November 14th, 2018

Data doesn’t support Kenney

By Letter to the Editor on May 16, 2018.

Jason Kenney’s contention the carbon tax has been an enormous economic burden on Alberta is not supported by recent economic data. According to Statistics Canada real GDP growth for Alberta in 2017 was 4.9 per cent. This was higher than 3.3 per cent for Canada and 2.3 per cent for the United States (according to the U.S. Commerce dept.).

Mr. Kenney overlooks two other relevant economic factors. One is the positive economic effect of investment in green technologies and in projects to reduce greenhouse emissions. The second is the cost due to increased CO2 in the atmosphere causing environmental and climate change. These range from costs due to severe weather (example — 50 inches of rain in Houston in three days) to costs to deal with changes in the environment such as the pine beetle infestation in Alberta (Due in part to not enough cold weather at the right times of the year). There are many others.

To evaluate economic impact at an individual level the cost of the carbon tax can be approximated. At the 2018 CO2 cost of $30/tonne, the added cost to a litre of gasoline is 6.73 cents. This results in an extra $135/year ($0.37/day) for 2,000 litres (Gas usage at 20,000 km/year at fuel efficiency of 10 litres/100 km). For natural gas, the added cost is $1.517/GJ. This results in an extra $13.65 for a cold winter month ($0.45/day) based on 9 GJ consumption for an average sized house. Low income Albertans receive rebates to help pay for these. Governments could also reduce other taxes, such as personal income tax, to offset these costs (One of the suggestions in the Fraser Institute article Realities of Carbon Pricing in Canada and Beyond).

Mr. Kenney also uses the argument that Canada doesn’t need to reduce CO2 emissions because it only produces 1.6 per cent of the world’s total emissions. If this logic was applied to all the countries in the world that produce less CO2 than Canada it would account for roughly 30 per cent of the total world emissions. Is Mr. Kenney saying that these countries shouldn’t reduce emissions and leave it all to the countries that emit the other 70 per cent, which includes China, the U.S., India, Russia and Japan?

Finally, there is an aspect of climate change that Mr. Kenney is in agreement with scientific consensus. As reported in a May 8 article in the Medicine Hat News, Mr. Kenney was asked if he thinks climate change was man made to which he replied there are “very significant anthropogenic causes of climate change.” Interesting choice of words, why not just say yes?

Denis Hoffman

Medicine Hat

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One Response to “Data doesn’t support Kenney”

  1. Fedup Conservative says:

    Well said Denis. While Kenney spins his lies about the Carbon Tax and ignores what Klein’s deregulation has done to us, especially the idiotic fees that have been added to our bills, my B.C. relatives aren’t paying them, oilmen in the Edmonton area have been saying for years that if we don’t do something about our pollution our children are going to face massive lawsuits from the pollution drifting into Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They claim that a study done in 2006 proves we are effecting their water and soil.

    Of course Kenney wants you to believe that the Carbon Tax was dreamed up by Trudeau and Notley to steal your money, yet it’s been in place in Sweden since 1991 and in B.C. since 2008 and it’s proven that it works, which is why the oil industry wanted it put in place here.

    Maybe Kenney and his ignorant supporters should pull up and read “When it comes to Emissions , Sweden has it’s cake and eats it too’ or “The shocking truth about B.C.’s Carbon Tax , it works”

    My senior friends and I , that spend time in Hawaii, know that we have paid enough in fees added to our power and gas bills thanks to Ralph Klein helping his rich friends to pay for about 4 or 5 two week trips to Hawaii. I paid $130.28 on my last bills, while my Carbon Tax was $10.08 and my wife received $112. in a Carbon Tax rebate, yet Kenney and his supporters claim it’s going to financially destroy all of us. You can’t be much dumber than that, can you.

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