Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dion Wants to increase your Hydro Bill

John Ivison's column in today's National Post mirrors my thoughts on Stephane Dion's "Green Investment Account" proposal (Dion's naivete on display).

His scheme is intended to make the polluters pay, but guess what? The buck stops at the person staring back at you in the mirror.

The new plan would mean polluting industries could see their top-line expenses grow by $2.5-billion a year if they miss their emission targets.

Canadians who scoff at pleas of poverty from the oil and gas industry may be less smug when they learn the electricity industry is already contemplating passing on the estimated $1-billion in annual extra costs to consumers.

"Sure we would," said Hans Konow, president of the Canadian Electricity Association. "This is added cost that would be passed through."


This will just end up being another behemoth Liberal boondoggle, designed to line the pockets of everyone except you and me. The irony is that it doesn't even necessarily guarantee results in terms of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Jason Kenney calls this plan a 'lemon'.

The Liberal party sure picked one.



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More at Political Staples - Because there is only one payer.

43 comments:

biff said...

This is becoming a regular go to site for me.

And I suspect for many others.

Keep it up.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Biff. Much appreciated.

biff said...

Why this plan is doomed.

Unlike raising taxes, which appeals to those on the left who don't really pay much taxes to begin with (its always easy to support big government programs with other people's money),

this will hurt everyone. Everyone heats their homes/apartments.

I suspect the CPC election ads are already being drawn up on this one.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Biff, this is not fair!

biff said...

You know who doesn't pay hydro?

The only ones who are important.

The birds. The sea birds.

Gabby in QC said...

I guess no one in the MSM & the political parties that are still pushing green plans to meet Kyoto targets have not seen that UK documentary "Global Warming Swindle."

Well, here's some real green: Happy St. Patrick's day to all those of Irish origin.

molarmauler said...

Hey, I don't mind Dion announcing this massive new tax on the eve of Harper's budget lowering taxes for the middle class, who incidentally would be the folks creamed by Dion's new-rob-from-everyone-and-give-it-to-my-friends scheme.

And in 20 years when the world needs more and more energy, Canada will be hard-capped and raising production will mean massive losses in our ability to compete.
If Dion wants to see what Western alienation is all about, a hard-cap to industry is the way to do it.

Chris from Winnipeg said...

Oh, but it would only cost a few million in administration costs and that would be paid by those who are being monitored. I mean, after all, we've seen how efficient our Liberanos are when it comes to setting up new government departments. Just look at the Gun Registry. That only cost 2 million dollars (or at least would have if there hadn't been so many darn gun owners)

This sounds just like what everybody else is calling it. A plan to take more of my money and line the pockets of well-connected and well-heeled Liberals who the party owes favours to. It won't do anything about polution except cause more hot air to be puffed out of left-wing politicians mouths. We'll be worse off and poorer to boot.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

We'll be worse off and poorer to boot.

As with most Liberal plans.

I would love to see someone try to defend this though.

Conrad said...

I've said all along that the whole Global Warming-Kyoto-Carbon Credits fiasco is a farce. It's nothing more than another excuse for government to dip into my pocket. Seems we're getting closer to a "breath tax" where inhalation will result in a tax levy, and if you want to exhale, an additional one will have to be paid. I had hoped that a CPC government would put an end to the tax tax tax mentality in Ottawa, but unfortunately they appear to have embraced the "create new spending" style of the Liberals.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Seems we're getting closer to a "breath tax" where inhalation will result in a tax levy, and if you want to exhale, an additional one will have to be paid.

'Carbon neutral breathing'. Yeah, that will be next.

Calgary Junkie said...

Dion's plan exposes another Liberal weakness--their lack of MPs in the "regions". Calgary MP Jim Prentice has been negotiating behind the scenes with the oil companies, in preparation for Baird's regulations in the updated Clean Air Act. It's obvious that Dion had little or no feedback from the oil companies, as seen by Pierre Alvarez's (president of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) slamming of Dion's plan. The Liberals have similar problems in Agriculture (Goodale sure seems overworked lately, this file belongs to PEI MP Wayne Easter ), Defence (Denis Codere is the best the Libs can put into that critics role ?!), Natural Resources (belonging to GTA MP Mark Holland, but isnt' there a B.C. MP who could do this ?). Not so much a "Dream Team", but more like too many square pegs in too many round holes.

