The Law of Unintended Carbon Tax Consequences

Coal generator admits its profits will fall without a carbon tax

Guest essay by Phillip Hutchings

Within minutes of the Australian parliament voting to scrap our carbon tax today, one of our major coal-fired electricity generators issued a profit warning announcement.

(You’ve got to love the ASX. Listed companies here must publicise anything which has a material impact on profits – favourable or negative)

In this case, AGL Energy announced its pre-tax profits will fall by $186 million in 2014/15 solely due to the removal of the carbon tax. The majority of this is related to the very large, but inefficient Loy Yang brown coal station which supplies 30% of the power needs of the state of Victoria.

Loy Yang, on AGL’s own figures also released today, emits 50% more carbon dioxide than the average of Australia’s power generators. It’s amongst the single biggest emitters of CO2 in Australia.

Yet it was due to get $242 million of “Government assistance” under the carbon tax arrangements this year. Most of which found its way to the bottom line.

Go figure.

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Source – AGL Energy Limited 17 July 2014

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75 thoughts on “The Law of Unintended Carbon Tax Consequences

  1. How ironic. Of course, it’s not a result of the tax, it’s the result of the accompanying corporate welfare which has now been snatched away. Neither one was a good idea in the first place.

  2. One needs to separate the broad policy from how it is implemented. Poor implementation does not mean the original policy was a bad idea. Again, see British Columbia’s revenue neutral carbon tax for a real world, successful, working example of a carbon tax policy.

  3. So the carbon tax actually subsidized high carbon emitters? Am I reading that right? It sounds like they called it a “carbon” tax merely as an excuse to implement another tax. It seems to have had little to do with its stated goal of reducing CO2.

  4. I’m shocked. Shocked to discover that there’s gambling going on in this establishment. (And I always thought Casablanca was in Morocco.)

    Oh, what a wicked web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. (They must’ve had AGW in Shakespeare’s day.)

  5. @ Louis

    “So the carbon tax actually subsidized high carbon emitters? Am I reading that right? It sounds like they called it a “carbon” tax merely as an excuse to implement another tax. It seems to have had little to do with its stated goal of reducing CO2.”

    The carbon tax had nothing to do with the stated goal. The purpose of the Carbon Tax was to raise prices of electricity via taxation based on the premise that CO2 is bad, and hand that money back to lower wage earners as a tax offset. That’s why it was revenue neutral; every dollar collected went straight out the door. The net effect, though, was to allow the Labor Party to take money from the “wealthy” and give it to the “poor”. Guess the demographic of the typical Labor Party voter.

    Another phrase for this is “pork barreling”.

    All this crap was wrapped up in what then-Prime Minister Rudd called “the greatest moral challenge of our time”. I mean, if the rich end up subsidizing the poor in dealing with a moral challenge, that’s ok, isn’t it?

  6. Lou Geiger
    Again, see British Columbia’s revenue neutral carbon tax for a real world, successful, working example of a carbon tax policy.

    Well, successful for Bellingham, perhaps.

  7. British Columbia’s carbon tax in fact does not have any effect other than on the taxpayers wallet. The data used is incomplete and misleading. See earlier Anthony post.

  8. More evidence of just how unjust and insane the carbon tax concept actually is.
    End it world wide.

  9. This is a tiny example of what goes on with U.S. health care program cost shift finance on a daily basis.

  10. Tax and subsidize – the status quo, not change. Govern by appearances, not substance.

    The Obamacene, not the Anthropocene defines the New World Order. How ironic that the fear of super control of our lives by right wing capitalists has not happened because what the left eco-green made was blinkered chaos: as long asthe rhetoric is correct, anything goes. “Green it” and walk away. Doing something that improves lives ìs no longer important. Why?

    Because all of “us” have already got allthe goodies we want. What’s left to work on is just our social image, the basis for our self image. Strt, proclaim loudly and drink Chardonnay. We’re good, ignore the rest.

    BTW, the reason there was such a fuss about making sure the “tax”was returned to the taxpayers is that the taxes that were collected never went to the government. They ended up in the corporate offers and everyone knew it. Subsidies, exemptions and rebates: a government of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  11. Suprise, suprise. The big corporations were getting a big rake-off which was being paid for by the punters.

  12. This is something that people just do not understand. If you “follow the money”, the single group that benefits the most from carbon taxes, panic over anthropogenic warming and/or “climate change”, increased energy prices in general is (drumroll please!) — the energy industry, especially those parts of the industry that use or provide fossil fuels.

    Power companies make marginal profits on what they sell. If you double the price of energy, they make twice as much money. Anything “society” does that raises the price of electricity makes them more money, not less. They are perfectly happy to see any number of restrictions, exceptions, added costs for using e.g. coal to make electricity because they actually can do arithmetic and can see that — barring a breakthrough discovery of e.g. cheap and easy nuclear fusion, the invention of a cheap battery capable of storing 50,000 kwh in 50 pounds of processed silicon that has no memory effect, or the like — there is simply no way in the foreseeable future to do without coal based electricity globally. Even displacing coal-generated electricity with alternatives only makes them more money — a lot more money — as long as the replacement isn’t vastly cheaper in real dollars. It just lets them charge even more for the coal and coal generated electricity so that the coal makes them just as much money for an even longer period of time.

    The only thing that makes these companies lose sleep at night is the possibility that somebody will invent a handy-dandy home fusion generator so cleverly built that one pours water in the tank and gets a century’s worth of electricity for an ordinary household out without any additional investment. I’d hate to be the inventor of such a device — one would have to post the plans on the internet and put them directly into the public domain and hope that the fait accompli would deter the otherwise inevitable assassins. But CAGW/CACC is, if anything, funded and supported by the very energy industry that it “appears” to be attacking. It’s just another opportunity to make even more money providing the essential commodity our civilization depends on without the pesky interference of either a free market system or public regulation.

    rgb

  13. Leo Geiger said on July 17 at 8:15 ….
    ——————————————————
    There is no successful real world carbon tax solution. It has been pretty well demonstrated by real world scientists that global warming from man-made CO2 is so small against what Mother Nature decides to do that it is inconsequential and that the CO2 increases are actually beneficial to all life on earth. It is plant food, not pollution. Carbon taxes are schemes to line the pockets of progressives with money stolen from tax payers and the companies that provide them jobs.

  14. I’m for the carbon tax as long as there’s an offsetting reduction in income taxes. Because carbon taxes can impact the poor I would implement them over a 20 to 30 year period while offsetting the increase in government revenue with reductions in the income tax rate (I suppose a reduction in sales tax and value added tax would also be indicated).

