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Dan McTeague

New Carbon Tax, Same Price Tags


6 minute read

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 Carbon Tax is part of a bigger plan to change the way you live

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From Canadians for Affordable Energy

Dan McTeague Written By Dan McTeague

On April 1, the carbon tax is going to rise from $65 per tonne to $80 per tonne, and it seems Canadians are noticing this jump more than those of the past few years.

Back in 2019, the Trudeau government announced its 566% carbon tax hike, starting at $15 per tonne and increasing yearly until 2030, when it would reach a staggering $170 per tonne. It received some attention at the time, but there was not a great deal of pushback. Presumably the numbers were too abstract to catch people’s attention and 2030 seemed a long way off.

But today things are different. It helps that Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre has been campaigning aggressively against the tax, with rallies and petitions to ‘Axe the Tax.’

Even Liberal premiers, such as Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador, have been pleading with Justin Trudeau to hit pause on the increase. In fact, a total of seven premiers in the country have spoken out against the tax, asking for a delay in its increase.

That’s because they recognize the tax is hurting Canadians. The cost of everything has gone up. It’s gotten so tough for businesses that some restaurants have begun adding a ‘carbon tax’ line item to the final bill. And if Canadians think it is bad now, wait until 2030 when the carbon tax will more than double its current rate.

The other reason people are more aware of the increase is because, well, the tax is working. It’s doing what it was designed to do, though maybe not in the way you might think. The goal is not simply to reduce emissions — in fact emissions have gone up. The goal is actually more nefarious than that. Let me explain.

The carbon tax is one of the pillars of the United Nations, World Economic Forum (WEF) Net-Zero-by 2050 agenda. In order to achieve their objective, they need all of us to fundamentally alter the way we live our daily lives. They want us to drive less, fly less, eat less meat (and more bugs). The carbon tax is a punitive means of achieving this.

In fact, the Trudeau government’s own Healthy Climate, Healthy Economy plan articulates the logic of the tax quite well when it says, “The principle is straightforward: a carbon price establishes how much businesses and households need to pay for their pollution. The higher the price, the greater the incentive to pollute less, conserve energy and invest in low-carbon solutions.”

It’s worth noting that they’re using a pretty loose definition of ‘pollution’ here, because we all know that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — it is a gas which makes life on earth possible.

Even so, their intention is clearly stated — they figure that, if the price of fuelling up your car, going on a vacation and heating your home gets high enough, you will have to drastically alter the way you live your day-to-day life.

You will stop flying, cut back on driving, use fewer appliances. And really, you’ll just get used to having less money, until — following the slippery slope to its conclusion — you will “own nothing and be happy,” in the words of that infamous WEF tweet.

Which is to say, the carbon tax is a punishment for participating in normal economic activity, for living a regular life. Of course, for the time being you can catch a break if you live in Atlantic Canada and heat your home with oil, but if you live in the prairies and heat your home with natural gas, sorry, but you’re out of luck. You aren’t in a Liberal riding, after all!

And even then, the Liberals and their activist friends are banking on Canadians reducing their carbon emissions in order to achieve their Net Zero 2050 target.

So good for Pierre Poilievre, Andrew Furey and the other premiers for pushing back on the carbon tax.

But let’s not forget that, as noxious as it is, it’s only one small part of the Liberals’ Net Zero agenda.

Eliminating the carbon tax is merely cutting off one head of the hydra. If Canada’s political leaders are really concerned with affordability, then they need to target the monster’s heart.

It’s time that we not only axe the tax, but we need to scrap Net Zero.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

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Dan McTeague

We are on a Net Zero collision course

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Dan McTeague

Written By Dan McTeague

Welcome to 2024 where the threat of looming power outages in a resource-rich, developed country is a reality. And we have Justin Trudeau and his ideologically-driven caucus to thank for it.

In the past month alone, Alberta has issued four emergency alerts warning consumers to reduce demand or the grid could face the risk of rotating power outages. Residents were urged in one alert to immediately limit their electrical use to essential needs only.

According to the Alberta Energy System Operator (AESO,) which manages the grid, the alert was due to sustained cold temperatures. Alberta’s grid is more vulnerable in the winter due to the decreased opportunity to generate solar power with the shorter days and of course because during extreme cold, there is usually less opportunity for wind power generation.

Thank goodness for hydrocarbons since over those days more than 80% of Alberta’s power came from natural gas and to a lesser extent, coal.

This situation in Alberta should serve as a warning for the rest of the country.

That’s because the Trudeau government is aggressively moving forward with their Clean Electricity Regulations which mandate that by 2035 the Canadian grid be zero emissions. This means the entire country will increasingly be reliant on unreliable energy sources.

And last month, the Trudeau Liberals implemented their Electric Vehicle Availability Standard, which mandates all new light-duty cars and trucks must be zero emission by 2035 as well. In other words, after 2035 forget about purchasing a new gas-powered car or diesel-driven truck. Welcome to Trudeau’s Net Zero world!

Many Canadians are wondering how we are going to produce the energy to power our cars along with everything else in our lives, especially in the depths of the cold winter months.

And the answer is simply, “we can’t.”

We are on a collision course of the Liberal government’s making. In their ideological zeal to achieve Net Zero, they seem to have been completely unhinged from reality.

As I like to remind people, Canada contributes 1.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Even if we halted all use of fossil fuels in our country it would have no global effect on world CO2 levels.

We can see the consequences of this pursuit of Net Zero, in Europe. Germany has frantically put coal power back on the grid in order to meet electricity demand. The UK is slamming the breaks on EVs and stepping up North Sea oil exploration. Italy is spending billions trying to fill its energy gaps with natural gas from Libya.

We are staring down the barrel of an upcoming election and if we want to ensure our quality of life, we need a major course correction. This does not mean delaying the implementation of EV regulations, or emissions caps, or even simply pushing back Net Zero target dates.

No. We need a party that will stand up against Net Zero and its related policies. We need a government that will see that this is a suicide mission we need to abandon entirely, not simply punt down the road.

Let’s hope we don’t have to wait for the worst-case scenario before Canadians finally realize the standard of living and access to affordable energy cannot be taken for granted. We truly are on a collision course with reality, due to ideological government policies that will have a crippling effect on our economy and way of life.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

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