Sandy said...

Great post Joanne. I already have high enough hydro bills. I just hope Canadians pay real close attention to this one if we find ourselves in an election -- we don't want another boondoggle that's for sure.

paulsstuff said...

"Dion estimated that tarsands companies alone would have to invest about $1 billion to meet the requirements — equal to three per cent of the industry's 2005 profits of $30 billion"

Sorry Stephane, the consumer will be spending at least an estimated $1 billion at the gas pumps to replace the lost profits.

Maybe someone needs to point out this scheme is going to hit seniors and low income earners the hardest, particularly as it relates to hydro costs.

If anyone is wondering why he never included the automakers, it's because he and Buzz Hargrove already have the photo-op planned for the next election, with Dion receiving a matching jacket to the one given to Paul Martin, only maybe in green.

As a 27 year CAW auto-worker, i am encouraged by this. Martin/Hargrove costed the Liberal's seats in the last election, Oshawa for example.

We are very well paid and as such pay a high amount of taxes. If Buzz thinks we will support a party that steals and blows those taxes he is the "tool of the day".

Tim said...

Nice to see that I am not the only one who has come to this same conclusion. Dion's plan IS a carbon tax in disguise that will hurt the low and middle income earners the hardest. Open your eyes people or bend over, this is going to hurt!

chris from winnipeg said...

Joanne;

Check out Joel's ProudToBeCanadian site for the latest from the Toronto (Red) Star and GlobalMale.com to see what they did with our pal Dion.

He's now "Our Carbon Bud". He's our pal, our buddy, our friend when it comes to carbon.

I just about ruined my keyboard with coffee when I read the headlines put out by those two bastions of truth and light.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why I haven't heard this point much. A large percentage of companies operating in Canada are American. The first time they see being here as not being an advantage they will all pull out and head back across the border. It already getting close to this with the high Canadian dollar now. Any kind of pollution tax and other restrictive laws and you will see a mass exodus of US companies. This will leave Canada absolutely gutted as they all flee back to the non kyoto US or Mexico and will certainly collape our economy.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Chris, thanks for the tip. Here's the link.

That Bud's not for me, boy.

wayward son said...

"If anyone is wondering why he never included the automakers"

The automakers are not included in the 700 largest industrial emitters?

wayward son said...

"I already have high enough hydro bills."

I personally look forward to it. I pay more for zero emissions hydro from wind power. If my price goes down due to them selling credits to the coal industry and polluting, high ghg emission hydro goes up I won't shed a tear. Partly because that is the way it should be. You should pay more to pollute my air because you either don't care or couldn't be bothered to look into alternatives which would reduce the strain on the planet and the lungs of children and the elderly. Partly because more people will look for alternatives, find that they are not that much more expensive and change their actions thereby reducing ghg emissions.

wayward son said...

"Sorry Stephane, the consumer will be spending at least an estimated $1 billion at the gas pumps to replace the lost profits."

If people could afford to buy their huge SUV's a $1 a liter then they can handle $1.03. If not then they can trade it in for a more efficient vehicle. The price of gas has been going up by leaps and bounds for many years. At the same time people have been buying larger and larger less efficient vehicles. Sorry I don't buy the "poor consumers" bit when I see mostly large 4x4s and SUVs with single occupants on the road.

maryT said...

Will we soon have to fill out another form, like the gst return for those that get refunds from business, called the GHG form, and submit with a cheque by April 30th. Anyone supporting dions idea that thinks those costs wont be passed on are living on another planet. Why is the auto industry exempt. Alberta will not take this without a fight. In years to come our grandchildren will be watching a sci-fi movie called AIT, and questioning how people and politicians could have been so stupid. algore/suzuki will be lambasted by the history books. Voters in Ont better realize that if their jobs are exempt, their products will be boycotted in the west. I will drive 40 miles to the US to buy everything, and pay the duty, exchange and other costs, rather than support anything produced by union workers in Ont or Que.

paulsstuff said...