    However, I would also tax methane emissions from industry and agriculture, and co2 emissions from cement plants. The methane emission tax can be implemented as a gradual tax on cattle and other animals we raise for food according to their tendency to break wind. We can also apply a methane emissions tax to rice growers. This will make rice more expensive, but that’s fine with me because I prefer eating ravioli.

  15. Fernando Leanme says:

    July 17, 2014 at 10:07 am

    “I’m for the carbon tax …”
    ====

    Why are you for something that hurts average folks and lines pockets of political friends. There is no justification for a carbon tax.

    As an aside would you tax diamonds, pencils, tires, slab wood, Tupperware, farmers cows, etc?

  16. “…British Columbia’s revenue neutral carbon tax for a real world, successful, working example of a carbon tax policy.”

    Sure its easy for a Carbon Tax in a place that is 86.3 per cent hydroelectric. The tax was set up to claw money from Alberta.

  17. I actually would not mind a large Consumption Tax at all. But only in trade for no or fixed, low, no returns needed income taxes. Consumption taxes are much fairer. Consumption taxes are also carbon taxes, so all the greens can be happy too.

  18. @Leo Geiger says: July 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Leo if the B.C.tax is really revenue neutral, exactly what is the point?
    In reality these taxes raise the price of energy which reduces our level of civilized existence. Our advanced civilized existence is predicated on abundant inexpensive energy, get over it Leo !! Don’t put us back to some imagined better times of simple living with less energy.

  19. The BC Carbon Tax is an outrageous fraud and has served only to punish hospitals and schools which have seen their available funds shrink by having to pay this tax. A sneaky way for the Liberal government to reduce spending on education and health care. It is not based on any market value for carbon offsets (which are a tiny fraction of the level set by the Liberals). And as with any tax, there were initial reductions in income tax supposedly to offset the carbon tax which were quickly clawed back ensuring a net gain in revenue (Leo: have you checked your BC individual deduction amount for 2013?)

  20. Leo Geiger says:
    July 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

    One needs to separate the broad policy from how it is implemented. Poor implementation does not mean the original policy was a bad idea. Again, see British Columbia’s revenue neutral carbon tax for a real world, successful, working example of a carbon tax policy.
    ####

    BS. If the implementation is flawed, then the base process being implemented is flawed. A process must be implementable otherwise it is useless. Generally, the architects of the implementation are also the architects of the policy. If they are incompetent in designing an implementation, then they are most certainly incompetent in designing policy. Lefties always pull this “Flawed Implementation” excuse whenever one of their policies proves to be an undeniable disaster.

    “Marxism is good in theory” …. Yeah, right!

  21. The problem with the Aussie carbon tax scheme was that it did not create enough dependencies and special interest groups for the revenue in order to lock in place forever. That was the design scheme of the Waxman-Markey carbon tax bill in the U.S. It included revenue re-allocations to the extent that large blocks of funding could be funneled to inner city organizers among many special interest groups for social engineering. That is why Obama never really gave up on it when his party backed away.

  22. I’m for the carbon tax as long as there’s an offsetting reduction in income taxes. Because carbon taxes can impact the poor
    ============
    if carbon taxes will get rid of CO2, then taxes on the poor will make them wealthy. Similarly, if we were to tax stupid it would make everyone smart. Let’s start by taxing politicians the heaviest, and thus make them both wealthy and smart.

  23. Big Business LOVES Big Regulation. They profit by mandates and regulations that destroy smaller competition, and they often find ways to work in some easy cash by publicly supporting the latest government program. Most liberals do not realize this at all. If they did, we’d have a better world. Regulations hurt small businesses and everyone but the big, government-crony businesses.

  24. Another item illustrating the need to uncover carbon “pollution” for what it really is:: plant food AND
    BENEFICIAL TO HUMAN BEINGS DIRECTLY.

    We can breathe more deeply with a higher carbon dioxide concentration, thus getting more oxygen. I think the reason we love coke and soda so much is because it gives us more carbonic acid, enabling deeper breathing.

  25. In the regulatory framework of U.S. utilities, the provider is guaranteed a fair rate of return and the rate payers make up the difference be it nuclear plant cost over runs, storms, or any other verifiable losses.

  26. More on the BC revenue neutral carbon tax, since the comment here continue to suggest most people know little about it:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-insidious-truth-about-bcs-carbon-tax-it-works/article19512237/

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/08/climate-policy-canada

    As a way to curb emissions, the scheme has been a roaring success. According to the report, before 2008 the average British Columbian used as much fuel as other Canadians did. By 2012 fuel consumption per person had dropped by 17.4% in BC, even as it rose by 1.5% in the rest of the country. The province now uses less fuel per head than any other. Overall emissions declined, too, by 10% between 2008 and 2011. At the same time BC’s consumption of aviation fuel, which is exempt from the tax, remained in line with other provinces’, bolstering the case that the shift can be attributed to the tax and not some other factor.

    Crucially, the levy does not appear to have hurt families, the poor and businesses, as opponents argued it would. In fact, BC’s economic performance, though hardly stellar—output per person dipped by 0.15% in the period 2008-11—was slightly less miserable than the 0.23% drop in the rest of Canada. Mr Elgie attributes this benign effect to the tax’s revenue-neutral design, so every dollar raised is to be returned in tax cuts, and gradual phase-in, giving companies and individuals time to adjust. The resulting tax cuts amounted to C$1.14 billion in 2011-12 alone (C$182 million more than the carbon tax brought in). BC now has the lowest personal income tax rate in Canada for those earning up to C$119,000 and is tied with Alberta and New Brunswick for the lowest corporate rates.

  27. Leo Geiger says:
    July 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    But Leo, how many people in BC drive to Washington to buy no-CO2-Tax Gas at the stations right across the border? How many Vancouverites arrange their weekly errands to include at least one trip across the border to shop and fill the tanks.

    A tax scheme that transfers wealth across the border doesn’t really help anything. We had a post on here not long ago (probably last winter) that analyzed the change in driving habits in BC that showed the miles driven hadn’t changed, just the source of fuel. As always people will do what they have to do to survive and all government does is make them get more creative in how they go about it.

  28. That’s it, Lou… quote the Globe and Mail. Because that’s not a biased source at all, is it?

    Well, here’s the thing. You just go on ahead and champion BC’s carbon tax. Once it’s all “phased in” you will maybe, dimly, begin to understand where the problem lies. Oh, did I use the word “lies”? Why, yes, I did.

