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Thread: Provincial Climate Change Plan

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    Default Provincial Climate Change Plan

    Any moment now we should see the release of the NDP's climate change strategy.

    At least one backroom official in the federal liberal party hints that it is going to be big:

    There is no way Rachel Notley does what she is about to do if Stephen Harper was still in power…. He would kick the crap out of her and campaign to defeat her for doing it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/11...n_8620234.html

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    Let's face it, Notley has to show some leadership in climate change if she is the premier of a province that (supposedly) is effecting the earths climate through it's industrial emissions. Sticking your head in the sand is not going to make all the truth seekers on climate change go away. If the issue of climate change and emissions is going to stop you from selling your biggest resource you have to look like you are doing something about it rather than deny it exists. When it comes to climate change Alberta is between a rock and a hard place.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    • Coal phased out by 2030
    • $20 rising to $30 economy wide carbon price (revenue neutral)
    • 100mt limit on oilsands emissions overall
    • Energy efficiency strategy
    Last edited by AAAAE; 22-11-2015 at 02:47 PM.

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    The government website doesn't say whether the carbon tax will be $30/tonne of carbon or $30/tonne of CO2. If it is the former, it is far too low, if it is the latter it is the same as BC has had since 2012 (and ours won't be at $30/tonne until 2018 ).

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    A carbon tax will be introduced on all emitters, including regular citizens driving cars and heating their homes. A $20-per-tonne, economywide levy will start in January 2017, then increase to $30-per-tonne in January 2018. For the average household, that means about $320 extra in 2017 for gas, natural gas and electricity, and $470 in 2018.
    Damn, that's gonna sting.

    But the carbon plan, which will bring in an estimated $3 billion, aims to be revenue neutral, with the government offering rebates through various programs to approximately 60 per cent of people with Alberta’s lowest income.
    Here's a better plan: No rebates to anyone. Instead, use the money to build nuclear power plants. Poor people shouldn't get a pass on polluting. I'll pay higher taxes, but going green should be everyone's burden.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Here's a better plan: No rebates to anyone. Instead, use the money to build nuclear power plants. Poor people shouldn't get a pass on polluting. I'll pay higher taxes, but going green should be everyone's burden.
    Poor people will still change their behavior to pollute less: that way they will save more of the money given to them as a rebate. That is how a carbon tax can change polluting behavior while still remaining non-regressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Here's a better plan: No rebates to anyone. Instead, use the money to build nuclear power plants. Poor people shouldn't get a pass on polluting. I'll pay higher taxes, but going green should be everyone's burden.
    Poor people will still change their behavior to pollute less: that way they will save more of the money given to them as a rebate. That is how a carbon tax can change polluting behavior while still remaining non-regressive.
    It's not a freebie rebate. They get rebated on the carbon tax. If they pollute less, they get less rebate, so there's no incentive to pollute less beyond trying not to spend as much on gas, heating, and electricity anyway. They won't be getting a rebate for carbon emissions they don't make.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    ^how would poor people change their behaviour? Turn off their furnace in winter? The heating change is going to hurt, unfortunately the hard reality is, if we want carbon taxes and to pollute less, we have to pay for it. It will be interesting to see how public reacts. The plan doesn't seem that bad to me, but I can afford it (and live in condo high rise so not quite as impacted as someone in a single family home), I expect that's not the case for a lot of people in the "middle class".
    Last edited by moahunter; 22-11-2015 at 03:55 PM.

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    ^^^^ It won't sting that much. $30 / tonne CO2 is about $0.065 / L for gasoline (plus maybe another cent if the carbon tax paid by the refinery gets passed along), and $1.65 / GJ for natural gas (which may sound large relative to current prices, but remember that most of your natural gas bill is delivery charges). Supplier costs for natural gas generated electricity will rise by $0.012 / kWh (assuming 50% efficiency), while coal plant operators will be paying $0.027 / kWh more (assuming 45% efficiency).

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    ^39 dollars a month for average household is quite a bit, that's a noticeable heating jump. I expect it will be close to 100 dollars more in the coldest months, not much impact in summer. It will be hard on people in old homes / mature neighbourhoods (maybe more incentive to knock down and build new / more energy efficient places).

    I think it's a decent plan, but a lot of families are going to be hurting. Expect to see more of Edmontons power coming from Southern Alberta where the wind farms can be built. Perhaps more localized solar as well.
    Last edited by moahunter; 22-11-2015 at 04:11 PM.

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    ^ $100 in carbon tax for natural gas is 60 GJ. My poorly insulated 100 year old 1500 ft^2 house didn't use that much gas before I replaced the drafty old windows and the old furnace. Now I barely break 20 GJ in a really cold month - that will cost me about $30 more in January of 2018, and about $200 for the whole year, added to a $1200 yearly bill. An increase in natural gas prices from widespread conversion from coal to gas power generation would cost me more than that. Insulating to modern standards would likely bring consumption down to 10-12 GJ in the coldest month, but I wouldn't see much ROI on that unless energy prices get a lot higher.

    At 30,000 km / year, my family will be paying about $200 / year in carbon tax on gasoline. Compared to ~$3000 for gasoline before the new tax, $1500 for insurance, ~$3000 in annual depreciation and ~$1000 in maintenance, it is a tiny fraction of the overall cost of vehicle ownership.

    Electricity currently costs us about $100 / month for ~600 kWh, which I expect to go up by ~$10/month by 2018. It might cut a year off the payback for a solar PV installation, but it won't prompt me to do it before panel and inverter prices drop further. Farther down the line, payoffs for early closure of coal fired powerplants will likely cost the average ratepayer more than the carbon tax will.
    Last edited by Titanium48; 22-11-2015 at 05:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Here's a better plan: No rebates to anyone. Instead, use the money to build nuclear power plants. Poor people shouldn't get a pass on polluting. I'll pay higher taxes, but going green should be everyone's burden.
    Poor people will still change their behavior to pollute less: that way they will save more of the money given to them as a rebate. That is how a carbon tax can change polluting behavior while still remaining non-regressive.
    It's not a freebie rebate. They get rebated on the carbon tax. If they pollute less, they get less rebate, so there's no incentive to pollute less beyond trying not to spend as much on gas, heating, and electricity anyway. They won't be getting a rebate for carbon emissions they don't make.
    I highly doubt that you are correct. The best practice is to give a general rebate. That is how BC does it.

    How would they possibly track how much each individual spends on the carbon tax? It isn't even possible.

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    At first blush, the Alberta plan makes us a leader rather than a laggard on carbon emissions.

    While there will be criticism that carbon is still not priced high enough, as the panel report points out:

    "We’ve concluded that, while Alberta must be prepared to increase the stringency of its policies if others act, the policy package we have proposed is the most stringent approach we could recommend in the absence of that action (p.41)."