"If people could afford to buy their huge SUV's a $1 a liter then they can handle $1.03"


Thank you wayward for agreeing with me and proving Dion's statement is a lie. You yourself agree that any carbon costs will be paid by the consumer, not the producer.

Now, you have given an example for gas. Now about the other 699 industries being taxed, oops, sorry, levied.

Let's start with hydro, since you mentioned it. Who is going to be hit the hardest? Seniors and low income earners, who i think is safe to assume cannot afford the wind power you claim to use.

I wonder how many current and former Liberal's will be setting up carbon trading companies if Dion ever got voted in and implemented this. You know, Al Gore did it. Buys carbon offset credits that he boasts about, from a company he owns.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hunter has a good post up about the auto industry exemption.

wayward son said...

"Why is the auto industry exempt."

Where is the auto industry exempt?

paulsstuff said...

Follow the Hunter link wayward. Friday at around seven minutes.

David McGuinty states the auto industry is exempt.

paulsstuff said...

Just thought i might add Stronach could be in a huge conflict of interest here if she has any input.

Magna is a huge manufacterer of parts for all the automakers. So obviously they would take a hit if the industry itself did.

robedger said...

You guys think that prices are set based on companies meeting some pre-ordained amount of profit?

You are supposed to be conservatives! Haven't you ever had a brief read of Adam Smith? What happened to supply and demand?

Also, I think you should be a bit more cynical towards the claims/threats of affected industries, who obviously have a stake in ratcheting up fear.

wayward son said...

Paulstuff,

I didn't say that consumers would be paying 3 cents more a liter for gas, I said they could handle it. And if they can't they can trade in their SUV for a more efficient vehicle.

Second, industry laughed off the province of Alberta's $15 a ton carbon tax as a joke, so I don't see $20 or $30 a ton as the end of civilization.

"Now, you have given an example for gas. Now about the other 699 industries being taxed, oops, sorry, levied."

Personally I feel that most won't have a problem with it. It seems that heavy industry's emissions have only increased by 5% since 1990. I expect a whole lot of those industries to have no issues surpassing their targets, selling their credits and passing the savings on to consumers.

"Let's start with hydro, since you mentioned it. Who is going to be hit the hardest? Seniors and low income earners, who i think is safe to assume cannot afford the wind power you claim to use."

Almost anyone in Ontario can switch to zero emissions hydro with a simple phone call.
As for certain segments of the population being hardest hit. There are always people who are "hardest hit" by any change. There are a million ways the government can reduce that hardship.

Anonymous said...

Are you really that naive that you think costs won't be passed down to the consumer?

Many companies management receive bonuses based on profit, do you really think they won't maintain their profit margins, adding carbon tax as a cost of the product?

Maybe you should do some research. The tax Dion is putting in place is far lower than the money it will cost to meet targets. So which way do you think companies go. Spend $50 a tonne to meet targets or $20 tax. Either way, it will be us chumps stuck paying it.

Anonymous said...

Wayward, its wonderful that you use green hydro and i commend you for it.

But this green power costs betwwen $60-$75 per month, on top of your existing monthly bill. Again, there is no way most seniors or other low income earners could ever afford this.

And under Dion's plan the cost of regular hydro will rise, and guess who will be paying the cost.

And as someone in the auto industry, i'm interested in why were excluded. Nothing to do with getting Ontario votes i'm sure.


Paulsstuff(won't let me sign in right now)

wayward son said...

"Follow the Hunter link wayward. Friday at around seven minutes."

I just can't get the video to play. I have never had an issue with it before.

