British Columbia's Carbon Tax Fails – Goalpost moved

Andrew Blackstone writes in WUWT Tips and Notes:

This may be of interest to some – British Columbia has failed in its quest for Carbon Tax Nirvana. Today it was whispered across the CBC airwaves that the British Columbia Carbon Tax (implemented in 2008) has failed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the province which have been rising since 2010.

This has required a new legislated target reduction date that has been moved with very little fanfare from 2020 to 2030.

The B.C. government has dropped its greenhouse gas reduction target, blaming the previous Liberal government for failing to do enough to meet the goal set in 2007.

On Monday, the NDP announced the 2020 target was being replaced with a 40 per cent reduction of 2007 levels by 2030, as part of a new Climate Change Accountability Act.

“The previous government, after stalling on sustained climate action for several years, admitted they could not meet their 2020 target, and those targets are repealed in this act,” said a statement released by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman.

Green leader gives endorsement

The new targets were supported by Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, as part of his agreement to support the NDP on confidence votes, the statement said.

As recently as January, Weaver had promised to pull his support for the NDP government if Premier John Horgan continued to pursue the development of LNG projects that would threaten B.C.’s ability to meet GHG targets.

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May 10, 2018 1:17 am

The majority of British Columbians support the Trans Mountain Pipeline. link The support for green initiatives is paper thin.
The NDP/Green government of BC is afraid that Alberta is going to turn off the taps on petroleum products. That would cause intense pain for individual citizens. link They absolutely are not willing to make major sacrifices in support of a ‘Green’ agenda.
The problem with the ‘Carbon Tax’ is that, to actually work, the tax would have to be high enough to cause pain to the citizens. That would cause the downfall of the government because BC has recall legislation. The ‘Carbon Tax’ as it currently exists is merely virtue signalling.

Joel O’Bryan
May 10, 2018 1:19 am

So I guess the good folks of B.C. have a choice:
1) affordable electricity using natural gas, or
2) much higher rates for electricity to demonstrate your Green-virtue, with zero measurable impact on global GHG emissions.
Just Total-up your electricity bills in September to determine how much 2-fold higher bills is worth compared to esoteric virtue sigaling.
The click is ticking.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 10, 2018 5:50 am

People have short memories. If the Greens can just get everyone used to double cost electricity over a period of pain then the public will stop noticing and it’s on to the next lunatic initiative to ram down everyone’s throats …

Reply to  cephus0
May 10, 2018 6:20 am

People look next door and ask why they are paying twice or three times as much.
The province of Ontario is having an election now. The Liberals are going to lose because of three issues: Economy, Taxes, and Energy costs. link

Reply to  commieBob
May 10, 2018 7:38 am

That’s great thanks Bob and I wish them every success! The green agenda is of course for everyone to be paying huge electricity costs and then there is no neighbour on a better deal who’s fence anyone can peek over.
Much the same thing is happening in the EU with the Eurocrats attempted destruction of the nation state. Just so long as the Visegrad countries hold out and refuse to accept the population level Islamic migrant waves then the EU cannot simply shrug and say “Hey, that’s just a part of modern life and unavoidable”. The Visegrad are a glaring contradiction and the EU are simply desperate to destroy them – but it isn’t going to work.

Reply to  cephus0
May 10, 2018 8:00 am

“The Visegrad are a glaring contradiction and the EU are simply desperate to destroy them – but it isn’t going to work.”
Especially since the UK rolled in the Brexit grenade.

Monna M
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 10, 2018 6:13 am

It’s not the electricity bills – we have hydroelectric power. It’s the ever-increasing tax on gasoline and diesel that raises the cost of food and consumer goods. It’s the tax on natural gas that most people heat their homes with. Truly this is a terrible, regressive tax on the poor.

Reply to  Monna M
May 10, 2018 9:00 pm

Hey Monna M. At least I’m lucky enough to live in Alberta, where the Carbon Tax is revenue neutral, right? I mean the NDP wouldn’t lie to me, would they?

Monna M
Reply to  Monna M
May 11, 2018 6:57 am

Good joke Matt. Of course politicians lie to you. The carbon tax was never revenue-neutral, and in BC they aren’t even trying to pretend anymore that it is. They just keep hiking it up.

