Saturday, August 18, 2012

Call and Answer on BC's Carbon Tax

I noticed the name Aldyen Donnelly the other day, attached to an article Carbon Taxes: They just don't work, responding to a another report by Mark Jaccard on carbon taxation, one which the Pembina Institute also has some level of participation in.

Image from Source article
Earlier this week, we learned that the Pembina Institute joined forces with Mark Jaccard at Simon Fraser University to present yet another faulty carbon tax advocacy piece, promoting it as “research.” The deficiencies in the study’s research method are too numerous to document in a 1,000-word article, so I will focus on just a few.
The authors say a primary objective of their study was to “document evidence of any positive and negative environmental and economic impacts of the carbon tax to date.” Interestingly, 67 per cent of their survey respondents reported they are not aware that the tax has had any impact on energy demand or emissions, but they like the tax anyway.

Finally, the report authors also elect not to talk about the fact that the carbon tax eats up much more of the disposable income of poor than rich families, making it one of the most regressive, unfair taxes imaginable. Half of B.C.’s low income families didn’t own a car even before the carbon tax was introduced. It is not like they can park and take transit to reduce the tax impact. This tax hits them in their home heating bills and the rents they pay to landlords. How hard does it hit? Well, Fortis currently pays $2.97/Gj for the gas that heats their homes, and $1.49/Gj in carbon tax.

The Pembina Institute has a response on it's blog from a Matt Horne:
The last thing we want is for environmental policy to be exacerbating inequity in the province
He admits it is doing so.

He just didn't want it do.
71% of survey respondents didn't want it to.

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