    By the way, I am an Albertan, and have made the conscious decision to simply never go to BC ever again. I’ve sold the BC property I used to own. I no longer have friends there (the last few moved back to Alberta in the last year or two). Nothing west of the Rockies matters any more. I mean, they’re just trying to block our progress, take our cars, jack the prices of everything, while whining and moaning about how destructive Albertans are.

    I suspect some sort of LSD infusion in the water supply.


  29. rgbatduke says:

    July 17, 2014 at 10:03 am

    This is something that people just do not understand. If you “follow the money”, the single group that benefits the most from carbon taxes, panic over anthropogenic warming and/or “climate change”, increased energy prices in general is (drumroll please!) — the energy industry, especially those parts of the industry that use or provide fossil fuels.


    Bob,
    You got part of it. Things of course are never quite as simple as the model one creates to understand something. The bribe up front where the industry folks profit initially is actually a bit of a bribe to reduce their opposition to horrible ideas. Also, while an industry can be found dabbling in politics this way, it’s usually to screw the competition, direct and or indirect. For instance, the coal industry would like to mess up the natural gas industry and the nuclear industry and the nuclear industry wants to screw up the natural gas and coal industries. Note that since in some cases coal and natural gas may be divisions of the same company so there is less of a combative nature there than with nuclear. You can bet the fossil fuel guys are backing the anti nuke nutcakes while the nuclear guys are backing the anti carbon dioxide kooks.

    I am afraid in this case though that these front end bribes are not part of some long term relationship at the expense of the customers – probably like the industry guys are expecting.

  30. So basically what I see here is that any tax at all is designed to suck to teat of as many industries as possible, good or bad, polluter or not, so that a governing body can redistribute income to …. entities that support campaigns? No wonder conservative and liberal industries send money to both sides of the isle. They know they’ll get it back.

  31. Leo Geiger says:
    July 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

    One needs to separate the broad policy from how it is implemented. Poor implementation does not mean the original policy was a bad idea. Again, see British Columbia’s revenue neutral carbon tax for a real world, successful, working example of a carbon tax policy.

    My goodness, Leo, you must be living in a different universe. See my four-part series on the BC lunacy, viz:

    The Real Canadian Hockeystick

    Fuel On The Highway in British Pre-Columbia

    British Columbia, British Utopia

    Why Revenue Neutral Isn’t, and Other Costs of the BC Tax

    In addition to not being revenue neutral at all, and being a war on the poor, as I point out in the final installment:

    If we assume 1) that the BC folks could hold their CO2 emissions steady, with absolutely no increase for 50 years, and 2) that CO2 is the secret control knob that regulates planetary temperature, and 3) climate sensitivity of the secret CO2 control knob is not less than 3°C per doubling of CO2 … assuming all of those things, they’d achieve a 0.003°C reduction in temperature in half a century. Anything less than 100% on any of those, of course, means less than three thousandths of a degree savings.

    I constantly am surprised at folks like yourself who think that a 0.003°C POSSIBLE reduction of temperature in fifty years is worth any pain and suffering at all, much less that incurred by a carbon tax.

    Anyhow, read the posts, and if you still think the BC plan is a great idea, come back and we can discuss it …

    w.

  32. CodeTech says:
    July 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    By the way, I am an Albertan, and have made the conscious decision to simply never go to BC ever again. I’ve sold the BC property I used to own. I no longer have friends there (the last few moved back to Alberta in the last year or two). Nothing west of the Rockies matters any more. I mean, they’re just trying to block our progress, take our cars, jack the prices of everything, while whining and moaning about how destructive Albertans are.

    Not only that, but the good BC folks make about a quarter of their provincial income by selling … you guessed it … evil coal. They’re too pure and green to burn it themselves, and are blessed with hydro so they don’t have to, but by golly, they’re happy to dig it up and sell it regardless of CO2.

    It does, however, give you an insight into the guilt that drives the BC claims of green nobility …

    w.

  33. Its long since known that the “big polluters” have been profiting handsomely since the carbon tax was introduced. Even Hydro Tasmania in the first year made an addition ~$50mil profit as a direct result of the “price on carbon”.

  34. Our Aussie Greens are more honest than your BC ones; if ours could muster 50% of the vote instead of 8%, they would ban the export of coal completely! Stupid, ignorant, etc etc but in this respect, honest. (They aren’t honest in anyother respect).

  35. About BC: There are a lot of loonies here, and the great eco-fraud money launderers are very active here, spreading dissent, bribing native tribes (well, “first nations” to us locals), and threatening anything that might be industrial, commercial or resource-based. People like Dr. Tim Ball are finally getting their say in more and more places, as evidenced by his appearance today on a talk show that has, for several years, licked the manure-stained boots of Andrew Weaver etc.

    Weaver finally came out of his academia-shrouded political closet as a Green Party pol, and while he did get elected to our province’s legislature (in a riding of yuppie, Lycra-garbed latte sippers and older coupon-clippers), his influence is largely aromatic, or at least tending that way.

    We must all walk a fine line to avoid the extreme wrath of 13 Billion dollars a year of eco NGO propaganda which lays in wait for any right-of-centre government to make the wrong move. It isn’t the gov, baby, it’s the Green Machine that gave us our Carbon Tax but I can feel the tide turning….

  36. Amen Willis, Amen.

    The concept of a “revenue neutral” tax is such a phantom. Making something which makes economic sense more expensive (taxing) and using the proceeds to redistribute to offset the distortion in a free and functioning market always carries costs. Those who think otherwise are invariably superannuated bureaucrats or other similarly real world isolated academics who view the economy as a zero sum game. I so tire of people who cannot understand mathematics; when something grows by more than price inflation, other factors are in play. Every artificial distortion is a drag on growth. Unfettered markets are by definition and fact efficient. Try telling that to virtually anyone without skin in the game and they go blank.