    Over to you Obama.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Here's a better plan: No rebates to anyone. Instead, use the money to build nuclear power plants. Poor people shouldn't get a pass on polluting. I'll pay higher taxes, but going green should be everyone's burden.
    Poor people will still change their behavior to pollute less: that way they will save more of the money given to them as a rebate. That is how a carbon tax can change polluting behavior while still remaining non-regressive.
    It's not a freebie rebate. They get rebated on the carbon tax. If they pollute less, they get less rebate, so there's no incentive to pollute less beyond trying not to spend as much on gas, heating, and electricity anyway. They won't be getting a rebate for carbon emissions they don't make.
    I highly doubt that you are correct. The best practice is to give a general rebate. That is how BC does it.

    How would they possibly track how much each individual spends on the carbon tax? It isn't even possible.
    Which is why I think the rebates shouldn't exist, and every penny generated should be pumped into subsidized environmentally friendly energy options. Make the polluters pay for replacement technology that will benefit us all. If we're going to simply rebate low income earners, just increase taxes and call it what it is.

    I'm assuming taxes will be levied on the utility bills and at the gas pumps? Businesses/industry won't get rebates, will they? I'll be pretty choked if I have to pay a carbon tax but Trucking McTrucking or International Conglomerate Inc. gets a break.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    ^large emitters (ie big oil like Suncor), get a rebate of almost half of the tax collected eventually, 2.8 billion in times of low oil prices, to discourage them from moving to locations where there are no carbon taxes. I "believe" it's linked to carbon offsets or similar:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/carb...ness-1.3330391

    The plan isn't revenue neutral, I guess it's an alternative to having a sales tax, the positive being, it makes us look greener to the world.

    One thing that's a little unfair perhaps (depending on whether you believe in polluter pays), is would Edmonton residents see their power bills go up a lot, but Calgary residents may not be impacted much, as their power is already mostly natural gas, hydro and wind generated, whereas Edmonton is powered mostly by coal?? I might be wrong on this (not sure).
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-11-2015 at 07:04 AM.

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    Not a very stringent plan. Too many rebates and omissions.

    We should have made it a world leading climate change plan, and used all of the revenues for subsidized micro generation for homes, businesses, and institutional uses.

    Yet, people are already complaining that the sky is falling, the NDP is "taxing the hell out of them", and (amusingly), that Notley's plan is behind falling oil prices. I blame it on carbon emissions being invisible. Everyone knows that if you dump garbage on your neighbour's yard, you're going to get fined. You can see the garbage, and you know it is wrong. But if you dump GHGs you can't see them, so people are indignant when they are told they have to pay for the damages.

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    'but going green should be everyone's burden.'

    It should be everyone's responsibility so as not to burden.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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    ^^^ The direct emitter is the powerplant, not the consumer, and electricity spot prices are set by a provincial auction mechanism, so the carbon tax should affect everyone's electricity rates equally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^^^ The direct emitter is the powerplant, not the consumer, and electricity spot prices are set by a provincial auction mechanism, so the carbon tax should affect everyone's electricity rates equally.
    So are the prices averaged across Alberta after the auction? That would solve the issue. Because, Edmonton will be using more carbon taxed power than Calgary will, simply due to geography (i.e. Calgary is closer to the wind farms).

    Its interesting, when the new power link was being build between Edmonton and Calgary, the suggestion was, this would allow more power to flow from those coal plants at Genesee and similar down into Southern Alberta. We might be looking at the reverse now, with wind power having to flow "up".

    Bad news for EPCOR (and of course, Capital Power), I wonder if the coal mine will still be economic once Genesee is converted to gas (or scaped)?:

    Genesee Generating Station is a coal fired station owned by Capital Power Corporation, located near Genesee, Alberta, Canada; 60 minutes southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Fuel is provided by the nearby coal mine, a joint venture of EPCOR and Fording. The Genesee cooling pond, is an artificial pond covering 735 hectares (1,820 acres). The pond is topped up with water from the North Saskatchewan River.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genese...rating_Station
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-11-2015 at 08:59 AM.

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    I assume that green power companies like Spark and Bullfrog will be a lot more competitive. They already charge a premium of around 2.5c/kwh for green power, but since non-green power is going to be paying a 'tax' similar to that, the cost differential should be nothing. Of course, they'll just keep their 2.5c/kwh premium.

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    This is just another wealth redistribution scheme dreamt up by our Marxist overlords.

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    ^ Er.. yeah. Removing huge government taxpayer subsidies is "Marxist"...

    I wonder which is more socialist: people paying fair market prices for their goods including the damage they cause to other people's property, or giving billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize actions and allowing them to destroy other people's property without any fine.

    Hmmm...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^ Er.. yeah. Removing huge government taxpayer subsidies is "Marxist"...
    What do you mean? Looks to me like big oil won't be paying anymore under this plan unless oil prices go up a lot. Its all passed on to the consumer, with rebates for the extraction industry which will ensure, they pay nothing anytime soon. In a way, that's logical - if oil is exported to BC for example, it faces a carbon tax when burned there.

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    Well, I think we all know how the NDP is going to help make up for the deficit now.

    I'm in the camp that this is nothing more than a scheme to make up lost revenue.

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    Taxing oil, etc when prices are down will be a global movement among governments in debt. It's now a sin tax (a sales tax).

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    This is a massive win for urbanists. It's the first meaningful tax on the suburbs in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Downtown View Post
    This is a massive win for urbanists. It's the first meaningful tax on the suburbs in my opinion.
    I disagree, per my post earlier, modern suburb homes are very energy efficient. What its going to hammer, is homes in mature neighbourhoods, built before modern insulation standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    Well, I think we all know how the NDP is going to help make up for the deficit now.

    I'm in the camp that this is nothing more than a scheme to make up lost revenue.
    You can think anything you want. But that doesn't mean your thinking is grounded in fact.

    Before leaping to conclusions, read the details of the climate plan, including the report of the Climate Change Advisory Panel whose recommendations are being followed. Available here: http://alberta.ca/climate/

    Frankly, it is those who think this province can afford to carry on as usual and not take meaningful action to address climate change that are out of touch with reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Downtown View Post
    This is a massive win for urbanists. It's the first meaningful tax on the suburbs in my opinion.
    I disagree, per my post earlier, modern suburb homes are very energy efficient. What its going to hammer, is homes in mature neighbourhoods, built before modern insulation standards.
    It's really a bit of both.

    Suburban will be likely moreso hit on the increased level of required commuting overall, whereas more mature neighborhoods may see it on less energy efficient design / existing construction.

    All in, I've been in support of setting a price on carbon for years so this is a reasonable first step. Once in place we'll see if adjustments are required. I'd rather something than no action at all.

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    Condo buildings with 3000 common area lights left on 24/7 will probably want to re-evaluate their usefulness.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Condo buildings with 3000 common area lights left on 24/7 will probably want to re-evaluate their usefulness.
    Those lights need to be on 24/7 by code, as they illuminate entries/exits. Retrofitting with occupancy sensors can be quite pricey.