If the auto industry is exempt I wish to know why. Is it because of a seperate agreement? If it is because for instance they plan on exempting the factories from reducing CO2 emissions as long as the auto industry dramatically improves the fuel efficiency of their product then I won't have a huge issue with it. After all improving vehicle fuel efficiency by 50% would reduce emissions many times more than reducing the emissions of their plants to 6% below 1990 levels. Other industries in a similar position should get the same exemption. But I can't think of any as oil and hydro can't improve the efficency of their end product and for most other industries the emissions are created through the manufacture of their product, not the use of their product.

Anonymous said...

Real player seems to be having problems today.

As for the auto industry exemption, McGuinty states in the video that their emmissions are not high enough, which is kind of ironic since Buzz and Dalton had a hissy fit a few months back because both Conservatives and Liberals thought they needed to reduce emmissions.

Paulsstuff

wayward son said...

"As for the auto industry exemption, McGuinty states in the video that their emmissions are not high enough"

I am no expert, but I don't see how it could be that the auto industries are not in the top 700. If that is the line that McGuinty is using it will never fly. As I said above if the government exempts them due to a specific agreement of significant vehicle emissions improvements then it might be acceptable.

molarmauler said...

Dion "We can no longer use our atmosphere as a free garbage dump," Mr. Dion said at a news conference to announce the plan, which is tougher than the policy he advocated in his recent Liberal leadership bid. "Polluters must pay."

I'd like to know when CO2 became a pollutant. It's this kind of misleading rhetoric that makes me shut my ears off when I listen to him. CO2, an essential molecule in the process which feeds me and keeps me breathing, is garbage and a pollutant.

That whole NP article joanne links to is full of references to greenhouse gas pollution and CO2 pollutants. When did we stop calling them emissions. Does anyone other than UN bureaucrats and socialist activists believe that man-made CO2 is a major factor in climate change anymore?

Hardcap is a Duncecap.
And a bloody carbon market is just a way to create massive slush funds and buy more private jets for the elite.

Anonymous said...

Unlike raising taxes, which appeals to those on the left who don't really pay much taxes to begin with

Well...that is about the stupidest thing I've read in a long time. Way to go Biff, your a retard.

biff said...

Anon,

do you know a big reason why I was a lefty (me and many of my friends, and many others like me and my friends),

because as someone who wasn't an income earner, but rather one dependent on state resources, I only saw one side of the equation.

It was easy for me to favour high taxes and more funds for tuition.

As a parent trying to raise a family while seeing nearly half my paycheck go out the window, my political views are a tad different, to say the least.

I suspect as a single mom, who's rasing two kids, has just a few dollars of discretionary income left each month, has to see it go to Dion's little social experiment, also may think otherwise about such a plan.

Perhaps anon, you still live with your parents, and are neither a taxpayer, nor a bill payer.

Either that or you simply lack the ability to envisage the obvious.

Candace said...

Alternatively, all the oil companies have to do is reduce production. Which will increase the price at the pumps considerably, no?

Anonymous said...

Dion will throw thousands of people out of work - they'll be too worried about losing their homes and downsizing their apartments to fret over just one of their bills. That must be his strategy?

Anonymous said...

"do you know a big reason why I was a lefty (me and many of my friends, and many others like me and my friends),

because as someone who wasn't an income earner, but rather one dependent on state resources, I only saw one side of the equation."

Oh, I see now. Everyone who is a Liberal or an NDPer is an unemployed ward of the state sucking back "state resources". So, by logical extension, everyone who earns a wage is a conservative. That makes plenty of sense Biff. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Dion is the worst thing to every come out of this country. His social experiments are harmful to Canada and as soon as he and his ilk are back in power we will all be goose stepping to the socialist drum. Goodbye freedom, goodbye Canada!

Chuckercanuck said...

"Alternatively, all the oil companies have to do is reduce production. Which will increase the price at the pumps considerably, no? "

and increase our dependence on middle eastern oil. soft on terrorism, soft on terrorism financing, soft on root causes.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good points, Candace & Chucker.

Dion's plans might work in the university setting, but not in the real world.