  37. As a British Columbian who was born in Toronto and lived in Lethbridge Alberta as a child and the past 47 years half an hour east inland of Vancouver in a city called Port Coquitlam surrounded by rivers to the east, west and south and mountains to the north, I might have some insights to the comings and goings of BC’rs.
    There are all sorts here. I don’t know how Global Warming caught hold here. I recall in my late teens or so considering emigrating south for the sake of my future family because of the coming ice age. During Expo 86, themed on ‘Transportation’, with video of coal seams being blasted to smithereens by dynamite in promotional video about B.C. A lot of what goes on appears to be a game, pretending to believe the media party’s line about global warming. The NDP (socialists “New” Democrat Party) was 20% ahead in the polls during the last election when the leader open his mouth and announced he wouldn’t allow upgrading the Kinder Morgan pipeline, after the election the NDP had fewer seats then before.
    During a Liberal (current governing party) convention, they had considered axing the carbon tax but decided that the reduced taxes to make the carbon tax revenue neutral would be to hard to revert back to a higher rate, so they kept the carbon tax.
    We have built a new replacement Pitt River Bridge, a new Golden Ears Bridge linking Maple Ridge with Langley (which I used today, on my bike :-) ), and a new Port Mann 10 lane bridge (I’m still waiting for the bike lane to be built on that one).
    A new Bridge will probably be built to replace the Massey Tunnel that goes under the Fraser river, which will allow deepening of the river once the tunnel is removed so bigger ships (coal laden :-) ) can make their way to new ports.
    I know many skeptics, and I teach a few as well here in Lotus land. I’m going to put up a Monckton “No Global Warming for 17 years 8 months” (the most current one I have) poster here in the Langley Starbucks I’m sitting at before I trek on back home. Done, and I took a picture :-)

  38. Fernando Leanme says:
    July 17, 2014 at 10:07 am

    “I’m for the carbon tax …”

    Disgraceful

    NotAGolfer says:
    July 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Big Business LOVES Big Regulation (socialism). They profit by mandates and regulations that destroy smaller competition, and they often find ways to work in some easy cash by publicly supporting the latest government program. Most liberals do not realize this at all. If they did, we’d have a better world. Regulations hurt small businesses and everyone but the big, government-crony businesses.

    Very well put. It is sad most people don’t get this very simple point.

  39. Look and listen, it is not about climate change or C02, it is all about advancing a new economists theory of exchange, profit making and distribution to achieve whatever social change you desire to impose on the unsuspecting and gullible voters.

    The users cloak the agenda with whatever propaganda they can use to achieve that objective, and saving the world, or the most specious emotional claptrap is an essential tool – makes their agenda look good, urgent, absolutely necessary so that dumb voters will buy it.

    How those with an agenda must hate the internet for its ability to question rather than meekly accept what is dished up to them dressed in that emotional propaganda and a good reason we will see increasing attempts to suppress or curb the free exchange of ideas or theories via the internet. May we always have the right to read freely, debate issues, think, reason, and consider, as basic to our freedom and respect for society.

    In Australia the carbon tax was political window dressing while profiting from doing the opposite for some and by wrecking our economy. Imposing incredible economic pain and division within the community in the process.

  40. @ Neil
    “… The purpose of the Carbon Tax was to raise prices of electricity via taxation based on the premise that CO2 is bad, and hand that money back to lower wage earners as a tax offset. …”
    ____

    That doesn’t answer my original question, unless you think AGL Energy is one of those “lower wage earners”? If that’s where the carbon tax money was supposed to go, why did AGL expect to get $242 million of “Government assistance” this year under the carbon tax? I have yet to see anyone explain that.

  41. CodeTech says:
    July 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    By the way, I am an Albertan, and have made the conscious decision to simply never go to BC ever again. I’ve sold the BC property I used to own. I no longer have friends there (the last few moved back to Alberta in the last year or two). Nothing west of the Rockies matters any more. I mean, they’re just trying to block our progress, take our cars, jack the prices of everything, while whining and moaning about how destructive Albertans are.

    I’ve seen Albertans drive…

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  42. CodeTech says: That’s it, Lou… quote the Globe and Mail. Because that’s not a biased source at all, is it?

    Maybe the same arguments in favour of a revenue neutral carbon tax coming from a different source would have more weight here. Here are George Shultz, economist and Secretary in the Nixon and Reagan cabinets, and Nobel Price winning economist Gary Becker, writing last year in The Wall Street Journal:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323611604578396401965799658

  43. Willis Eschenbach says:

    In addition to not being revenue neutral at all…

    I am aware of your posts. I am also aware that economists use the term “revenue neutral” in regards to a policy like this to mean revenue neutral for the government, not the individual, and for good reason. This is the situation in British Columbia. You can make up your own definition of “revenue neutral” to use in blog guest essays and declare

    a perfectly “revenue neutral” tax would not change any individual’s taxes

    but that is not how the term is used out in the world.

    I constantly am surprised at folks like yourself who think that a 0.003°C POSSIBLE reduction of temperature in fifty years is worth any pain and suffering at all

    Two things:

    First, BC has about 4.5 million people. That represents 0.065% of the world’s population. Of course their contribution to the total amount of GHG in the atmosphere will be small, as will the impact of any policy to limit emissions compared to the total.

    This same logical fallacy is used again and again. Canada is only a few percent of the total emissions. What happens in Canada doesn’t matter. Australia is only a few percent. What happens in Australia doesn’t matter. Why stop there? The U.S. might be a top emitter in total, but on a state by state level, each state is only a few percent of the total, so each state doesn’t matter.

    I get the impression that people who make this sort of argument would be easily caught up by the old trick question “What weighs more: a tonne of feathers or a tonne of bricks?” “A tonne of bricks, of course!” they would say, “because a feather is inconsequential, so if you add up all the feathers they’ll weigh nothing….”

    Second, since the economic data from the past 5 years shows that “pain and suffering” means economic performance that matches (or slightly exceeds) the national average in Canada while simultaneously achieving a 17% emissions reduction (compared to a slight increase in emissions in the rest of Canada), bring on the pain and suffering.

    No doubt the emissions reductions will all be explained away by the usual claims that everyone in B.C. is filling up their car in Bellingham, Washington now.

    People are smarter than governments. Individuals and businesses do a better job of finding ways to reduce emissions through economic pricing signals than governments can, in a system that sees all carbon tax income returned through income and corporate tax cuts. No money is taken out of the economy. As B.C. has shown these past few years, the policy can and does work. I understand that some people would prefer it didn’t work since the real world B.C. example makes it hard to keep fear mongering about this type of policy causing economic catastrophe, though.

  44. I may have messed up the formatting on that last post. Apologies if the whole thing appears in italics, instead of only the quotations (which are indented, except the opening line).

    [Correct now? .mod]

  45. Leo Geiger says- ‘Australia is only a few percent. ‘
    And according to IBUKU Australia is a carbon sink. Reparations now.

  46. There’s much more behind AGL’s bleating than the impact of the carbon tax. Check out their investment in renewable energy. Their website won’t tell you about the massive consumer-funded subsidies they receive from that. http://www.agl.com.au/about-agl/how-we-source-energy/renewable-energy

    These big energy companies are going to be hit hard once Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) is dismantled – the Abbott Govt’s next major focus, which is so complex most Australians don’t understand it. Under the RET a single wind turbine can pull in $500,000 per year – paid to the companies and subsidised through consumers’ electricity bills (which are phenomenally high). Energy companies like AGL have invested in windfarms with over 100 turbines, as well as those other renewable energy enterprises that have swallowed government funding and are going down the gurgler. Go figure.

