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Dan McTeague

New Carbon Tax, Same Price Tags

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Dan McTeague 

Written By Dan McTeague

We must keep energy affordable for Canadian families. I have been saying this for years. But despite this simple message, some politicians still don’t get it.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government keeps insisting on one new expensive energy policy after another, and all of these efforts are designed to make energy unaffordable for Canadians.

One of Trudeau’s latest initiatives is his “Second Carbon Tax,” also known as the “Clean Fuel Standard,” or “CFS.”

We’ve dubbed the Clean Fuel Standard a Second Carbon Tax because that is exactly what it is –   simply another tax grab that will only make life more unaffordable for Canadians.

Trudeau’s friends in the media barely mention this new tax, so it falls to Canadians for Affordable Energy and a few like-minded people to alert Canadians to this latest assault on your pocketbook.

To this end, CAE is publishing a new report authored by economist Ross McKitrick on the Clean Fuel Standard a.k.a the ‘Second Carbon Tax’. You may recall I wrote about the Clean Fuel Standard a few years ago when it was first proposed.

The Clean Fuel Standard is a tax that aims to reduce the carbon intensity of liquid fuels used in transportation (gasoline, diesel) by 15% by 2030. This will be done by blending ethanol into traditional liquid fuels, and by the use of carbon credits which will be available to those switching to electric vehicles or increasing EV infrastructure.

The report released by LFX Associates ‘Economic Analysis of the 2022 Federal Clean Fuels Standard’ shows us just how expensive and ineffective this policy will be.

The conservative estimate is an increase of 2.2-6.5% per household. In real money terms this will an extra tax of $1,277 a year per worker.

In provinces that rely more heavily on liquid fuel sources such as oil – like Newfoundland and New Brunswick- these prices will be higher.

What a time to increase energy bills for families.

This new carbon tax is being released at a time of soaring household costs. Grocery prices have skyrocketed. Families are struggling to afford the basic necessities for their home. Now the government is going to make it even more expensive.

And will this policy be effective? Will it reduce emissions and bring Canada into a green renewable future?

No. No, it will not.

While locally (in Canada) emissions may go down, there will be no global reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. That is because the ethanol used to dilute our liquid fuels will most likely be imported from the United States. US based ethanol has a higher lifetime carbon intensity than gasoline. To extract, store it, ship it, etc. produces more emissions than what would be produced by using gasoline to fill our cars.

This new “Second Carbon Tax” will not reduce emissions. But it will allow Justin Trudeau to state that he has reduced Canada’s carbon intensity footprint. Unfortunately, any such reduction resulting from this tax will be achieved on the backs of working Canadians.

This policy will not help Canadians lead better lives. But it will make it more expensive to drive your car to the grocery store, to hockey practices, to medical appointments, and to work.

And, contrary to the government’s claim that there will be virtually no effect on GDP, the impact of this new tax on the Canadian economy will be significant. By 2030 the Canadian GDP will be about 1.3 percent lower than without the CFS. In other words, we can expect that Trudeau’s new CFS carbon tax will actually harm the Canadian economy. Unemployment, higher cost of living and further diversion of investments from Canada will put downward pressure on government revenue. This will lead to an increase in the consolidated government deficit in every year of the policy’s implementation. The extra government debt accumulated by 2040 because of the Clean Fuel Standard is estimated to reach as high as $95.2 billion.

You may feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record. Believe me, I feel like that too. My message is always consistent: bad government policies mean prices go up for Canadian families, and Canadian families should not be punished for the sake of our government’s phony global image as climate heroes.

But that is because policies like the Clean Fuel Standard will have real, serious, even detrimental effects for Canadian families.

A new tax on energy?  A second carbon tax, on top of the already disastrous and ever-increasing carbon tax that Trudeau insists on forcing Canadians to pay? Yep. Because, well, because it’s 2022.

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Dan McTeague

The problem with Electric Vehicles

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From Canadians for Affordable Energy

Dan McTeague Written By Dan McTeague

For years now we’ve been hearing about the wonders of electric vehicles (EVs). Enormous amounts of money have been spent by governments to entice people to buy them, from subsidies to free charging stations.

Here in Canada, the Trudeau Liberals have already subsidised EVs at a cost of $1 billion. Another $680 million in the next five years will go toward the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) to build an entire new infrastructure of charging stations.

In Ontario, Doug Ford’s government are ready “to become a North American hub for the next generation of electric vehicles,” and Ford’s PCs have recently committed to matching a $295 million investment from the Trudeau’s Liberals to retool the Ford Oakville Assembly Complex to become a global hub for battery electric vehicle production.

Electric vehicles are held up as the great green alternative to gas-powered vehicles.  In fact, the federal government has set a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks to be zero-emission by 2035 [read: electric and not gas-powered]. This is even more ambitious than their previous goal of 100% sales by 2040.

And, it seems, virtually the entire Canadian political class has either embraced or surrendered to the seemingly unstoppable momentum of EVs.

Well, here’s an interesting twist. Just the other week it was revealed that the Swiss government is considering legislation that would make it illegal for people to drive EVs over the winter except when it’s “absolutely necessary”.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Swiss government is discouraging people – to the point of making it illegal! – from driving their electric cars.

