climate Change Canada quietly published online last Friday, Ottawa will deliver higher rebates to heavy emitters as part of a strategy to keep them competitive and to discourage them from relocating to places where regulations are less expensive.

Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Ottawa will tax companies $20 for every tonne of greenhouse gas they emit, a levy that will ramp up to $50 per tonne in 2022. Continue Reading →

Ottawa to dramatically scale back carbon tax on competitiveness concerns – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – August 1, 2018)

The federal government will drastically reduce the scope of its planned carbon tax to address competitiveness concerns as it prepares to replace Ontario’s cap-and-trade system with its own levy.

After a closed-door meeting with industry officials last week, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued new guidelines that lower the percentage of emissions on which large polluters will have to pay the carbon tax and offer bigger breaks for energy-intensive companies that face tough international competition. The guidelines will be imposed on every province that doesn’t meet the federal standard for carbon pricing.

Companies will try to pass along any costs of the carbon tax to consumers, but industry leaders say they may have to absorb it in competitive markets. The reduced tax means businesses will have fewer costs to pass along, face less competitive pressure and likely produce higher emissions. Continue Reading →

Why on earth is Trudeau still so committed to the failing carbon tax? – by Lorne Gunter (Toronto Sun – July 21, 2018)

“Canada is responsible for just 1.5% of worldwide greenhouse
gases, including the oilsands. Even if we shut in all our oil,
other countries would pick up our market share, meaning we
can impoverish ourselves, but the same amount of oil will still
be burned, likely with even more emissions.

It is naïve to think stopping Energy East or Trans Mountain or
other pipelines and megaprojects will save the planet. All it
will do is beggar Canadian companies, cost Canadian jobs and
make it even harder for Canadian governments to balance their

With the new Ontario government of Premier Doug Ford announcing it will fight the federal Liberal government’s national carbon tax, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s flagship “green” initiative is in far more jeopardy than might be obvious.

Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, Ian Brodie, has pronounced the carbon tax “politically dead,” while former Liberal whisperer Warren Kinsella tweeted the tax is “dead, pretty much.”

Prince Edward Island’s government also announced this month that it was out. And Newfoundland and Labrador is assumed to be exiting, too, since it had sent signals it would do whatever Ontario did. Continue Reading →

Unclutch those pearls, folks: Scrapping cap-and-trade will bring stability, not chaos – by Peter shawn Taylor (Financial Post – July 5, 2018)

Opinion: Australian Liberals kept their ‘blood oath’ to axe carbon taxes — and they are still on target for emissions reductions

Canada’s carbon pricing lobby has plenty of frantic arguments for why Ontario Premier Doug Ford should abandon his plan to repeal the province’s cap-and-trade carbon dioxide emissions trading scheme. But unclutch those pearls, folks.

This carbon tax can be scrapped without causing political chaos, financial ruin or environmental devastation. Given international experience, legislating away a price on carbon dioxide shouldn’t even be considered a ground-breaking event. (Unless you consider Canadian politicians keeping their word to be a ground-breaking event.)

Premier Ford says his first piece of business when the Ontario legislature reconvenes will be to get rid of cap-and-trade. This won’t be a problem. Cap-and-trade was created by legislation and it can be eliminated in precisely the same way. Continue Reading →

The hypocrisy of faith-based environmentalism? Its preachers have failed to deliver – by Kelly McParland (National Post – July 4, 2018)

It’s hard to keep the flock under control if the high priests can’t be trusted

Jerry Brown was castigating the current resident of the White House the other day for his attitude towards climate change. “I don’t think President Trump has a fear of the Lord, the fear of the wrath of God, which leads one to more humility,” scolded Brown, who is in his final months as governor of California due to term limits. “And this is such a reckless disregard for the truth and for the existential consequences that can be unleashed.”

Brown famously trained as a Jesuit priest, so his theological hyperbole is entirely in character. But it also underlines an aspect of climate doctrine that threatens the very message he hopes to deliver.

Environmentalists long ago turned to faith as a recruitment tool. It was far easier and more effective than trying to explain the science, which was neither simple nor straightforward, is troubled by inconsistencies and challenged by dissidents in any case. Continue Reading →

Thirty years of climate hysterics being proven wrong over and over again – by Conrad Black (National Post – June 30, 2018)

Every sane person is opposed to the pollution of the environment but there is no justification for the self-punitive nonsense of the Paris climate accord

It is 30 years this past week that Dr. James Hansen, then well into the first of more than three decades as head of the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testified to a U.S. Senate committee that the then-current heat wave in Washington was caused by the relationship between “the greenhouse effect and observed warming.”

This was the starting gun of a mighty debate about the existence, cause and consequences of global warming.

Hansen was embraced by the environmental movement, from authentic scientists like David Suzuki to well-meaning faddists like the Prince of Wales, to cynical interlopers from the defeated international left grasping at anything to debunk and confound capitalism, like Naomi Klein, to complete charlatans like former U.S. vice-president Al Gore. Continue Reading →

German experts meet to discuss country’s exit from coal use (Tampa Bay Times – June 26, 2018)

Associated Press – BERLIN (AP) — Representatives from German industry, environmental groups and unions met Tuesday in Berlin to discuss how and when the country can stop using coal to generate electricity.