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    $300 million!

    So, take most of that money out of the health care budget and give it to the utilities to shut down their plants early. Since wind direction is a critical factor make sure that the plants shut down are the ones with pollution drifting over the highest population centres...


    Shutting down Alberta coal plants will save money, lives, say medical experts, health minister

    Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said the plan will save money and lives. A 2008 report by the Canadian Medical Association estimated that air pollution from coal cost Alberta $300 million in health-care costs, and caused 700 emergency room visits.

    “That coal pollution is damaging Albertans’ health,” Hoffman said. “It’s time for Alberta to move to cleaner sources of electricity and that’s what we are going to do. By reaching zero coal emissions by 2030, we will reduce ER visits, protect Albertans and save hundreds of millions of dollars in costs that impact the health care system.”


    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...ealth-minister

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    Yeah maybe but you're not comparing apples to apples.

    First off, not everyone near the core lives in an old house...that's rather presumptuous - lots of infill. However, I am in a 1949 built and has a lot of energy upgrades - but yes nothing compared to a new build as far as efficiency. But on the other hand, many of the houses you speak of are double my sqft or more. It's like buying a brand new truck with a modern V8 engine and comparing it to a 80's Honda Civic with an Inline 4. Yes, the new V8 is "more efficient", but which one still has the higher energy bill?

    Second, I bought my house for $250,000. I won't be alive for the break-even difference a suburban energy efficient homes makes. The standard one is what...$400,000? I still think my bills on my house will be lower than an energy efficient home X2 my sqft or more.

    Lastly, my energy consumption varies. I don't have my furnace on for half the year because of the summer. A suburban driver will still have the same commute even when it's nice out. They will just use less fuel on idle, and warming the car up.

    My $40/month for half the year increase in utilities is still far cheaper than having to rely on a car that costs $10,000/year - combined with a house that $150,000 more.

    It's all a puzzle with attracting people to a more urban lifestyle. Ice District and upgrading Downtown are one thing, but making commuting even more expensive combined with that makes for a stronger case if someone works centrally and lives out in the suburbs.

    I'm all for everyone living where they want to, but I'm more than happy to hear people are being held accountable for their lifestyle choices.

    There is no question that this is more of a tax on car dependents.

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    Don't discount how much commercial/industrial will download their increased costs onto us. That's going to have a direct impact as well. Easily tack a few hundred more bucks onto what it'll cost the average household.

    I feel bad for independent restaurants. Between this and minimum wage increases, they're in for a couple rough years.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetcrude View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Downtown View Post
    This is a massive win for urbanists. It's the first meaningful tax on the suburbs in my opinion.
    I disagree, per my post earlier, modern suburb homes are very energy efficient. What its going to hammer, is homes in mature neighbourhoods, built before modern insulation standards.
    It's really a bit of both.

    Suburban will be likely moreso hit on the increased level of required commuting overall, whereas more mature neighborhoods may see it on less energy efficient design / existing construction.

    All in, I've been in support of setting a price on carbon for years so this is a reasonable first step. Once in place we'll see if adjustments are required. I'd rather something than no action at all.
    My house is crappy old mid '70s 2x4 construction. You know the type - the morons installing insulation just stuffed it in any old way with gaps and holes to nullify the whole effort....

    Of course, today they probably do residing by loosely sticking foam board over the stucco without sealing the perimeter, so the heat just rises right out and out from in between the old and new. Looks impressive though.

    Nonetheless, I'd love to strap on another layer of 2x4s with 'effective' insulation to get 2x8 insulated walls. However. I'd probably then break the building code set back distance from the fence.
    Last edited by KC; 23-11-2015 at 04:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Don't discount how much commercial/industrial will download their increased costs onto us. That's going to have a direct impact as well. Easily tack a few hundred more bucks onto what it'll cost the average household.

    I feel bad for independent restaurants. Between this and minimum wage increases, they're in for a couple rough years.
    What's so interesting about this is that it sounds like it may essentially have the same effect as a broad sales tax - though much of this will be a wealth redistributing rebate.

    Some restaurants in older parts of downtown should see rent decreases as businesses move into all the new developments downtown vacating older areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^ Er.. yeah. Removing huge government taxpayer subsidies is "Marxist"...
    What do you mean? Looks to me like big oil won't be paying anymore under this plan unless oil prices go up a lot. Its all passed on to the consumer, with rebates for the extraction industry which will ensure, they pay nothing anytime soon. In a way, that's logical - if oil is exported to BC for example, it faces a carbon tax when burned there.

    A tax on a consumer is a tax on a supplier, and vice versa. They are inseparable. Tax the supplier, the price goes up, people consume less. Tax the consumer, the price goes up, people consume less.

    However, I am against any rebates for either side. Oil taxes are a pigouvian tax, not a revenue stream. They are meant to recover the costs of damages caused by the direct and indirect impacts of consumption. It makes no sense to offer rebates on pigouvian taxes. That is essentially saying "yeah, go ahead and dump your garbage in my backyard. I don't mind."

    On a different note, the trend towards programs like this worries me. These taxes should not go into general revenue. They should be tied to climate change adaptation and mitigation projects, otherwise the point of a pigouvian tax is lost. Just like a sin tax on cigarettes should go straight into the health system for lung cancer etc, and nowhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^ Er.. yeah. Removing huge government taxpayer subsidies is "Marxist"...
    What do you mean? Looks to me like big oil won't be paying anymore under this plan unless oil prices go up a lot. Its all passed on to the consumer, with rebates for the extraction industry which will ensure, they pay nothing anytime soon. In a way, that's logical - if oil is exported to BC for example, it faces a carbon tax when burned there.

    A tax on a consumer is a tax on a supplier, and vice versa. They are inseparable. Tax the supplier, the price goes up, people consume less. Tax the consumer, the price goes up, people consume less.

    However, I am against any rebates for either side. Oil taxes are a pigouvian tax, not a revenue stream. They are meant to recover the costs of damages caused by the direct and indirect impacts of consumption. It makes no sense to offer rebates on pigouvian taxes. That is essentially saying "yeah, go ahead and dump your garbage in my backyard. I don't mind."

    On a different note, the trend towards programs like this worries me. These taxes should not go into general revenue. They should be tied to climate change adaptation and mitigation projects, otherwise the point of a pigouvian tax is lost. Just like a sin tax on cigarettes should go straight into the health system for lung cancer etc, and nowhere else.
    Ask any accountant. They are seperable. Our concern is the tax impact, not on the "consumer", but the tax impact on the Alberta consumer.
    Last edited by KC; 23-11-2015 at 05:08 PM.

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    ^ "Ask any accountant" - what does that mean? You're suggesting that a tax on the supplier and a tax on the consumer have a different tax incidence?


    Excise taxes can be levied on either the consumer or supplier to an identical effect.