    If you’re an investor, pull your money out and move it somewhere much, much safer. Today.

  47. Leo Geiger says:
    July 17, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    In addition to not being revenue neutral at all…

    I am aware of your posts. I am also aware that economists use the term “revenue neutral” in regards to a policy like this to mean revenue neutral for the government, not the individual, and for good reason. This is the situation in British Columbia. You can make up your own definition of “revenue neutral” to use in blog guest essays and declarea perfectly “revenue neutral” tax would not change any individual’s taxes

    but that is not how the term is used out in the world.

    As I pointed out in the post you claim to have read, the BC government uses the following definition, which I discussed at length:

    The carbon tax is revenue neutral, meaning every dollar generated by the tax is returned to British Columbians through reductions in other taxes.

    Note that I didn’t make a new definition. I pointed out that despite their definition, the poor take it in the shorts. And I pointed out that in fact it is NOT revenue neutral, viz:

    The fifth cost is the tax on the tax. Of course, the Government of Canada gets to charge the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on all transactions … including the carbon tax. So while BC doesn’t keep any of the tax money, Ottawa is extracting thirty million bucks per year from British Columbians, charging them money for the privilege of being taxed on their carbon-based energy use …

    The government is siphoning off thirty megabucks of tax dollars every year, and you claim that is “revenue neutral”? Get real. But that’s not all the government gets:

    The sixth cost is the overhead. You can’t run a complex program like a carbon-based energy tax without lots of paper pushers. And when you have paper pushers you need representatives of the porkoisie to supervise them and keep them from being fired. You need people to write the regulations. You need people to interpret the regulations. You need people to make the regulations more complex. You need people to count every molecule of CO2, and I’m telling you, even on a molecular scale those buggers are tiny. You need carbon cops to enforce the tax, and courts to punish people who are guilty of tax evasion. You need people to explain the complex regulations and forms to the poor bastards that have to fill them out. You need cheerleaders to write endlessly optimistic speeches about how well things are going. The list goes on for a while more, and no part of it is cheap, it’s government work …

    The seventh cost is the pensions. Every person taking your tax money today and faithfully giving it back to you tomorrow in blessed revenue neutrality will be taking your tax money for thirty years after they retire and not giving back a dime.

    So the government employees are making good money out of the so-called “revenue neutral” tax, you know, the tax where the BC Governments claims that “every dollar generated by the tax is returned to British Columbians through reductions in other taxes” … but where are the dollars coming from to pay the carbon cops and the paper pushers? Why … from the BC taxpayer to the government. How on earth can you claim that is “revenue neutral”? But it gets worse

    The eighth cost is the rent-seekers. These include folks like Sustainable Canada and other organizations for whom this is a grant-raising bonanza. Then there are a host of lawyers, advisers, accountants, consultants, and the rest of the good folk who make their living out of the hysteria surrounding the alarmism and the complexities of the regulations. They produce nothing useful, they are a dead weight on society, but they come right along with the tax, they mate for life.

    How many of your BC tax dollars have flowed to the rent-seekers as a result of the tax, in consulting fees and commissions and for reports and analyses and carbon inventories and the like … and where does that money come from? Fairies? Or the taxpayers of BC?

    My friend, it’s clear that YOU don’t understand the concept of “revenue neutral”. I’m using the BC Government’s definition, and guess what? Under that definition, it’s not “revenue neutral” in the slightest.

    You go on to say:

    I constantly am surprised at folks like yourself who think that a 0.003°C POSSIBLE reduction of temperature in fifty years is worth any pain and suffering at all

    Two things:

    First, BC has about 4.5 million people. That represents 0.065% of the world’s population. Of course their contribution to the total amount of GHG in the atmosphere will be small, as will the impact of any policy to limit emissions compared to the total.

    My point is that the costs of the carbon tax are huge for the people of BC. Perhaps you think such huge costs are justifiable for the sake of a POSSIBLE cooling of 0.003°C. I’m sure many BC taxpayers would disagree, whether or not anyone else joins your fantasy parade …

    This same logical fallacy is used again and again. Canada is only a few percent of the total emissions. What happens in Canada doesn’t matter. Australia is only a few percent. What happens in Australia doesn’t matter. Why stop there? The U.S. might be a top emitter in total, but on a state by state level, each state is only a few percent of the total, so each state doesn’t matter.

    So your claim is that a few people paying a huge amount, and screwing the poor in the process, for a really tiny gain is worthwhile, because if everyone paid a huge amount, we MIGHT see a quarter of a degree of cooling?

    Leo, the BC tax has done untold damage to the poor already, as my four posts amply demonstrate. You justify it on the basis that it MIGHT help the poor in the future. I hope you realize how cold and callous that sounds …

    Next, you conveniently ignore the fact that something like a quarter of BC’s income, the very wealth that allows BC folks to live your nice lifestyle, the income that pays the taxes that support the carbon cops, comes from selling dirty, nasty coal … but of course, you don’t include that in YOUR emissions, oh, no, that’s on all the bad evil folks that are responsible for burning the coal that YOU mined and sold … you’re a bunch of coal barons making megabucks off of CO2 emitting fossil fuels, your hypocrisy in this is palpable.

    Finally, the idea that India and China and the third world is somehow going to join your fantasy world is a cruel joke. The emission problem is not in the west, it is in the developing world. And they will not tell their people they can’t have refrigerators just because some BC loonies say it’s a bad idea to burn coal, the main fuel they have … you know, coal, the fuel you sell them and then blame them for burning? That coal?

    Not only that, but you are swimming upstream. Canada has already opted out of Kyoto, as have Russia and Japan. Australia just got rid of their carbon tax. The Copenhagen and Doha rounds of the climate gorgeapalooza showed that no one wants more sacrifice for such a low return.

    I get the impression that people who make this sort of argument would be easily caught up by the old trick question “What weighs more: a tonne of feathers or a tonne of bricks?” “A tonne of bricks, of course!” they would say, “because a feather is inconsequential, so if you add up all the feathers they’ll weigh nothing….”

    Perhaps you or your friends might make that mistake. I and my friends wouldn’t.

    Second, since the economic data from the past 5 years shows that “pain and suffering” means economic performance that matches (or slightly exceeds) the national average in Canada while simultaneously achieving a 17% emissions reduction (compared to a slight increase in emissions in the rest of Canada), bring on the pain and suffering.

