International carbon tax woes

Via reader JM Heinrichs, the carbon tax they have over in British Columbia, Canada, is proving to be problematic at best.

Among those flaws:

• The carbon tax is too low to significantly reduce emissions;

• Tax cuts and credits have reduced government revenues by more than what the carbon tax brings in, making the tax “revenue negative”*;

• This drain on the public sector is worsened by requirements that the public sector pay an additional tax (or “offset”) for emissions, leading to reduced public services; and

• Even after tax cuts and credits are figured in, the carbon tax has a disproportionate impact on low-income British Columbians, and most benefits the highest-income households that are also the biggest emitters.

Lee has described BC’s carbon tax as “a weensy $20 a tonne,” and argues, “the price on greenhouse gas emissions needs to be about ten times higher – $200 a tonne – by 2020 if it is to have a meaningful impact on the consumption patterns on businesses and individuals.”

*Australia’s carbon tax is also “revenue negative” – to the tune of $4 billion dollars.

The Australian Greens also want $200 a tonne.

A quagmire:

(February 18) British Columbia is now more reliant on carbon tax revenues than any other jurisdiction on earth. Aldyen Donnelly discusses the challenges this poses for the provincial government.

The new BC budget makes it clear that BC’s carbon tax is all about new tax revenues and that the Campbell government’s commitment to cut GHGs is insincere.

A reminder:

1)It’s a tax on carbon dioxide, NOT carbon.
2)Carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas, NOT pollution.

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