Stewart Pid
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 10, 2018 6:52 am

Folks – BC electricity is dirt cheap. My bill for an entire year at my condo in Fernie BC is $314 Can = $246 US & per Kilowatt is less than 8 cents US average. And that is for a condo that has electric baseboard heaters and electric hot water tank.
And as another poster states BC electricity is almost entirely hydro power.

Reply to  Stewart Pid
May 10, 2018 10:32 am

Stewart Pid I am on Fortis in the West Kootenay and pay 15 cents/KWH due to the conservation rate.
You may be paying the lower 9 cent rate because of your small consumption. Do you live there year round?
No way an electric heated house would be that low. There is no gas in much of the interior.

Reply to  Stewart Pid
May 10, 2018 10:38 am

Ten years ago I was paying 7 cents/KWH. The increase is due to grid improvements and conservation programs which the utility charges us for, and the mandated conservation rate penalty.

Reply to  Stewart Pid
May 10, 2018 12:24 pm

While your little condo is using electricity for base boards and hot water I have a three bedroom HOUSE with the same. I was able to reach the usage breakout levels which cause the BC hydro rates to increase like a rocket to the moon. The first rate increase penalty is at 12 to 14 cents per KW and the next level is at 18 cents per KW. This causes the power bill to be $345 dollars for the month of December and January alone. I stopped that money drain by installing a gas fireplace which cut the power bills in half for those months. While the BC hydro likes to put forth the image of been green they suffer from peak loads and low water levels during the high demand months. So OMG BC hydro has to use peaking gas turbines and gas turbine cogen plants to make up the demand. The two 150 MW units at Campbell River have a fuel usage of 45 Million cubic feet of natural gas per day at full load. Most users on the system never know when they are running. During the 2013 / 2014 season these machines were running for 68 straight days during Dec./Jan. that’s 3060 million cubic feet of natural gas.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 10, 2018 7:09 am

The green left is a cancer that destroys economies and freedom. It closely resembles Nazism in its inhumane and murderous objectives.

Al Miller
Reply to  pyeatte
May 10, 2018 9:42 am

Strong words – and very correct sadly!

Judy Cross
Reply to  pyeatte
May 10, 2018 10:40 am

Remember, it was the National Socialist Party.

Reply to  pyeatte
May 10, 2018 2:37 pm

The nazi platform was a lot into environmentalism. (A fact few people who see nazi everywhere want to talk about.)

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 10, 2018 9:00 am

BC has surplus hydroelectric power, soon to be greatly in surplus due to the Peace River Site C boondoggle which the provincial government didn’t have the cajones to cancel. To over compensate for their spinelessness on that issue, they are acting all tough on stopping a pipeline from Alberta which will have negligible environmental consequence. To maintain the hysteria Hogwarts Horgan and his delusional Green buddies have resorted to hypothesising magical possible detrimental effects from a bitumen spill on the BC Coast.

Reply to  BCBill
May 10, 2018 10:43 am

BC is actually short of capacity in the winter and has to buy power from Transalta.
Our energy surplus is only during freshet when demand and wholesale prices are very low.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  BCBill
May 10, 2018 11:07 am

Ontario doesnt have much hydro It has nuclear but the tripling of electricity rates was caused by renewables subsidy and the large increases on gasoline and home heating oil were caused by carbon trading. Voters will not fogrive the politicians for these increases. We also will never forgive the greenies for pushing their non problem of CO2 that caused all this. We need more CO2 NOT less.

Reply to  BCBill
May 10, 2018 8:19 pm

It’s a lot more complicated than that (see here Basically BC buys electricity when it is cheaper to buy it than to produce it ourselves. We have excess capacity and are likely to continue to have it for some time. If we had control over the Columbia River Treaty reservoirs, we would have even more capacity.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 10, 2018 10:17 am

I so liked that near Spoonerism: “the click is ticking”.
If it was”the click is tocking” it would relate, IMO, to TocH lamps: as much brightness as could be expected.

Reginald Vernon Reynolds
May 10, 2018 1:25 am

There is a good chance they will achieve their new goal because by then there won’t be any industry or small business left. The NDP is comprised of people who have never worked in private enterprise or run a business, they are totally clueless and honestly believe that the answer to everything is to raise taxes.

