“A new report from the ‘Calgary Herald’ reveals that the NDP are exempting…aboriginal Bands and individuals from their new carbon tax…
“If the main goal of the carbon tax is saving the planet from the deadly effects of C02, then why are the NDP exempting anyone? This just makes it clear that the carbon tax is about a wealth transfer and not about mother nature.
“There is another huge problem created by the exemptions the NDP are granting. Exempting Band-owned companies from a carbon tax means they start off with an advantage their competitors don’t have. Band-owned companies will never have to factor the cost of the carbon tax into the goods they produce or the services they provide, placing them at a competitive advantage.
“Just when I thought the NDP’s carbon tax couldn’t get more ridiculous, they’ve gone and made it race based. How about we scrap the whole tax, instead of dividing the business community based on ethnicity?”
–‘Notley NDP’s “race based” carbon tax? Aboriginal band owned companies EXEMPT’,
Sheila Gunn Reid, The Rebel, March 24, 2016
‘Oilsands, farms to be among exemptions from Alberta’s carbon tax’
“Alberta’s NDP government is set to reveal more details of its carbon tax plan, including who will be exempt from parts of the economy-wide charge when it is introduced next year — including oilsands operations, ‘First Nations’ and agricultural producers.
“Government sources said Wednesday that large greenhouse gas emitters now subject to the existing ‘Specified Gas Emitters Regulation’ (SGER) levy will be exempt from parts of the new carbon tax being brought in as part of the province’s climate-change strategy.
“The group of 109 large emitters that pay SGER includes oilsands operations, refineries and upgraders, fertilizer plants and cement producers.
“Those people who are going to be paying on their emissions won’t be paying on their heating fuel because that would be sort of double taxation of the same facility”,
said a senior government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“There will also be exemptions for federal entities and ‘First Nations’ individuals and Bands.
“Farmers also won’t have to pay the carbon tax on fuel used for agricultural purposes, including marked gasoline. Alberta now gives eligible agricultural operators a nine-cent-a-litre provincial fuel tax exemption on buying dyed gasoline and diesel.
“The province is beginning to reach out to natural gas suppliers to let them know who is exempt from the new $20-a-tonne carbon charge when it comes into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
“It is also preparing to launch a technical engagement process ahead of introducing legislation this spring.
“The approach being unveiled is consistent with recommendations from the government-appointed ‘climate-change’ panel, which developed a plan adopted by Premier Rachel Notley’s administration last fall.
“Chaired by University of Alberta energy economist Andrew Leach, the panel said large emitters needed to be treated separately because they are trade-exposed facilities.
“Large final emitters would be able to exempt emissions from fuels for which a carbon price had already been applied at the point of distribution”, the report states.
“Maintaining the existing SGER levy on emissions, which the government will increase to $30-per-tonne in 2017, gives an incentive to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the smokestack, says the province.
“Applying the carbon tax to input fuel costs at the same time could drive facilities to other jurisdictions without such expenses, said the government official.
“The plant will go away and it will emit from somewhere else”, said the official.
“We want to strike the right balance when it comes to emissions levies paid by . . . trade-susceptible companies, because we’re in the business of helping them to reduce their emissions. We’re not in the business of forcing them to take their emissions and jobs elsewhere.”
“Simon Dyer of the ‘Pembina Institute’, an environmental think-tank, said he’s waiting to see regulations from the government, but…any moves to provide broader exemptions would need to be done carefully and reviewed on a case-by-case basis, Dyer added.
“If you start introducing too many exemptions, you’re going to be left with a system that isn’t actually going to drive emission reduction”, he cautioned.
“The NDP’s initial economy-wide carbon tax will be based on the equivalent of $20 per tonne of carbon emissions, increasing to $30 per tonne in 2018.
“At the higher level, Alberta consumers will face an additional total cost of about seven cents per litre for gasoline, and $1.68 per gigajoule for natural gas, according to the panel report.
“Including electricity price increases, an average household will face a total annual cost of approximately $320 in 2017 and $470 in 2018.
“The government has promised 60% of Albertans will receive rebates to cover some or all of the carbon tax costs. It intends to put revenue from the tax toward measures to reduce pollution, including clean energy research, public transit and programs to help Albertans reduce their energy use.
“Critics, however, contend Alberta should not be adopting new costs that competing jurisdictions don’t impose, and they warn the timing of a new tax in the middle of an economic downturn could cost the province jobs.
“The Notley government had originally pegged revenue from the tax at $3 billion, but that figure has slipped because of the ongoing economic slump caused by low oil prices and industrial activity.
“The government is now estimating carbon tax revenue at approximately $2.5 billion.”
–‘Oilsands, farms to be among exemptions from Alberta’s carbon tax’,
James Wood, Chris Varcoe, Calgary Herald, March 24, 2016
IMAGE: Amber Bracken – Canadian Press
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