    If you levy an excise tax on the consumer, the demand curve shifts down by the amount of the tax, creating a surplus. The impacts are: the quantity sold is lowered, the price paid by consumers increases, and the price received by producers is decreased.

    If you levy an excise tax on the supplier, the supply curve shifts up by an identical amount. The impacts are: the quantity sold is lowered, the price paid by consumers increases, and the price received by producers is decreased.

    To put it simply: when you tax the consumer, people buy less creating a glut. Producers therefore have to reduce their prices dependent on elasticity. When you tax the supplier, they pass a portion of the amount on to consumers. The result is identical: both parties are impacted in both situations by the same amount.

    The only question is who the burden will fall on more. If the demand elasticity is lower than the supply elasticity (as is the case with gasoline), the tax incidence falls on the consumer more. It doesn't matter whether the supplier or the consumer is taxed, the tax incidence will shift by the identical amount and will fall (in the case of gasoline) mainly on consumers.

    Tax incidence for excise taxes does not depend on who the tax is levied on.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 23-11-2015 at 05:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^39 dollars a month for average household is quite a bit, that's a noticeable heating jump. I expect it will be close to 100 dollars more in the coldest months, not much impact in summer. It will be hard on people in old homes / mature neighbourhoods (maybe more incentive to knock down and build new / more energy efficient places).

    I think it's a decent plan, but a lot of families are going to be hurting. Expect to see more of Edmontons power coming from Southern Alberta where the wind farms can be built. Perhaps more localized solar as well.
    Not sure wind farms are the answer. If we start setting aside farm land for wind farms there will be less produce grown. Less produce grown becomes a higher commodity. Or the alternative is to import more = more cost for the consumer. It seems a lot of people have a disconnect when it comes to food and how it gets on their plate. They seem to think by taking huge swaths of land and sticking wind turbines on them does not effect anything. It does, it takes away good farm land. Maybe a handful of turbines for small hamlets etc. but not practical for big cities.
    See where more power plants can be built by water. Harness the water to drive the turbines, you've got hydro power. Solar on more roofs, residential/commercial is also a better choice than wind farms.
    Last edited by Gemini; 23-11-2015 at 07:00 PM.
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    Hydro requires as much or more land than wind. Reservoirs cover a lot of land, but wind turbine foundations don't need to take up a lot of room - most of the area underneath the turbines can still be used as crop or pasture land. The real problem with renewables is intermittency - every watt of solar or wind power needs to be replaced (or the demand reduced) somehow when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. At least with solar there is some correlation with one of the demand peaks - the sun is almost always shining when the weather gets hot enough for people to turn on the air conditioning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    Well, I think we all know how the NDP is going to help make up for the deficit now.

    I'm in the camp that this is nothing more than a scheme to make up lost revenue.
    You can think anything you want. But that doesn't mean your thinking is grounded in fact.

    Before leaping to conclusions, read the details of the climate plan, including the report of the Climate Change Advisory Panel whose recommendations are being followed. Available here: http://alberta.ca/climate/

    Frankly, it is those who think this province can afford to carry on as usual and not take meaningful action to address climate change that are out of touch with reality.
    I never said it was grounded in fact. My bad, should have said IMO.

    As I sorta said, it's a textbook NDP move and although I wonder about how quickly this carbon tax plan occurred I do understand the party thinking.

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    I loved how each premier got out of a honking GM SUV. Sure they are worried

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    We also have a significant employer in the city, CPC. They have lots of cash invested in Genesee.With coal being phased out in less than 15 years what on earth is going to happen to those plants ??
    I suspect the AB government will buy out their contracts for the remaining life span of the plants. No doubt that cost will be added to the other forms of electricity as a 'plant retirement charge' over the next 50 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Not sure wind farms are the answer. If we start setting aside farm land for wind farms there will be less produce grown. Less produce grown becomes a higher commodity. Or the alternative is to import more = more cost for the consumer. It seems a lot of people have a disconnect when it comes to food and how it gets on their plate. They seem to think by taking huge swaths of land and sticking wind turbines on them does not effect anything. It does, it takes away good farm land. Maybe a handful of turbines for small hamlets etc. but not practical for big cities.
    See where more power plants can be built by water. Harness the water to drive the turbines, you've got hydro power. Solar on more roofs, residential/commercial is also a better choice than wind farms.
    Most of the places where wind is plentiful in Alberta is most ranchland. A few grains maybe. Putting wind farms in pasture land won't affect the efficacy of the land. And if it did, well a bit less beef isn't a horrible thing.

    Properly designed greenhouses can push our growing season out quite a bit. If not the whole year with at least something growing (with little to no heat input). Not to mention there are a whole bunch of heat and CO2 being emitted in concentrated areas in Alberta. And the climate changes are likely to push our natural growing season out a bit further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hello lady View Post
    I loved how each premier got out of a honking GM SUV. Sure they are worried
    Funny. I noticed the same thing. That reporter/camera person was on the ball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rupikhalon001 View Post
    We also have a significant employer in the city, CPC. They have lots of cash invested in Genesee.With coal being phased out in less than 15 years what on earth is going to happen to those plants ??
    I suspect the AB government will buy out their contracts for the remaining life span of the plants. No doubt that cost will be added to the other forms of electricity as a 'plant retirement charge' over the next 50 years.
    I'd like to know what it would take to keep them operational but at a bare minimum. Basically to serve as backup /price stabilizers to short-circuit traders manipulating a natural gas price spike.

    Also, we may have CO2 capture technology available in a few years. If they could also clean up / filter out the other pollutants then maybe they'd have a chance at survival. (At the right price in the future, what's impossible today might be cost effective in 20-30 years.)



    WIND MAKES ELECTRICITY EXPENSIVE AND UNRELIABLE WITHOUT CUTTING EMISSIONS

    I remain astonished at the fervour with which greens like Mark defend wind power at all costs, despite growing evidence that it does real environmental harm, rewards the rich at the expense of the poor and does not cut carbon dioxide emissions significantly if at all. It might even make them worse, as I argue here. If they really are worried about emissions, why do greens love wind? It isn't helping.


    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/wind-power/
    Last edited by KC; 23-11-2015 at 11:50 PM.

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    Is it possible they could convert to natural gas half easy? I remember for a while in the mid - late 90s natural gas was a legit option for a bit... until of course it spiked to over 10 bone a gJ.

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    ^ It can spike dramatically and what a utility has to pay can be quite different than the average contract.

    Natural gas, supplied through staggered long term contracts makes sense. Since it's a commodity with a tendency towards oversupply, buying it for years wholly on the spot market saves a ton of money (as our utilities actually did for years). However, those savings will get passed to consumers and shareholders and when the fat boy eventually walks up to the ice cream stand during a shortage everybody just rubs their hands together with glee. The utility pays up whatever is asked, and of course it will be unprepared when the inevitable day arrives and operations faces knee jerk crisis management...
    Last edited by KC; 24-11-2015 at 09:00 AM.