Reply to  Reginald Vernon Reynolds
May 10, 2018 3:15 am

They are smarter than you think. They are using a strategy which allows them to obtain the wealth of successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople without having to go to the expense or take on the risk themselves. Businesses must compete for customers and revenue, politicians can coerce revenue from the taxpayers.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Reginald Vernon Reynolds
May 10, 2018 11:08 am

Deep down NDPers believe in socialism which is an impossiblity.

Stephen Richards
May 10, 2018 1:33 am

Carbon dioxide tax has only ever been about money. Money for bird mincers, money for social solidarity projects, money to bribe the voters

Reply to  Stephen Richards
May 10, 2018 2:32 am

For progressives to gain power and take your rights away. With people like these in power soon freedom will be a thing of the past. Big Brother.

Ron Long
May 10, 2018 3:20 am

This is a great example of “dysfunctional and Proud Of It” writ large. The only way to achieve a 40% reduction in 2007 carbon levels is to go wholesale nuclear, and the green idiology will not tolerate that. Any politician who advocates this with a straight face needs immediate pyschiatric examination, and any voter that votes….. Jeez, it’s the Great White North, evidentially filled with Hosers. Light something on fire and stay warm!

Reply to  Ron Long
May 10, 2018 6:34 am

Bc already supplies most of their electricity will hydro powered. It is heating and transportation they want to reduce by 40%. I guess if everyone switched to electric cars it would help, but they would need a lot more hydro powerstations.

Ron Long
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
May 10, 2018 10:53 am

But Jeff, what about our brother the fish? Do you know why sturgeon live just below hydroelectric dams? Because the salmon are chopped up into tasty bites by the hydroelectric turbines. Think Nuclear!

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Ron Long
May 10, 2018 11:25 am

The idiocy of this whole thing is that CO2 emission levels in Canada have been going down since 2007. Canada puts out 1.5% of world total. China puts out 30%. Just last year alone China’s emissions went up 4.1% which means their share went up over 1% of world total. China has cap and trade but only on the 67% of the Chinese economy that is owned by the Chinese Communist party (therefore it is meaningless). China does not have a carbon tax. Trudeau wants to put on a carbon tax which will increase the price of everything. It is pure madness because there is no problem. We need more CO2 NOT less.

old white guy
Reply to  Ron Long
May 11, 2018 6:02 am

most people in this country ignore the fact that the government is importing tens of thousands of third world welfare customers. logic would dictate that one cannot cut CO2, which is really not a problem, while importing thousands of new CO2 creators and increasing the population. It is all bogus. logic is lacking everywhere.

Mark Webb
May 10, 2018 3:33 am

Leftists, what can you say….

Reply to  Mark Webb
May 10, 2018 8:04 am


May 10, 2018 3:40 am

I grew up in BC. They are out of touch with the real world. I really think its time for a city or province to suffer a number of days without fossil fuels. I strongly support Alberta’s threat to cut them off. Texas should do the same to California. It’s time to stop appeasing these idiots and hit back otherwise its going to be a slow death spiral. Perhaps a hard shock or two will knock some sense into them.

Reply to  Peter
May 10, 2018 4:17 am

I think it is human nature to be generally apathetic until you start to feel discomfort. Until you are hungry or cold or too hot or thirsty you generally will not pay attention to a lot of what is going on around you (or care).
But the minute the power goes out or you can’t get gasoline things start to change rapidly. So far we here in the Canada/US haven’t hit the wall yet, but sooner than later one brutal heat wave or cold wave is going to push one area over the edge and maybe reality will finally set in. It may be California this summer or NYC this winter, but the time is getting close.
The good news for me anyway is I live in an area that has common sense and unless we have a major hurricane, things should be just fine. The areas most likely to be affected are the blue areas, so if they have to be uncomfortable for a while, about all I can say is you reap what you sow.

Reply to  rbabcock
May 10, 2018 6:01 am

“and maybe reality will finally set in”
And more likely it won’t. They will blame capitalism or ‘climate disruption’ or both or anything at all with the sole exception of lunatic ‘green’ policies. Virtually the entirety of the establishment and academia are supporting this to the hilt.
For the ultimate example of reality finally not setting in look at how Sweden is quite literally ripping itself apart with mind-blowing levels of hyper-virtue-signalling yet still does nothing to save itself from the looming unimaginably awful catastrophe looming on their very doorsteps.