    Oh, please. I note that you don’t say why BC is staying afloat economically … the answer is exports of coal and natural gas. BC coal export capacity is doubling, and BC has just signed an agreement with India to export more coal to them. The 2012 economic report says:

    In British Columbia, real GDP increased 2.9 percent, following a 3.2-percent increase in 2010. Output in goods industries led the increase (up 5.6 percent). Increased global demand for natural resources led to growth in oil and gas extraction, engineering construction and machinery manufacturing. Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction rose 24 percent from increased mineral and natural gas exploration activity.

    and

    While oil prices rose 19.7 percent during 2011, natural gas prices fell 9.0 percent. Coal prices grew robustly at 22.6 percent, increas- ing the value of Canada’s exports, mostly to Asian destinations.

    Coal is BC’s number one export, and the rise in coal prices is keeping you prosperous… you sure you want to boast about how well your economy is doing because of increased coal profits and the concomitant CO2 production that you conveniently forget to add to your emissions totals?

    And according to “Canada Emissions Trends 2013“, while you dropped your per capita emissions by 16% from 2005-2011 (the last years of record), Ontario kicked your butt with a 22% drop in emissions, and even the freakin’ Territories did better than you with a 19% drop … and that doesn’t even begin to count the coal emissions from your exports. Color me totally unimpressed.

    No doubt the emissions reductions will all be explained away by the usual claims that everyone in B.C. is filling up their car in Bellingham, Washington now.

    Dude, I provided DATA that shows just exactly that, and lots of BC folks chimed in to say I was right. Even Albertans don’t buy fuel in BC. You can’t hand-wave facts away just because you don’t like them. In addition, every province in Canada reduced its emissions over the period 2005-2011, you aren’t special in the slightest.

    People are smarter than governments. Individuals and businesses do a better job of finding ways to reduce emissions through economic pricing signals than governments can, in a system that sees all carbon tax income returned through income and corporate tax cuts. No money is taken out of the economy. As B.C. has shown these past few years, the policy can and does work. I understand that some people would prefer it didn’t work since the real world B.C. example makes it hard to keep fear mongering about this type of policy causing economic catastrophe, though.

    You clearly don’t understand one thing about a scientific discussion. Opinions are worthless in science. Nobody cares what you think, only what you can demonstrate and substantiate. I have done exactly that to show the manifold problems of the BC tax. You think shaking your head and flapping your lips will make that go away? Think again.

    To date, you have made a bunch of claims, but you have not demonstrated that one single thing that I said in my posts was in error. Heck, you didn’t even notice that I was discussing the official BC Government’s definition of “revenue neutral”, not my own as you speciously claimed. And despite my providing evidence showing that the Federal Government is taking $30 million per year out of your economy, not to mention the payments for the parasites and the porkoisie, you still claim that “no money is taken out of the economy” … laughable.

    Now if you want to start over to try to show that my claims are wrong, fine. We’ll declare this first round a mulligan. To do it, you have to find something somewhere in my four posts that you can SHOW to be false. Not claim to be false, but show to be false. I did a huge amount of research and study to write those pieces, and everything is cited and referenced. If you want to take that on, you’ll have to do more than paint pretty word pictures about some glowing future where India and China decide to cut their own throats to please a bunch of quiche-eaters in British Columbia … and in fact, you better hope they don’t, or your coal exports will be worthless and your economy will be down the tubes.

    Good luck with your project, thanks much for standing up for what you believe in, report back with your findings.

    All the best,

    w.

  48. Tom J says:
    July 17, 2014 at 8:47 am
    I’m shocked. Shocked to discover that there’s gambling going on in this establishment. (And I always thought Casablanca was in Morocco.)

    Oh, what a wicked web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. (They must’ve had AGW in Shakespeare’s day.)

    Sorry to be a pedant, but it was Sir Walter Scott, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”

    Nice rebuttal Willis, as always, no body does it better (Oh & that was Carly Simon)!

  49. Nice response, Willis. Unfortunately, Leo is representative of an entire province. There IS a reason we call it the Left Coast. They actually, truly believe what they are saying. Genuinely. Personally I’d like to point out that The Eagles discussed all of this in Hotel California, a concept album that covered the mindset.

    There is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here…

    and

    They call it paradise I don’t know why…You call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye

    Although BC residents don’t care, I’m saddened by what they have become. And if any apologizing is to be done to grandchildren, it should be for wasting trillions of dollars building the insanely wasteful and useless wind generators and PV farms instead of building a healthy, reliable power/water/transportation infrastructure. ALL of that has been left behind in the rush to enrich swindlers, con artists, and lawyers.

  50. CodeTech says:
    July 18, 2014 at 4:42 am
    – – –
    Are you sure you aren’t thinking about Ontario?
    I have only seen 1 (one) single windmill in the lower-mainland, somewhere either in southern New Westminster or Southern Burnaby. I haven’t seen any PV farms. We mostly need supplemental power in the winter months to help heat or light our homes. The Burrard Thermal Plant kicks in during the cold spells :

    http://www.portmoody.ca/index.aspx?page=839

    Natural gas heats most homes in B.C. during the cold months (Sept to Juneuary mostly :-) ) and heats our cold water to make, um, hot water.
    One of my sisters had a stove installed in her home and can easily heat her home with firewood. I was visiting her this Christmas and I was surprised to find out that her large warm house was completely supplied heat by the stove. She asked one of her friends about how well her friends home was heated by their fireplace and was told that their home gets colder when they put a fire on.
    There are all sorts of people throughout B.C. You can reserve your derision for the Vancouver folks. I refuse to visit Vancouver until Mayor Gregor Robertson is no longer mayor. Besides, every time I visit Vancouver I’m told “Don’t ride your bike on the sidewalk”, or “Your not a pedestrian”. Grrrr.
    Make no mistake, I want the Carbon Tax gone, gone, gone.
    Talking about expenses. The Canadian federal standards for the building code caused a massive multi-billion dollar disaster known as the Condo Rot disaster. B.C.rs also added an extra billion dollars a year to costs for businesses by reinstating two separate accounting requirements for the G.S.T (federal) and the Provincial Sales Tax instead of merging into one accounting paper work system known as the Harmonized S.T. (HST). So that 30 million tax on tax pales in comparison.
    My city by the way had the lowest tax increase of all cities in B.C. in fact it decreased by 0.21 % :

    http://www.portcoquitlam.ca/Assets/2014+Tax+Edition.pdf?method=1

  51. Willis Eschenbach says: “…find something somewhere in my four posts that you can SHOW to be false.”

    OK.

    The government is siphoning off thirty megabucks of tax dollars every year, and you claim that is “revenue neutral”? Get real.