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    I wonder what effect of planting millions of more trees would have on the atmosphere. I am sure every city has empty fields where trees can be planted, farmers could plant more trees or wind barriers etc. businesses could plant more trees near their buildings. Stop chopping down the rain forest without replenishing it. If this can be done as much as possible world wide it could make a difference.
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    It wasn't all that long ago when they figured out just how important the boreal forest is. I remember for years it was all about the Amazon rain forest and how it was the lungs of the planet... and then in the early 2000's they started realizing the millions of square miles of boreal swamp spruce plays a massive role too.

    As far as tree planting goes, it's been done before on large scale. Wouldn't hurt that's for sure.

    The Great Plains Shelterbelt was a project to create windbreaks in the Great Plains states of the United States, that began in 1934.[1] President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated the project in response to the severe dust storms of the Dust Bowl, which resulted in significant soil erosion and drought. The United States Forest Service believed that planting trees on the perimeters of farms would reduce wind velocity and lessen evaporation of moisture from the soil. By 1942, 220 million trees had been planted, stretching out 18,600 miles (29,900 km)[2] in a 100-mile-wide zone from Canada to the Brazos River. Even as of 2007[update], "the federal response to the Dust Bowl, including the PSFP [Prairie States Forestry Program] which planted the Great Plains Shelterbelt and creation of the Soil Erosion Service, represents the largest and most-focused effort of the [U.S.] government to address an environmental problem."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plains_Shelterbelt

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    Tropical rainforests, yes. Studies show that other forests (ie Canada's boreal forest) have less of an impact than you would assume. After taking into account differences evapotranspiration and the effect of light absorption, the impact of C02 reduction is marginal on global temperatures. For instance, forests that are covered in snowy ground cover for a large part of the year can actually have a net warming influence. The reason being that there is little cloud cover resulting from lower efficiency in water evaporation, and intense light absorption. That being said, there are many other benefits of large and healthy forests that should convince us to protect them
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 24-11-2015 at 11:54 AM.

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    Reading the list of what everyone is dfoing, it would appear AB is the only one that is really paying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hello lady View Post
    I loved how each premier got out of a honking GM SUV. Sure they are worried
    Funny. I noticed the same thing. That reporter/camera person was on the ball.
    Couldn't they arrive together? Superficial lot!

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    The should have arrived together in a mini-bus instead of the biggest (and most expensive) SUV's on the planet. It's amazing how they don't notice the irony of what they do.
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    How might a carbon tax change Alberta? Just ask British Columbia

    Some trends observed in B.C. since the carbon tax came in:

    • Prices for residential real estate have increased fastest in large cities with good transit infrastructure, namely Vancouver and its closest suburbs.
    • Residential and office development has exploded around transit nodes. Office rents are noticeably higher within walking distance of rapid transit stations.
    • Job creation has been strongest in these urban areas.
    • Population and economic activity has been flat to declining in rural areas and small towns, with very few exceptions.
    • Large employers such as Telus Corp. have adopted work-at-home options across their workforces.
    • A City of Vancouver survey of 2,500 residents this year indicated that, for the first time, fewer than 50% of trips within the city were made by car. People more commonly get around by walking, cycling or taking transit.

    While some of these trends were already happening before the imposition of the carbon tax and are not unique to B.C., the policy is widely supported and appears to be working in concert with other societal changes.

    If anything the potential for disruption is greater in Alberta, where people think nothing of driving three hours each way for a weekend jaunt in the mountains and where Calgary and Edmonton are putting the finishing touches on ring roads that link far-flung suburbs and quicken the commutes from semi-rural acreages. Not just the oil and gas industry, but every kind of business in Alberta should start thinking about who and what the winners and losers will be in a carbon-constrained future.

    __________

    http://www.canadianbusiness.com/blog...tish-columbia/

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    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says most Albertans won't feel the pinch with new carbon tax

    “In some cases, as I’ve said before, low- and middle-income Albertans will experience not that much pain, quite honestly. And in some cases, if they act immediately in anticipation of the tax that will be phased in January of 2017, they could actually experience gain as soon as we start sending out the rebate if they manage to find ways to reduce their emissions between now and Jan. 1st (2017).”
    Notley said companies and industry that are large emitters won’t necessarily get a dollar-for-dollar return on their carbon taxes through incentive programs. The province will divvy up the money to companies based on their plan to use innovative technology to improve emissions.
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...new-carbon-tax
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    So who fall's under "most Albertan's?" How is it that I'm not going feel the pinch when gas is going up 5 cents a litre and natural gas is going up $1.68/GJ?

    By my estimations, during winter this alone will cost me $40 - $50.00 extra a month, let alone what other Carbon Surprises come along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    So who fall's under "most Albertan's?" How is it that I'm not going feel the pinch when gas is going up 5 cents a litre and natural gas is going up $1.68/GJ?

    By my estimations, during winter this alone will cost me $40 - $50.00 extra a month, let alone what other Carbon Surprises come along.

    Exactly!

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    Any additional cost is felt by people. It's annoying when anyone believes otherwise.

    Sure, I'm not poor, but my income doesn't just magically go up whenever a new tax or cost is forced upon me, so I just took a pay cut. I imagine that's the same for everyone, unless they know something about spontaneously generating new income that I don't know about.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    ^its the grand delusion, that we can magically transition off burning carbon for no cost before alternative technologies have developed to the point they are economic. Most Albertans are going to feel pain from this. Maybe it's worth it given the optics re the oil sands, but for her to say most Albertans won't feel the pinch, is very silly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hello lady View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    So who fall's under "most Albertan's?" How is it that I'm not going feel the pinch when gas is going up 5 cents a litre and natural gas is going up $1.68/GJ?

    By my estimations, during winter this alone will cost me $40 - $50.00 extra a month, let alone what other Carbon Surprises come along.

    Exactly!
    However, keep in mind the conservative solution back in March was a much sh1ttier deal.


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    ^^ It is a chicken-and-egg problem though - the alternative technologies will never become economic until they are produced on a sufficiently large scale, which requires either a resource supply constraint or punitive taxation to push up the price of the old technology. As we have seen over the last 45 years, high petroleum prices resulting from supply constraints don't seem to last very long, so taxes are the only way to accelerate the changeover.

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    I just don't want to see Ontario prices (specifically electricity) in Alberta. It's coming and it won't be pretty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Any additional cost is felt by people. It's annoying when anyone believes otherwise.

    Sure, I'm not poor, but my income doesn't just magically go up whenever a new tax or cost is forced upon me, so I just took a pay cut. I imagine that's the same for everyone, unless they know something about spontaneously generating new income that I don't know about.
    We have a deficit that needs to be dealt with somehow. Raising some of the necessary funds via a tax on carbon. Vs atax on income will provide an incentive for all of us to use less, and those who consume less than their share may pay less than if an alternative plan were chosen. It will cost most of us less than the cons' proposed health premium revival from just a few months ago but it actually works to change the demands we place on the environment, unlike the health care premiums which had absolutely nothing to do with healthcare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    I just don't want to see Ontario prices (specifically electricity) in Alberta. It's coming and it won't be pretty.
    Although, thankfully we don't have nuclear like Ontario does so it might not be quiet as bad (a huge money pit for them, not to mention their struggles with where to put the waste).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hello lady View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    So who fall's under "most Albertan's?" How is it that I'm not going feel the pinch when gas is going up 5 cents a litre and natural gas is going up $1.68/GJ?