Nick Werner
Reply to  Peter
May 10, 2018 7:22 am

Yeah, right. And if you believe that about all British Columbians, we were also able to elect Justin Trudeau without any involvement from the other provinces.

May 10, 2018 3:54 am

It’s just a tax. The Pigou wrapper was just to get people to accept it.

May 10, 2018 4:12 am

BC gets 95% of it’s electrical generation from hydro. The only way to get a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions is to hit transport and home heating (and possibly certain industries) very hard. I’ve heard from friends in the province that gasoline has been selling for as high as $1.70 a liter. That’s north of $6.00 a US gallon. That might work in a densely populated European country with excellent public transport, but not in a province the size of BC, where the price of real estate has forced workers to buy homes further and further away from city centers. I wonder how high they can crank the price of gas before the riots start.

Lee L
Reply to  Paul Stevens
May 10, 2018 9:56 am

According to car insurance stats, Vancouver BC and its suburbs registered 1.6 million motor vehicles in 2016.
According to Translink ( public transit authority), each vehicle on average emits about 4 tons CO2 per annum. Now if you ‘hit transport … very hard’ say by eliminating it all together, you’d remove 4 tons x 1.6 million = 6.4 million tons CO2 emissions per annum.
By way of comparison, a single modern coal fired electric plant when it goes online, say in China or India, will emit roughly 16 million tons per annum.
So take ALL THE FOSSIL FUELED CARS IN VANCOUVER BC AND SUBURBS off the road forever and you could offset roughly 1/3 of 1 Chinese coal fired electric plant. Until recently, China was bringing a new coal plant onstream every 5 days. All of those and more are still running. Now its companies are building about half of the 1600 new coal fired power plants being built world wide. (
So BC is going to reduce 40 percent of WHAT ? Virtue signaling at its stupidest.

May 10, 2018 4:35 am

The co2 tax is not intended to reduce co2. It’s intended to raise revenue.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
May 10, 2018 4:35 am

British Columbia, the South Australia of Canada.

Reply to  Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
May 10, 2018 4:54 am

Or would be if they didn’t have hydro power (which by green definition can’t be counted as renewable even though the source of that power is renewed with each snowfall.) They are like South Australia if Tasmania (and its hydro power) were actually attached instead of needing an undersea connector. It’s unlikely BC will see blackouts. Now the same can’t be said about heating their homes and running their transportation infrastructure – if Alberta does cut them off, there will be some cold people on their bikes trying to get the shopping home from the bare store shelves.

Robert of Ottawa
May 10, 2018 4:56 am

Uk ho. Some truth slipped out of the government run CBC?

May 10, 2018 5:39 am

Every economist in the world and everybody acquainted with economics could have told them that energy demand is relatively inelastic to price. Demand does change, but it rakes a long time as it requires people to buy new vehicles, move house to be nearer jobs and so on.
People will continue to pay for fossil fuels, even with high taxes, because their value to yes us very high – not directly, but indirectly in what they allow us to do.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Phoenix44
May 10, 2018 6:46 am

The crude oil price in the U.S. was $30/bbl in January 2016 and has now risen to $71/bbl. During this period of more than price doubling, demand has actually gone up.
In the short term, a 100% carbon tax would have had no effect on the use of gasoline and diesel. In the medium term it would probably have a marginal effect.
In the long term, it would be a huge regressive tax on poor people and all energy intensive manufacturing would be moved out of the U.S. (Which would be a huge regressive burden on the middle class.)

May 10, 2018 5:42 am

And the reason the Left is all out to restrict speech on social media is to ban facts that don’t fit their agenda.

4 Eyes
May 10, 2018 5:49 am

So what has the money been used for? If it has achieved nothing in 10 years I can’t see it achieving anything in 20 yrs. It’s just a redistribution tax for virtuous job creation schemes like wind farms, just like the UN boffins like Edenhofer and Figures wanted

May 10, 2018 5:56 am

Mods: I’ve given up on the Tips and Notes page. Scroll forever trying to get to the comment field, then my iPad crashes and the page reloads from the top. Anyone else have a problem?
Either the 1700+ comments need to be trimmed, or entering a new comment should be BEFORE the old comments.
Here’s something the readers of this site may be interested in watching this summer. Seems CA has again put themselves in a precarious position for maintaining reliable power.
Take note that they have retired some of their ‘evil’ gas-fired resources since last year.
My apologies for invading this comment section.

