Saturday, 7 June 2008
Do we need a carbon tax now?
A carbon tax makes a lot of sense as a general idea. The concept is to add to the price of gasoline and other products which contribute to global warming and then rebate the tax to people by lowering income tax an equivalent amount. This is not a tax increase but it is a neutral shift and it would help reduce consumption of oil. The problem now is that market forces (supply and demand plus speculation) have driven up the price of oil so high that people are already cutting back considerably in driving and other energy use due to the high cost. This has already cost jobs in the auto sector and specifically led to the planned shutdown of GM's truck plant in Oshawa. That is bad for Ontario and Canada. A further increase in fuel costs is really not needed now. Arguably we are not paying enough for gas compared to most places in the world but the shift has already been made and a carbon tax now would only increase hardship.