Criticism levelled against provincial government’s carbon tax

To the Editor:

Our MLA and Minister of Energy, Marg McCuaig-Boyd, and her NDP government will impose a Carbon Tax on all Albertans as of January 1st, 2017.

This tax will result in an immediate tax of an additional 4.5 cents per litre for gas at the pump and rise to 6.73 cents per litre January 1st, 2018.

For diesel it will be 5.35 cents per litre January 1st, 2017, rising to 8.03 cents a year later. As well the heating bill for all of our apartments, homes and businesses will increase. School districts and our many non-profit organizations including churches and community groups will also be adversely affected.

And all of this, at a time when we are in a severe economic downturn and many Albertans are without work or only partially employed on limited paycheques.

Many scientific studies have also shown that there is no connection between the atmospheric concentration of Carbon dioxide and global temperatures.

Australia, which had a Carbon Tax for two years until 2012, got rid of it because of negative effects on its economy, including people’s power bills going up significantly.

The current level of atmospheric CO2 (392 ppm) is near an all-time low of over the past 500 million years.

A higher concentration of CO2 actually promotes optimal crop and vegetable growth. This is why greenhouses over the past 100 years have been adding CO2 to achieve levels of 1,000 ppm (parts per million).

Quoted from, “A Review of the Scientific Evidence Underlying the Imposition of a Carbon Tax or ETS in Australia,” Volume 24, No. 6, 2013.

On their official website, the Alberta government encourages you to turn down your thermostat, use public transit and reduce the use of our vehicles and even buy more fuel efficient ones , in order to reduce how much of our pay check goes to the Carbon Tax.

How can we, who live in the Dunvegan – Central Peace Notley Constituency use Public Transport when there is none? How can we who live where we do, where we have to travel significant distances, reduce our fuel consumption?

Based on the above noted website, a couple with two children are expected to pay on average $202 towards the Carbon Tax, for gasoline.

At 4.5 cents / litre tax that’s equal to 1,009 gallons. Assuming a fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon, that works out to 40,360 km per year.

In other words, as soon as you drive further than 40,360 km, you are no longer an average Albertan and you are paying more towards the Carbon Tax.

I’m sure many of us in the Peace drive much further than that in a year. This brings us to the next point. As stated on the official government website; carbon tax rebates are totally based on your annual income, not your fuel usage, which means that if you live where we do and have to drive a considerable distance, and are on a limited income, you will not be reimbursed any more than someone in Calgary, earning the same income, but who merely has to step out of their home to ride on cheap public transit. Is this fair?

When it’s so bitterly cold outside, as it is now, it is nice to have the thermostat set at a comfortable temperature.

The government wants you to turn down your thermostat, as well. Perhaps we should just freeze in the dark?

Polls have indicated that at least 66 per cent of Albertans oppose this Carbon Tax.

Why will the New Democratic Government not allow us to exercise out democratic right to vote first on whether we as Albertans want this Carbon Tax?

David Lahoda,
Spirit River, Alberta

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