Why? Simple: there is not enough energy supply in Switzerland to power them.

Confused? How can this be?

Let me explain.

During the summer months, Switzerland gets around 60 percent of its energy from hydropower. But in the winter, hydro can’t produce enough energy, so the country imports a lot of electricity from France and Germany – both of which have long been dependent on Russian oil and gas imports.

Now that those “fossil fuels” have largely been cut off, these various European countries – not just Switzerland – are facing severe energy shortages this winter. This means that there won’t be enough electricity for people to charge their EVs.  This move highlights the obvious flaw in this push towards electrification, especially EVs. While EVs don’t burn fuel, you need to charge the battery which, of course, requires energy.

Still confused?  Right – perhaps you have never stopped to consider where the “energy” comes from that powers the EV charging stations?

Or did you just think that it was “magic” that powered the EVs?

Almost everywhere in the world, the charging stations are getting a lot of their power from oil and gas – the very same “fossil fuel” energy that EVs were supposed to replace. In many places, the power is coming from coal.

So to be clear, most countries typically need coal or oil or gas as a source of energy to power the charging stations, the very charging stations upon which many EV owners “power” their smug virtue signalling.

Some EV owners think, and even say out loud, that they are more concerned about the environment than you are. How can they say this?  Well, this is because they have an electric vehicle, while you drive a gas-guzzling vehicle that is destroying the planet.

All the while, their very same electric vehicle most likely gets its energy, ultimately, from the same sort of greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuel that you do.

Ahem. (There are many other issues with EVs including the very expensive batteries with materials mined out of the earth, which is hardly a “zero emission” activity, or the reliability of the vehicles in our northern climate. More on that in another post.)

Consider too that here in Canada, the Trudeau government is pushing hard for us to move away from fossil fuels which provide reliable base power to our grid, towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which are unreliable and intermittent.

Now imagine how this could play out over the next decades. If governments follow through on their plans to ban traditional gas-powered vehicles, it is their stated hope that everyone will have to drive an EV.

But, at the same time, governments want to shut down the traditional energy sector which – for the foreseeable future –provides most of the energy supply that powers EVs. If we’re forced to get all our power from wind and solar, that just means most people will never be able to drive anywhere.

We should consider what is happening in Switzerland as a warning shot. Our energy grids simply cannot provide enough power for electric vehicles, and this move towards EVs for everyone will fail.  The Trudeau government is promoting a short-sighted, virtue-signalling policy that will cause significant societal harm along the way.

Maybe the disastrous situation in Europe this winter will lead to some long-overdue second thoughts about EVs, and the whole climate change agenda.

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Dan McTeague

COP27 – Playing the fiddle while Rome burns

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In case you missed the (mainstream) media frenzy, the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) just wrapped up in Egypt.

This is the annual conference that highlights just how completely out of touch the elites, environmentalists and world leaders truly are, including our own prime minister.

In the weeks leading up to COP, the media was full of hysterical statements from politicians, UN bureaucrats, and activists. In October, the British newspaper The Guardian quoted UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres: “The fossil fuel industry is killing us.” In the same piece the “co-founder” of a “change agency” (whatever that is) says we’re facing “Armageddon”.  Gutteres told the delegates we’re on a “highway to climate hell”. Celebrities fly in on their private jets and pose for pictures. Politicians make more hysterical speeches.

There were lots of meetings and negotiations. It always turns out that the last round of green plans and “climate” policies didn’t quite work, and the solution is always, well, more plans and policies. Then they do it all again the next year.

And it would be funny if it weren’t so damaging. If ever the expression ‘playing the fiddle while Rome burns’ applied, this is it.

Domestically, Canadians are struggling to pay for food, heat, and housing. Inflation is driving up the cost of everything and Canadians are feeling it. Food banks across the country are sounding the alarm on record breaking visits. They note that it is no longer the unemployed that are primarily visiting them, it is the ‘working poor’ those who are employed but simply cannot make ends meet. Many Canadians are choosing between heating their homes or feeding their families. The situation is bad. And it’s even worse in Europe, but that’s another story.

In the midst of this, the Trudeau government is focusing their time and our resources on what? Greenhouse gases that might raise temperatures very slightly over the next quarter-century.  And they are doing this at enormous expense. The cost of this climate cult to Canadians is mind-boggling. Since 2015, Trudeau has spent 60 billion dollars trying to get our tiny contribution to global greenhouse emissions – around 1.5 percent – even lower.

Over the next thirty years, the total cost of the government’s climate initiatives will be around 2 trillion. 

Let that number sink in.

But that’s just what they’re spending. In addition, we should think about rising carbon taxes and energy costs, which make everything more expensive. We should think about the jobs we’ll lose, and the massive profits we could be making if the government would let our resource sector operate normally.

And have the last 26 COP conferences slowed the warming trend? Of course not. While according to Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault“progress on commitments was at the forefront of this COP,” you can be sure there will need to be a 28th, and a 29th and a 35th COP conference. At some point, Einstein’s definition of insanity might apply – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

It goes to show just how out of touch the Trudeau government is. It is an insult to have Canadians pay for politicians and bureaucrats to be “COP delegates” and to fly halfway around the world for another pointless conference. We’re on a highway to hell, alright, but not because the world may be a little warmer in 2050.

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