A version of this was written for and published by the BC Conservative.
Infamously, BC led the way in being the first political zone in North America to levy a carbon tax on its citizens. Like all taxes it started out small at 2.4 cents per litre, and has inevitably grown to now 6.7 cents per litre. It is to escalate further until we supposedly achieve a “carbon neutral society.” Given that our lives depend on access to inexpensive energy, the determination to force us to pay the crippling costs of immature, unreliable green technologies means the citizens are being impoverished by their own government.
The BC government offers a never-ending supply of press-releases claiming both the effectiveness and necessity of the carbon tax while stressing its ‘revenue neutral’ foundation. Are they right? Let’s explore that question.
First, revenue neutral means the government will redistribute the tax collected, supposedly lowering other taxes. This does not mean you get your money back because there are innumerable other pockets that will be filled first. Have you gone through the 122 page document, The Clean Energy Action Plan, to see what sort of rebate you can apply for? Or did you, like me, cry for help half way through?
Second, the mandated plan of the public sector becoming carbon neutral raises the citizen’s cost of all government services. Schools, hospitals, libraries and all other government buildings must buy carbon-offsets to balance their energy use. School busses and ambulances pay the tax. Have you wondered why education and health care costs are spiralling out of control? Have you guessed at how deep the environmental consultant tax-trough has become? Have you figured out where all the money comes from to fund it all?
We, in BC, are charged more than anyone else in North America to drive to work, to fly, to ride a ferry, and the list goes on.
Third, our private sector is penalized for things they can’t control. Freight trucks and trains and farmers and everyone else who needs energy have no choice but to use fuels derived from oil. More than 95% of all transportation is powered by fossil fuel and despite the call to go green, will continue to be the fuel used for many more years as there is no viable alternative. Our mechanized industries that would be rusting hulks of iron without fossil fuel, the fuel that carries the penalizing carbon-tax burden. The tax limits industrial profitability and the associated costs are charged back to the consumer, lower workers pay and gives company owners the incentive to relocate their business overseas where costs and regulation are less draconian.
The carbon tax is part of a determined effort to raise the cost of driving high enough to force far greater use of public transit. To their credit, some BC Liberals recognize the folly of applying rules written for urban centres to residents of rural areas, residents that could only walk as an alternative to driving when they have to travel. One intelligent BC Liberal, Pat Pimm has come out strongly in opposition to this latest draconian social-engineering plan. Silent acquiescence is what we get from all others.
The Liberals are now offering rebates to northern residents but they are far too timid to admit the folly of the Climate Action Plan at the root of all the restriction on fossil fuel. Notably, even those rebates require another regulating bureaucracy on top of the many we already support.
Notably, the carbon tax is praised far and wide by what has become the two most influential groups in our society, the political bureaucracy and the environmental lobbyists. Both groups are unstintingly devoted to programming the world for the rest of us. BC’s Climate Leadership Team has a report, here, on how they will accomplish this.
The BC Conservatives will repeal the carbon tax. Unlike the other parties, we aren’t looking to access your earnings. We’ll let you keep those tax dollars.