Governments find carbon taxes a little taxing

Paris 2018

Everyone thinks the climate needs fixing but no one wants to pay. Thus, the ‘yellow vests’in France prompted a humiliating back-down from the government and the Washington state government lost a vote on Carbon Tax.

The voters in Washington state rejected, 56% to 44%, a proposal to tax carbon dioxide emissions, a clear defeat for environmentalists after years of attempts to curb climate change through economic incentives.

Initiative 1631, which proposed to levy a tax of $15 per metric ton of carbon emissions, would have made Washington the first state in the nation to raise the cost of fossil-fuel intensive activities like driving gas-powered vehicles and heating buildings with natural gas in an effort to encourage clean energy sources like wind and solar power.

Even with such heavyweights as billionaires Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, and Bill Gates supporting a broad coalition of progressive groups, tribes, health advocates, unions in a true blue Democrat state, they still could not get it across the line. And, it was the third attempt!

Meanwhile, across the border to the north, the number of premiers and potential premiers who are saying “no” to Trudeau’s proposal for a carbon tax is growing.

New Brunswick PC Leader Blaine Higgs is committed to fight the federal plan to put a national price on pollution. He joins Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, and Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney in their opposition to the Trudeau government?s plan. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has also vowed not to support the carbon tax plan until the Trans Mountain pipeline goes ahead.

In response IPSOS have surveyed Canadians to gauge their response to a federal carbon tax. Would a tax cause a change in behaviour in order to ‘save the planet’? Global News reports: Quote.

Most Canadians agree that more needs to be done to fight climate change, but it?s going to take a whole lot more than the federal government?s carbon tax to get them to ditch gas-guzzling vehicles.

That?s one of the key findings of an Ipsos poll of 2,001 Canadians, conducted between Dec. 7 and Dec. 12, that suggested a disconnect between Canadians? acceptance of climate change as a problem and their willingness to potentially incur financial loss to help the government tackle it.

Fewer than one in five Canadians said gas prices between $1.00 and $1.25 a litre would prompt them to switch to a more fuel-efficient car or find alternate modes of transportation, found the poll, which was conducted exclusively for Global News.

?Given where the price of gas per litre is today, we?ve got an awful long way to go before people actually reach that price point that requires them to seriously consider another option,? said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Affairs.

?The truth is they?re not even close to considering it right now.?

Bricker added that electric car sales in Canada are also an instructive barometer for this, observing that sales have gone up ?but not anywhere near the level they would have to be at in order to adjust anything in terms of Canada?s carbon footprint.?

?The penalty that someone would face, particularly in the situation of a government increasing [the carbon tax] to a level that it would have to get to in order for people to consider another option, is probably something that would imperil them politically,? Bricker said.

?That?s one of the persistent issues that the federal government faces on this. The level of priority that they seem to place on [climate change] is higher than the priority that Canadians are placing on it.?

Indeed, only 19 per cent of respondents chose climate change among the three issues that they said are most likely to influence their voting decisions in next year?s federal election. Health care (32 per cent) was top of mind followed by taxes (30 per cent) and the economy (27 per cent).

That?s not because Canadians don?t see climate change as an important issue, however.

Seventy-five per cent of respondents said Canada needs to do more to address climate change, while the same proportion also said Canada has an obligation to be a leader in the global fight against climate change.

However, 61 per cent expressed concern that climate change solutions will cause economic hardship.

?Canadians are very conflicted, particularly when we get into the situation of ?What?s it going to cost me personally?’? said Bricker. ?When this becomes a table-top issue ? when it becomes something that concerns my bank account and my cost of living ? that?s all of a sudden where you see people starting to put the brakes on.? […] End quote.

How long before a seriously huge carbon tax is proposed here in order to ‘encourage’ us out of our petrol and diesel vehicles and to pay subsidies to those driving electric smugmobiles?