Reply to  Jtom
May 10, 2018 2:18 pm

Yes. Third time re-loading just to read the article and comments. Using Google.

William Astley
May 10, 2018 6:51 am

There is an immense gap between empty talk about reduction in CO2 emissions and policies that would truly force the reduction CO2 emissions.
A great first step for the NDP (if they are truly serious about being a CAGW leader, ignoring the fact that there is no CAGW problem and the planet has started to cool) would be a party policy to ban all none essential Canada travel, out of Canada. Pointless winter trips to Mexica or Hawaii for example would be banned.
As this article notes governments all over the world need to crack down on the pesky tourism problem.

“Most governments are burying their head in the sand,” said Hall. .. .

When taking into account not only the direct emissions from jet and automobile engines, but also the millions of supply chains needed to feed and support vacationers, researchers found that global tourism today generates 8 percent of the carbon we send into Earth’s atmosphere each year.
Previous studies put estimates at around 3 percent, Arunima Malik, lead author of the study, said in an interview.
“This is the first study that puts out a comprehensive assessment,” added Malik, a researcher at the Integrated Sustainability Analysis program at the University of Sydney. “It’s very much a conversation starter.” …
…In 2009, global travel spending hit $2.5 trillion. Four years later, in 2013, this number spiked to $4.7 trillion. As expected, emissions during this period followed suit, according to the study.
…The entire tourism industry is widely expected to grow as millions more people are able to afford travel, especially in increasingly developed areas like India and China. Accordingly, carbon emissions will grow, but there’s little global incentive to mitigate the problem.
“Most governments are burying their head in the sand,” said Hall. ..
Where is all this vacation carbon coming from?
Unsurprisingly, the U.S. topped the list of the globe’s carbon tourism producers. Germany joins America in the top four, along with China and India, two nations with burgeoning middle classes, whose ability to afford travel is anticipated to grow.

Reply to  dayhay
May 10, 2018 8:26 am

Chris, some data for you, although all published, none of these amounts are actually measured:
All Canada C02 output 722 Gt
BC C02 output 61 Gt (8.5%)
USA C02 output 5250 Gt
Mexico C02 output 665 Gt
BC % of North Am C02 0.92%
So if everyone in BC ceased to exist, we could save 1% of the N. Am. C02.
Yeah, that is worth a lot of taxes, right Chris?

Chris Hoff
May 10, 2018 8:06 am

I’m from British Columbia, and the Carbon Tax is a complete ripoff and burden on the poorest citizens. Last election, I had three choices on my ballot, the Communist Fascist NDP party, the Feminist Nazi Liberal Party, the Eco Fascist Green Party. So I spoiled my ballot, wrote in the Kekistani Freedom Party, and voted for Pepe.

May 10, 2018 9:49 am

Ha! British Columbia now has the highest gasoline prices in North America. And GHG emissions are still NOT declining? Obviously, the carbon tax needs to be increased.

May 10, 2018 10:54 am

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what lib elites are up to with your carbon tax money.

May 10, 2018 12:33 pm

An economist with McGill university stated the the carbon tax in BC was working to reduce the CO2 emissions. How did he come to that conclusion. The total fuel sales dropped in the lower main land so he touted this as a reduction in kind of emissions. Wait one moment the cross border traffic increased during the same time as the four border crossings to the US are right close to Vancouver and the affected carbon tax area. There are a great number of people crossing over to the US to buy their gasoline and diesel. Some people have been observed filling a number of gas cans and large Tidy tanks to the brim in weekly trips to the US to avoid the carbon taxes and the higher costs of fuel.

Reply to  Boris
May 10, 2018 2:51 pm

Economists today do not get out of the office to observe anything except for recreation.

Reply to  Boris
May 11, 2018 8:37 am

And the US gas stations near the border are making a killing. Even though the Cherry Point refinery is only a few miles away, gas in Blaine Washington costs more than most of the USA. Because Canadians are willing to pay the inflated prices.

Gary Pearse
May 11, 2018 6:58 am

So how much tax was collected since 2008? Is there a way to get a refund?

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