    By my estimations, during winter this alone will cost me $40 - $50.00 extra a month, let alone what other Carbon Surprises come along.

    Exactly!
    However, keep in mind the conservative solution back in March was a much sh1ttier deal.

    Was it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Any additional cost is felt by people. It's annoying when anyone believes otherwise.

    Sure, I'm not poor, but my income doesn't just magically go up whenever a new tax or cost is forced upon me, so I just took a pay cut. I imagine that's the same for everyone, unless they know something about spontaneously generating new income that I don't know about.
    We have a deficit that needs to be dealt with somehow. Raising some of the necessary funds via a tax on carbon. Vs atax on income will provide an incentive for all of us to use less, and those who consume less than their share may pay less than if an alternative plan were chosen. It will cost most of us less than the cons' proposed health premium revival from just a few months ago but it actually works to change the demands we place on the environment, unlike the health care premiums which had absolutely nothing to do with healthcare.
    I can agree to all of that. However, it still doesn't make the "Albertan's won't feel the pinch" statement true. It's a good plan. For the sake of our planet we need to change. I want us to be front runners. It would have been a lot more honest to say "This will affect everyone a little bit in the wallet, while allowing us to finally act. In a world of talk, we're actually moving." Let's not be humble about it. Let us go forth and start asking our global partners when they're going to get their crap together.

    I'm willing to accept a dent in my bank account, but for money's sake, let's use this opportunity to get a little aggressive, make some waves. It's good publicity and could easily be turned into a benefit.
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    The carbon tax isn't a bad idea in theory. Increasing it over time as people adjust and then dropping income taxes to be close to revenue neutral would do a lot of good.

    Introduce a sales tax (slightly less than BC and SK) and then drop income tax rates to be revenue neutral.

  71. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Any additional cost is felt by people. It's annoying when anyone believes otherwise.

    Sure, I'm not poor, but my income doesn't just magically go up whenever a new tax or cost is forced upon me, so I just took a pay cut. I imagine that's the same for everyone, unless they know something about spontaneously generating new income that I don't know about.
    We have a deficit that needs to be dealt with somehow. Raising some of the necessary funds via a tax on carbon. Vs atax on income will provide an incentive for all of us to use less, and those who consume less than their share may pay less than if an alternative plan were chosen. It will cost most of us less than the cons' proposed health premium revival from just a few months ago but it actually works to change the demands we place on the environment, unlike the health care premiums which had absolutely nothing to do with healthcare.
    Much better to deal with a deficit by reducing spending. What do you think most Albertans are doing already if they havne't already been forced due to a layoff or salary redcution? I know I have reviewed my spending habits and Christmas is going to be a lot leaner this year than most.

    Adding a carbon tax yes will reduce consumption which also redcues production and prices, which in turn reduces revenue for the province. Oh but wait another increase in carbon tax the next year will restore that income. Who knew math was so hard!

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    ^ Governments need to operate out of phase with the private sector. Don't try to build stuff when the private sector has bid costs into the stratosphere, but do build stuff when there are lots of people out of work and companies willing to submit reasonable bids. Taxes should have been increased long ago so money could be saved for capital projects starting now, but we squandered all of our oil revenue subsidizing operational spending.

    Ever-increasing carbon tax rates to maintain constant revenue is exactly the idea behind using a carbon tax to reduce CO2 emission, although I do think we should hold off on any increases until the rest of the world catches up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    The carbon tax isn't a bad idea in theory. Increasing it over time as people adjust and then dropping income taxes to be close to revenue neutral would do a lot of good.

    Introduce a sales tax (slightly less than BC and SK) and then drop income tax rates to be revenue neutral.

    The carbon tax is a great idea, so long as it is used to recover damages.

    Income taxes should NEVER be dropped to compensate for carbon taxes. Carbon taxes are a pigouvian tax. They exist to recover the damage caused by use of the product upon which the tax is levied.

    Carbon taxes are like cigarette taxes, alcohol taxes, etc. They recover the cost of externalities tied to the product. Cigarettes cost us money in the health care system. Alcohol costs us money in health care and crime. Carbon emissions cost us money in climate change impacts.

    None of these things has any relation to raising general revenue. They exist to compensate society for the damage of the product.

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    How about wood stoves? I plan on buying one. I own a small woodlot of poplar and spruce and there is a lot of deadwood laying around. Plus there are so many places giving away pallets and such wood free of charge for firewood or whatever uses. Some very good boards too. Lots of junk around to burn and I also know of some people selling firewood cheap. I hope to have it set up for next winter. I can cut wood to keep in shape. Will I get a tax bill for that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMorrocco View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Any additional cost is felt by people. It's annoying when anyone believes otherwise.

    Sure, I'm not poor, but my income doesn't just magically go up whenever a new tax or cost is forced upon me, so I just took a pay cut. I imagine that's the same for everyone, unless they know something about spontaneously generating new income that I don't know about.
    We have a deficit that needs to be dealt with somehow. Raising some of the necessary funds via a tax on carbon. Vs atax on income will provide an incentive for all of us to use less, and those who consume less than their share may pay less than if an alternative plan were chosen. It will cost most of us less than the cons' proposed health premium revival from just a few months ago but it actually works to change the demands we place on the environment, unlike the health care premiums which had absolutely nothing to do with healthcare.
    Much better to deal with a deficit by reducing spending. What do you think most Albertans are doing already if they havne't already been forced due to a layoff or salary redcution? I know I have reviewed my spending habits and Christmas is going to be a lot leaner this year than most.

    Adding a carbon tax yes will reduce consumption which also redcues production and prices, which in turn reduces revenue for the province. Oh but wait another increase in carbon tax the next year will restore that income. Who knew math was so hard!
    Reduce spending? Got it.

    Which provincial services do you not want this year (may select more than one):
    [] Health care
    [] Education
    [] Road maintenance
    [] Provincial Parks
    [] Emergency Services

    They're always trying to make government more efficient, however that's pennies. The only way to drastically reduce spending is to cut something.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    How about wood stoves? I plan on buying one. I own a small woodlot of poplar and spruce and there is a lot of deadwood laying around. Plus there are so many places giving away pallets and such wood free of charge for firewood or whatever uses. Some very good boards too. Lots of junk around to burn and I also know of some people selling firewood cheap. I hope to have it set up for next winter. I can cut wood to keep in shape. Will I get a tax bill for that?
    So your solution to a program to cut pollution is to create even more pollution with an extremely inefficient method of heating?