Climate scientists have called for Germany to do more to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, which have stagnated for about a decade. This month, the government was forced to admit it will miss its short-term climate goal by a wide mark .

Coal-fired power plants are a major source of carbon emissions that drive climate change. While Germany has ramped up production of renewable energy, it still depends on coal for over a third of its electricity. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Northern Ontario being strangled [Part 1 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 2, 2018)

On June 7, the people of Ontario will be going to the polls in one of the most pivotal elections in the province’s history. While Northern Ontario – north of the French and Mattawa rivers, as I have never recognized the Parry Sound and Muskoka ridings as being part of the North – encompasses roughly 90 per cent of the province’s land mass, its population has been steadily declining to slightly over five per cent of Ontario’s total.

Unfortunately, our impact on provincial policies is almost negligible.

A buck a beer, cheaper gas, tax breaks combined with unaffordable infrastructure and social commitments, twinning the trans-Canada in Northern Ontario, buying back Hydro One and jumping on a bulldozer to start building the road into the Ring of Fire are part of a bevy of mostly worthy but unsustainable promises Conservative Doug Ford, Liberal Kathleen Wynne and NDP Andrea Horwath have made.

However, I seldom hear any actual policy initiatives to grow the economy and create wealth so we can afford all these election initiatives and perhaps, just perhaps, put a little money on our provincial debt, which has more than doubled during the past 15 years under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal era, from about $138 billion in 2003-04 to $325 billion today and growing. Continue Reading →

Trans Mountain is the cost of Corporate Canada surrendering to green enemies – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – May 30, 2018)

With the pipeline fiasco, Canada has now come face to face with the ultimate and disastrous consequences of the grand coalition that has seized control of national policy-making.

The Trudeau government’s desperate decision to ultimately purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline — for the alleged “fair price” of $4.5 billion — is the logical outcome of an incoherent governance regime controlled by a triumvirate of social, political and economic institutions.

The institutional troika is made up of green activists, pandering politicians and capitulating corporations. All are jointly and severally responsible for creating the current legal and economic crisis over Canada’s energy and resource developments, with many more crises to come. Continue Reading →

Trudeau and Co. losing the fight on carbon taxes – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – May 16, 2018)

As polling across Canada shows support for carbon pricing plummeting now that it’s a reality as opposed to an idea, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must be wondering what went wrong? Ditto Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Last year, with great, self-congratulatory fanfare, she imposed a cap and trade scheme, another name for a carbon tax, on Ontarians. That’s one reason she’s poised to lose her job in the province’s June 7 election, her Liberal government trailing both the Progressive Conservatives and NDP in the polls.

An Ipsos/Global poll released Monday found more than seven in 10 eligible Ontario voters — 72% — believe carbon taxes are just an excuse by government to grab more money from them, with 68% calling them mere symbolism. Continue Reading →

Time for a serious look at Ottawa audits of anti-oil ‘charities’ – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – May 16, 2018)

Canada’s charitable regime is in need of comprehensive review and reform

For more than a decade Vivian Krause, a Vancouver researcher and writer with more determination than the Winnipeg Jets, has been following and documenting the activities of charities that fund opposition to Canada’s oil industry.

Krause has dug into the corners of the so-called charitable activities of a collection of powerful political organizations, funded by U.S. foundations, whose objectives include, among other things, “shutting down” Canada’s oilsands.

Readers of this page will be familiar with Krause’s work. The Girl Who Played with Tax Data lists more than a dozen of her FP Comment reports going back to 2010. Others followed. Continue Reading →

‘Carbon bomb’: Clive Palmer seeks nod for mine twice the size of Adani’s – by Peter Hannam (Canberra Times – May 17, 2018)

Mining billionaire Clive Palmer is seeking approval to develop a Queensland coal mine twice the size of the controversial Carmichael project – but has done so by drawing heavily on environmental work done by other mines proposed for the region.

The federal environment department told Fairfax Media it will decide by Monday whether the Alpha North mine proposed by Mr Palmer’s Waratah Coal company will require “detailed assessment under national environmental law,” according to a spokeswoman.

The monster mine planned for the Galilee Basin, abuts Adani’s Carmichael mine, and is separate from a proposal by Mr Palmer to develop the China First mine, also in the region. Continue Reading →

Large expanse of boreal forest straddling Ontario and Manitoba gets World Heritage recommendation – by Gloria Galloway (Globe and Mail – May 16, 2018)

A massive tract of boreal forest straddling the Ontario and Manitoba borders that has been home to the Anishinaabe people for 6,000 years has received the two key recommendations it needs to become Canada’s first mixed cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Pimachiowin Aki, which means the Land That Gives Life in Anishinaabemowin, covers 29,040 square kilometres (almost the size of Vancouver Island) of mostly untouched wilderness and is home to one of the largest herds of caribou south of Hudson Bay as well as many other species of mammals, birds, insects and fish.

A World Heritage mixed designation is a declaration that an area is so important to the world, both culturally and ecologically, that it must be protected. There is another such site in Mexico but none in Canada or the continental United States. Continue Reading →