Wednesday, May 3, 2017
BC’s carbon tax: Once again no political opposition
I have written before about the remarkable (at least to Americans) political resilience of the British Columbia carbon tax, and the current general election campaign there underscores that phenomenon (my comments on the last general election here). Voting is on May 9 (story here) and none of the three major parties contesting the election wants to eliminate or roll back the tax.
The BC Liberals (despite the name, the most conservative party in the race, and not affiliated with the federal Liberal party) form the current government. Their platform calls for a continuing carbon tax freeze, which they argue will support the principles of affordability, competitiveness, and revenue neutrality while advancing the goals of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change.
The New Democratic party (basically a labor/social democratic party) anticipate that the carbon tax will need to increase to meet federal targets and promise that when it does, they will use the increased revenue to fund climate change projects and to send “climate action rebate checks” to lower and middle class families. They want to position themselves as “leaders in climate change solutions.”
The Greens (self-explanatory) want to increase and expand the scope of the carbon tax, while eliminating the principle of revenue neutrality and using at least some of the revenue to fund climate change investments.
My summary may be an oversimplification, but I think the overall picture is clear. The BC political parties are arguing over how to use the carbon tax and whether to increase it. No one is arguing for reducing or eliminating it.
Is there a takeaway for US observers? I’m not sure, but at least it’s refreshing to see political arguments that don’t include the anti-scientific, flat earth viewpoints we see here.