Using Canada’s carbon tax system to break Russia’s hold on Europe – Barriere Star Journal
For the editor,
Does Canada’s carbon tax have a role to play in opposing the invasion of Ukraine?
Russia invaded Ukraine. One important reason why Europe and NATO’s response has been restrained is that Europe depends on Russia for 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil.
Two basic approaches have been proposed: replace supply and/or reduce demand.
Canada’s carbon tax system with rebates would help in both cases. Under this system, 90% of the money collected through the tax is returned in the form of equal refunds. In four provinces that apply the federal carbon tax (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario), most people get more rebates than they spend on the carbon tax.
The system is essentially the same as the carbon fees and dividends proposed by Dr. James Hansen and Citizens Climate Lobby to control global warming.
However, it was originally proposed in the early 1970s by David Gordon Wilson, a professor of engineering at MIT, not to control climate change, but as a way to reduce American dependence on oil from the Middle East as a result of the 1973 Middle East war oil embargo.
In a 1974 letter to the Christian Science Monitor, Wilson suggested that instead of rationing, the government should levy a surcharge on petroleum products and distribute the product as equal payments to all adults. Wilson noted that government policy at the time had been to allow petrol prices to rise to meet the shortage, leading to higher profits for oil companies but hardship for the poor. . (Sound familiar?)
Rationing would try to ensure that everyone gets enough, but some need more than others, a huge bureaucracy would be needed and there would undoubtedly be corruption.
Some Canadian politicians say the federal government should scrap its carbon tax to lessen the impact of high gas prices caused by the war in Ukraine. This is precisely the wrong approach. What we need to do is extend it, not only to all of Canada, but also to all of NATO.
If we want to avoid a major war, we must show solidarity with the Ukrainians. Helping Europe to reduce its dependence on Russian gas and oil would be an important step in this direction.
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