    Buying and installing that wood stove will probably cost you 5 years' worth of carbon taxes while significantly increasing your personal pollution.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    How about wood stoves? I plan on buying one. I own a small woodlot of poplar and spruce and there is a lot of deadwood laying around. Plus there are so many places giving away pallets and such wood free of charge for firewood or whatever uses. Some very good boards too. Lots of junk around to burn and I also know of some people selling firewood cheap. I hope to have it set up for next winter. I can cut wood to keep in shape. Will I get a tax bill for that?
    Yes, ideally you should be taxed for this. Wood stoves are horrendous in terms of both GHG emissions and air pollution.

    Well, either a tax bill, or a lawsuit from your neighbours for the nuisance.

    Pigouvian taxes seem unfair at first glance, but in reality they are just a societal-level application of "you break it, you buy it".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    The carbon tax is a great idea, so long as it is used to recover damages.

    Income taxes should NEVER be dropped to compensate for carbon taxes. Carbon taxes are a pigouvian tax. They exist to recover the damage caused by use of the product upon which the tax is levied.

    Carbon taxes are like cigarette taxes, alcohol taxes, etc. They recover the cost of externalities tied to the product. Cigarettes cost us money in the health care system. Alcohol costs us money in health care and crime. Carbon emissions cost us money in climate change impacts.

    None of these things has any relation to raising general revenue. They exist to compensate society for the damage of the product.
    Why does a carbon tax ONLY have to cover the true costs of its damage? Why can't it cover more than that? Why not incentivize growing your own food, living smaller if you can't afford to live big, taking transit, travel less (if you can't afford it), consume less, etc etc. Those are all positives. Your take home pay would be the same, but you'd feel better about going to work (since you get a bigger paycheque) and you'd feel better about consuming less. A carbon tax is essentially impossible to get around. Income taxes are easier with tax breaks, accounting plays, under the table payments, etc. Sales taxes can be somewhat avoided by buying in lower taxed areas, but then you pay for it with the carbon tax.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Yes, ideally you should be taxed for this. Wood stoves are horrendous in terms of both GHG emissions and air pollution.
    Air pollution from toxic products of partial combustion, yes, but not greenhouse gases. The CO2 released from burning wood was recently removed from the atmosphere. Historically, toxic emissions have been reduced with regulatory limits rather than taxes. Some places have required all wood burning installations to be equipped with catalytic exhaust treatment systems.

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    I was thinking that smoke from carbon products and smoke from wood would be different. Like tobacco and marijuana smoke. One a serious carcinogen and the other not so bad.
    Last edited by Drumbones; 25-11-2015 at 01:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Why does a carbon tax ONLY have to cover the true costs of its damage? Why can't it cover more than that? Why not incentivize growing your own food, living smaller if you can't afford to live big, taking transit, travel less (if you can't afford it), consume less, etc etc. Those are all positives. Your take home pay would be the same, but you'd feel better about going to work (since you get a bigger paycheque) and you'd feel better about consuming less. A carbon tax is essentially impossible to get around. Income taxes are easier with tax breaks, accounting plays, under the table payments, etc. Sales taxes can be somewhat avoided by buying in lower taxed areas, but then you pay for it with the carbon tax.
    1) I strongly believe that consumers would switch to renewable goods and energy sources of their own volition if the alternative was taxed at full cost recovery.

    2) Incentives should be used only where they offer return on investment. For instance, a study out of UBC showed that active transportation infrastructure has a 14:1 ROI to state coffers in the long run, largely out of reduced health costs. If the incentive has a positive ROI, it does not need to be subsidized with high carbon taxes. It is inherently worth offering.

    3) Ideologically I do not believe in unsubstantiated taxation. This is a conservative ideology. People should pay for the damage they cause to society, but should not be taxed to engineer their behaviour otherwise. If people choose to pay for the full cost of their damage, they should be free to do so.

    I was thinking that smoke from carbon products and smoke from wood would be different. Like tobacco and marijuana smoke. One a serious carcinogen and the other not so bad.
    Wood smoke has most of the same components that are damaging in cigarettes. Cancer is caused by things like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dioxin. Present in wood smoke. Also plenty of fine particulates in there.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 25-11-2015 at 01:30 PM.

  82. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Why does a carbon tax ONLY have to cover the true costs of its damage? Why can't it cover more than that? Why not incentivize growing your own food, living smaller if you can't afford to live big, taking transit, travel less (if you can't afford it), consume less, etc etc. Those are all positives. Your take home pay would be the same, but you'd feel better about going to work (since you get a bigger paycheque) and you'd feel better about consuming less. A carbon tax is essentially impossible to get around. Income taxes are easier with tax breaks, accounting plays, under the table payments, etc. Sales taxes can be somewhat avoided by buying in lower taxed areas, but then you pay for it with the carbon tax.
    1) I strongly believe that consumers would switch to renewable goods and energy sources of their own volition if the alternative was taxed at full cost recovery.

    2) Incentives should be used only where they offer return on investment. For instance, a study out of UBC showed that active transportation infrastructure has a 14:1 ROI to state coffers in the long run, largely out of reduced health costs. If the incentive has a positive ROI, it does not need to be subsidized with high carbon taxes. It is inherently worth offering.

    3) Ideologically I do not believe in unsubstantiated taxation. This is a conservative ideology. People should pay for the damage they cause to society, but should not be taxed to engineer their behaviour otherwise. If people choose to pay for the full cost of their damage, they should be free to do so.

    I was thinking that smoke from carbon products and smoke from wood would be different. Like tobacco and marijuana smoke. One a serious carcinogen and the other not so bad.
    Wood smoke has most of the same components that are damaging in cigarettes. Cancer is caused by things like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dioxin. Present in wood smoke. Also plenty of fine particulates in there.
    Campfires are horrible polluters - and they make my camping experiences very unpleasant. Yet we want to ban the odd measly little cigarette from all parks etc.