    The cuts to income and corporate taxes have actually exceeded the revenue brought in through the carbon tax by about 500 million dollars since its introduction. From the BC government: “Since it was first introduced in 2008, the carbon tax has returned $500 million more to taxpayers in tax reductions than it has raised in revenue.” http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/climate/A6.htm. The number is even higher in other more recent sources.

    The sixth cost is the overhead. You can’t run a complex program like a carbon-based energy tax without lots of paper pushers

    Complex? Before the carbon tax in BC, fuel taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, and corporate taxes already existed and were being collected, just like in every other jurisdiction on the planet. The “overhead” is the same “paper pushers” involved with the existing tax system. (Shultz and Becker mention this). Please point to an actual source, any source, that shows the size of the BC government bureaucracy has significantly increased due to the carbon tax, instead of assuming this must be the case.

    I suppose the carbon tax technically isn’t revenue neutral since they made the income and corporate tax cuts a bit too big and the government is taking in less total revenue now, to the benefit of BC taxpayers. The 500+ million dollars total in lost government revenue dwarfs the “thirty megabucks” and other costs (rent-seekers, bureaucratic costs, etc) you are concerned with, but if you have sources with some actual numbers for these things in BC that says otherwise and adds up to 500 million dollars, I would certainly be interested to read about it. I am sorry Willis, but I do give more weight to Nobel prize winning economists and published studies than your blog posts.

    I’ll stop there. You aren’t arguing with me, by the way. You are arguing with people like George Shutlz and Gary Becker.

  52. Leo Geiger says:
    July 18, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Willis Eschenbach says: “…find something somewhere in my four posts that you can SHOW to be false.”

    OK.

    The sixth cost is the overhead. You can’t run a complex program like a carbon-based energy tax without lots of paper pushers

    Complex? Before the carbon tax in BC, fuel taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, and corporate taxes already existed and were being collected, just like in every other jurisdiction on the planet. The “overhead” is the same “paper pushers” involved with the existing tax system. (Shultz and Becker mention this). Please point to an actual source, any source, that shows the size of the BC government bureaucracy has significantly increased due to the carbon tax, instead of assuming this must be the case.

    Really? I point to the BC Government as my source. I suppose you think that the brand new, fully staffed “Ministry of Environment Climate Action Secretariat was made out of recycled bureaucrats that they just happened to have lying around in some back room? And that they go to the series of meetings that they organized riding on unicorns?

    You know the CAS, the one that just hired a brand new Executive Director, presumably to work for free since you claim that there are no new costs for bureaucrats …

    Truly, my friend … is there anything you won’t believe? You actually think there’s a new government program anywhere on this planet that doesn’t create a new bureaucracy, and continue to grow from there until it is somehow killed? Really?

    Well, I guess it makes sense to me now that they could sell the carbon tax in BC, if that represents the level of critical thought in the Province.

    w.

  53. Leo Geiger says:
    July 18, 2014 at 6:05 am


    I’ll stop there. You aren’t arguing with me, by the way. You are arguing with people like George Shutlz and Gary Becker.

    If George Shutlz and Gary Becker show up to defend the tax, whoever they might be, I’ll discuss it with them. Until then, it’s just you and me and the ugly facts … plus a citation to Shutlz or whoever you choose to cite.

    I fear that your attempt to impress me with names of folks I’ve never heard of isn’t working ..

    w.

  54. Leo Geiger says:
    July 18, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Willis Eschenbach says: “…find something somewhere in my four posts that you can SHOW to be false.”

    OK.

    The government is siphoning off thirty megabucks of tax dollars every year, and you claim that is “revenue neutral”? Get real.

    The cuts to income and corporate taxes have actually exceeded the revenue brought in through the carbon tax by about 500 million dollars since its introduction. From the BC government: “Since it was first introduced in 2008, the carbon tax has returned $500 million more to taxpayers in tax reductions than it has raised in revenue.” http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/climate/A6.htm. The number is even higher in other more recent sources.

    The size of the cuts to taxes have been a MISTAKE, as everyone agrees. They overestimated the amount of money that the carbon tax would bring in (because of course people buy fuel in Washington and Alberta and evade the tax in every way that they can), so they overestimated the amount of money to return to the people of BC. In other words you got very lucky, it was not the plan to return one extra cent to you … but don’t worry, they’re working to fix that error as we speak.

    My point is that when they do hit their target and return every tax dollar to the good burghers of BC, they’ll still be siphoning $30 million per year out of your pockets.

    w.

  55. Leo Geiger says:
    July 18, 2014 at 6:05 am

    I am sorry Willis, but I do give more weight to Nobel prize winning economists and published studies than your blog posts.

    You mean Nobel Prize winners like Steven Chu, our unlamented ex-Secretary of Energy who had trouble converting from °C to °F? You want to put weight on his word, be my guest …

    As Richard Feynmann said, “Science is the belief in the fallibility of experts”. My advice is to not give weight to anyone’s opinions, including mine. Instead, look at the data and make up your own mind.

    w.

  56. I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT). The PCT has turned out to be a huge and expensive boondoggle, to the citizens of British Columbia.
    The PCT was set up to sell “carbon credits” to the public sector at $15 per ton. That money was then given to environmental groups for forest lands.
    The whole thing reminds me of an episode of “King of the Hill”.

    Spend 15 minutes watching the BC Auditor General’s video report.

    An Audit of Carbon Neutral Government

    http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/2013/report14/audit-carbon-neutral-government

  57. The size of the cuts to taxes have been a MISTAKE, as everyone agrees.

    That’s something I suppose — at least you have now acknowledged that there was a net tax reduction in British Columbia, and quite a large one, as a result of the carbon tax. It did not cost B.C. tax payers more money, whatever you might have earlier suggested. I see the goal posts have moved and this tax reduction now doesn’t count because it was a “mistake”. Good enough for me, we’ll leave it at that.

    You actually think there’s a new government program anywhere on this planet that doesn’t create a new bureaucracy, and continue to grow from there until it is somehow killed?

    No, Willis, I actually think that if you are going to imply that the implementation of a carbon tax creates significant bureaucratic and administrative costs, then you should be able to demonstrate significant bureaucratic and administrative costs these past six years in B.C. Economists writing on the subject nearly universally say a carbon tax presents very little administrative cost since it only involves changing rates on existing taxation mechanisms. So if you have some analysis that says otherwise for B.C. (departmental budgets for the period before and after the tax? Something? Anything?) please share.

    The bottom line: B.C. has had a carbon tax for 6 years. Economic growth during that period matches the Canadian average while emissions are down. The budget is balanced this year in B.C. (and in Canada too, for that matter). B.C. has the smallest public sector in Canada and the lowest corporate and personal income tax rates. The carbon tax came and the world didn’t end.

  58. Does this mean the carbon trading company also has to announce in Australia that they will see a revenue drop? I mean, there must have been a carbon trading board?

  59. garymount, I did wax poetic on my last paragraph, and was more talking generalities than BC.

    However, I stand by my comparison of BC to California, Oregon and Washington, and the establishment of a “Left Coast” way of thinking. And don’t worry, I have equal derision for like-minded people everywhere in the First World that hold power and attempt to drag us back to a third world way of life.

  60. Gawd…more reminders of the loony Rudd / Gillard era

  61. Leo Geiger says:
    July 18, 2014 at 10:09 am

    The size of the cuts to taxes have been a MISTAKE, as everyone agrees.

    That’s something I suppose — at least you have now acknowledged that there was a net tax reduction in British Columbia, and quite a large one, as a result of the carbon tax. It did not cost B.C. tax payers more money, whatever you might have earlier suggested. I see the goal posts have moved and this tax reduction now doesn’t count because it was a “mistake”. Good enough for me, we’ll leave it at that.

    No, we won’t leave it at that. The fact is that the populace got lucky, because the estimates were off. If the estimates had been correct, the amount returned to the people would have been exactly the amount of carbon taxes collected … less the $30 million per year sent to the Federal Government for the tax on the tax, less the cost of the bureaucrats, less the cost of the bureaucrats’ pensions, less the cost of the consultants, contracted emissions analysts, and other rentseekers.

    This is NOT a revenue neutral situation.

    You actually think there’s a new government program anywhere on this planet that doesn’t create a new bureaucracy, and continue to grow from there until it is somehow killed?

    No, Willis, I actually think that if you are going to imply that the implementation of a carbon tax creates significant bureaucratic and administrative costs, then you should be able to demonstrate significant bureaucratic and administrative costs these past six years in B.C.

    Oh, I see. Now, you admit that there are bureaucratic and administrative costs, but you claim they are “not significant” … the discussion was whether it is “revenue neutral”. If there is one penny of additional cost it is not revenue neutral as you have claimed.

    Economists writing on the subject nearly universally say a carbon tax presents very little administrative cost since it only involves changing rates on existing taxation mechanisms.

    Hogwash. They’ve set up, as I linked and cited, an entire new bureaucracy to administer the carbon tax. Did you not read my links?

    So if you have some analysis that says otherwise for B.C. (departmental budgets for the period before and after the tax? Something? Anything?) please share.

    Ah, no, my friend. YOU are the one claiming it is revenue neutral, so it is up to YOU to do the legwork. I’ve done mine, and published four posts on it. Now you want me to do yours? Fugeddaboutit.

    The bottom line: B.C. has had a carbon tax for 6 years. Economic growth during that period matches the Canadian average while emissions are down. The budget is balanced this year in B.C. (and in Canada too, for that matter). B.C. has the smallest public sector in Canada and the lowest corporate and personal income tax rates. The carbon tax came and the world didn’t end.

    That’s your measure of success, that the world didn’t end? Schools and hospitals are getting the shaft, but it’s OK because the world didn’t end? The Federal Government is taking $30 million from the BC taxpayers, but no worries, the world didn’t end?

    Yes, your economy is doing well, in large part because of EXPORT SALES OF COAL. The fact that you do not include emissions from that carbon proves your hypocrisy. You are willing to trumpet your economic success, but totally unwilling to include the CO2 emissions upon which that success is founded.

    When you include the emissions of the coal and natural gas that you so proudly claim the economic benefits of, BC is per capita the most CO2-emitting province in Canada. Spare me your pious platitudes, Leo. You are coal barons living high off the hog on your coal sales and pretending to be greenies, and it turns an honest man’s stomach to see it going on.

    w.

  62. Leo, who do you think is paying for the following:

    Greenhouse Gas Validation and Verification Services
    As voluntary and regulated carbon markets expand, organizations wishing to participate in these markets face a need for third-party assurance over greenhouse gas (GHG) assertions in order to establish carbon offsets or submit verified inventory reports.

    KPMG Performance Registrar Inc. (PRI) offers training, validation, and verification services based on the ISO 14065 standard to assist companies in meeting the requirements of evolving GHG programs, including those already active in British Columbia and Alberta.

    You have totally ignored the part of my analysis covering the costs of compliance with the carbon laws. These range from the time individuals take to fill out the forms, to the large expenses companies face for “training, validation, and verification services based on the ISO 14065 standard to assist companies in meeting the requirements of evolving GHG programs”.

    Revenue neutral? Who pays KPMG, the fairies?

    w.

  63. garymount says:
    July 20, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    There are many calls in B.C. to stop the “revenue neutral” component of the carbon tax, but of course to keep the tax.

    Thanks, Gary, I’d seen that and couldn’t remember where.

    Leo seems amazingly uninformed on the nature of bureaucracies. They continue to grow in cost until they die. He actually thinks that if e.g. $100 million in taxes is collected, and $100 million is returned to different people than it was taken from, screwing schools and hospitals and the poor in the process, that the books somehow balance. He thinks the carbon fairies staff the newly created bureaucracy to manage the carbon ripoff, and that there is no cost to the consumer in time, hassle, and money to comply with the law. He believes that the $30 million dollars each year siphoned off by the Federal government is monopoly money or something. He believes he has no responsibility for the coal sales that support the BC economy, and he doesn’t include those emissions in his bizarre accounting. He thinks that when KPMG advises some poor company on how to comply with the regulations, it comes out of the unicorns’ paychecks …

    And they call us deniers???

    w.

  64. Still at it?

    Hogwash. They’ve set up, as I linked and cited, an entire new bureaucracy to administer the carbon tax. Did you not read my links?

    Willis: the link you provided was to the Climate Action Secretariat. This “entire new bureaucracy to administer the carbon tax” has nothing to do with the administration of the carbon tax. That’s done by the Ministry of Finance.

    These “little” details matter in serious knowledgeable discussions. But you have moved firmly into fairies and unicorns so I’m moving on. Good luck with the ongoing alarmist fear mongering campaign about BC carbon taxes. Maybe the economic data will cooperate eventually.

  65. Leo Geiger;
    As a retired and low-income resident of BC, I can assure you that the cost of the carbon tax greatly exceeds any “neutralization” I receive. I resent being cited as evidence that such schemes do anything except inflate gross and net government revenues (in the short term, until the economic drag comes home to roost)

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