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    Every time a friend says "come over for a fire" all I can think of is smoke in my face, having to shower before bed, and a forced load of laundry to get the smell out. For what? Everyone's huddled around it to keep warm. It's warm inside, and everyone can walk about!
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Hmmm. Are you guys Canadian? lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    I was thinking that smoke from carbon products and smoke from wood would be different. Like tobacco and marijuana smoke. One a serious carcinogen and the other not so bad.
    Both equally bad. The difference is that smoking dozens of cigarettes every day is common among tobacco users, but nobody smokes that much pot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    I was thinking that smoke from carbon products and smoke from wood would be different. Like tobacco and marijuana smoke. One a serious carcinogen and the other not so bad.
    Except for your lungs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Every time a friend says "come over for a fire" all I can think of is smoke in my face, having to shower before bed, and a forced load of laundry to get the smell out. For what? Everyone's huddled around it to keep warm. It's warm inside, and everyone can walk about!
    The only time I enjoy a fire is when I'm out camping and don't care if I smell up the tent/camper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    3) Ideologically I do not believe in unsubstantiated taxation. This is a conservative ideology. People should pay for the damage they cause to society, but should not be taxed to engineer their behaviour otherwise. If people choose to pay for the full cost of their damage, they should be free to do so.
    But who pays for the medical treatments of MS or non-lifestyle related cancers? That money has to come from somewhere and it's not due to someone's damage. So you can either tax good consumption (sales tax), bad consumption (carbon tax) or you can tax wealth creation (income taxes). If I was starting from scratch, I would go heavy on the carbon tax, medium on the sales tax, and light on the income tax. Carbon tax, for the most part, is pretty non-cyclical on a per capita basis, whereas the other two are related to economic cycles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Every time a friend says "come over for a fire" all I can think of is smoke in my face, having to shower before bed, and a forced load of laundry to get the smell out. For what? Everyone's huddled around it to keep warm. It's warm inside, and everyone can walk about!
    The only time I enjoy a fire is when I'm out camping and don't care if I smell up the tent/camper.
    Same. OK when camping, annoying in the city. I do not understand the appeal of fire pits.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post

    But who pays for the medical treatments of MS or non-lifestyle related cancers? That money has to come from somewhere and it's not due to someone's damage. So you can either tax good consumption (sales tax), bad consumption (carbon tax) or you can tax wealth creation (income taxes). If I was starting from scratch, I would go heavy on the carbon tax, medium on the sales tax, and light on the income tax. Carbon tax, for the most part, is pretty non-cyclical on a per capita basis, whereas the other two are related to economic cycles.
    Agree on heavier weight on sales tax. Disagree that operational revenues should be obtained from pigouvian taxes. What you want in an optimal situation for operational revenues is stability and predictability. General sales taxes and property taxes are the two most stable sources of operational revenue.

    Pigouvian taxes being used for operational revenue is a conflict of interest. They are designed to recover damages / prevent further damaging actions. If pigouvian taxes are successful, they by nature cannot be effective sources of operational revenue as they must consistently deliver less revenue into the future.

    In short, the goal of something like a carbon tax is that you in the future no longer generate carbon emissions. By using that tax for operational income, you trap governments in a situation where they rely on continued carbon emissions in order to fund themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    I was thinking that smoke from carbon products and smoke from wood would be different.
    The smoke from burning wood is much, much worse than burning natural gas. Even the most efficient wood burning stoves emit more GHGs as well as other harmful pollutants compared to natural gas or even coal.

    The lukewarm air that exits the side of the house from our high energy efficient natural gas furnace is so clean you can breathe it in for a considerable period of time with no ill effects.

    Here is a good resource to counter myths peddled by the "clean" burning wood lobby: http://www.familiesforcleanair.org/myths/

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    So those forest fires of 2015 that were so bad I could barely see from Calgary to Osoyoos on Labour Day week must have sure done a number on the atmosphere. Most forest fires are caused by lightning 'an act of God'. Hate to get His tax bill. lol
    Last edited by Drumbones; 25-11-2015 at 10:49 PM.

  94. #94

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    Wind, solar power counted on to brighten Alberta's energy future

    The province is counting on trademark sunny skies and blustery winds to lead a suite of renewable power sources that will meet up to 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity needs by 2030.
    “I think it’s an ambitious target but it’s certainly an achievable one. And it’s consistent with what we’re seeing as the world shifts from high-carbon fossil fuels for electricity generation to renewables,” said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
    http://edmontonjournal.com/business/...-energy-future

    Yes, lets brace ourselves for the same mess Ontarians are paying for their utility costs.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Wind, solar power counted on to brighten Alberta's energy future

    The province is counting on trademark sunny skies and blustery winds to lead a suite of renewable power sources that will meet up to 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity needs by 2030.
    “I think it’s an ambitious target but it’s certainly an achievable one. And it’s consistent with what we’re seeing as the world shifts from high-carbon fossil fuels for electricity generation to renewables,” said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
    http://edmontonjournal.com/business/...-energy-future

    Yes, lets brace ourselves for the same mess Ontarians are paying for their utility costs.
    Oh let's get over it. We pay some of the lowest electricity prices in the developed world. We could pay twice as much as we do today and still be cheaper than most of Europe. My last bill had electricity at CDN$0.055kWh hour. Germany pays CDN$0.27.

    The actual electricity portion of your bill is peanuts. I work from home on computers and the electricity portion is maybe $15 in the dead of winter when I need more lights on.

    We're a rich province of spoiled whiners.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    ^Run that spoiled whiners remark by people on fixed incomes or low income.
    It's a know fact wind power raises electricity rates for consumers. Ask people from down east, talk to people from European countries who 's governments ram wind turbines up their rears. U S states with wind turbines all report higher electricity rates.
    I guess if your a single person your bill can be kept to a minimum but Alberta is not all populated by single males. If electricity goes up everything you buy goes up as who/what/where will just pass their higher utility costs onto the consumer.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestay...-power-states/
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  97. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    ^Run that spoiled whiners remark by people on fixed incomes or low income.
    It's a know fact wind power raises electricity rates for consumers. Ask people from down east, talk to people from European countries who 's governments ram wind turbines up their rears. U S states with wind turbines all report higher electricity rates.
    I guess if your a single person your bill can be kept to a minimum but Alberta is not all populated by single males. If electricity goes up everything you buy goes up as who/what/where will just pass their higher utility costs onto the consumer.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestay...-power-states/
    Everyone is on a fixed income.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Not only that, but we shouldn't get even close to those .20+ numbers. Ontario has some extremely expensive nuclear projects, and their initial feed-in tariff for solar was something like $.75/kwh for 25 years, and new feed-in terriffs ranging well into the 30s but their power costs are currently around 8.5c off peak, 12.5 shoulder peak and 17c in the afternoon peak.

    I'd say their costs are pretty much worst case.

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    And that's the other thing on the way. Wireless "smart" meters, in the guise of being environmentally friendly and the consumer saving power. What they don't tell you is that now they can track power usage at any time of day and when prime time occurs it can easily be double or triple the cost than at off peak.

    I mean, if there's a way to exploit the consumer, it will be done. And for a few posters, it's perfectly acceptable.

  100. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    Hmmm. Are you guys Canadian? lol
    A modern Canadian.

    Grew up with coal and wood stoves in the cabin (still have them), bonfires outside, spent many nights drinking in smoke filled bars and working in smoke filled workplaces, go camping and light up campfires for my daughter and roast marshmallows and wieners...

    Also once donated to the non-smokers rights association and routinely take heavy duty asthma drugs for days after camping in smoke filled campgrounds that ironically might be full of militant anti-smokers that want to ban cigarettes from all outdoor spaces.

    Also suffer from asthma issues around diesel buses, but own diesels. Life can be complex and hypocritical.
    Last edited by KC; 26-11-2015 at 09:58 PM.

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