Canada: Alberta's carbon tax on heavy emitters could be next bargaining chip in heated battle with Trudeau - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Alberta's carbon tax on heavy emitters could be next bargaining chip in heated battle with Trudeau

07:25  09 november  2019
07:25  09 november  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

How Alberta will keep its $30-per-tonne carbon tax but make it easier for some big emitters to avoid paying

  How Alberta will keep its $30-per-tonne carbon tax but make it easier for some big emitters to avoid paying Alberta's new UCP government will continue to apply a $30-per-tonne carbon price that covers the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in the province, but will loosen the rules so that some of the largest emitters could be on the hook for $330 million less in charges per year.New legislation introduced Tuesday will replace the previous NDP government's regulations on most large emitters in the province, including oilsands operations, natural gas producers, chemical manufacturers and fertilizer plants. The rules for electricity generators, however, will be left largely unchanged.

Alberta ' s carbon tax on heavy emitters could be next bargaining chip in heated battle with Trudeau . Trudeau will need the support of other parties to pass legislation and survive confidence votes.

Alberta ' s carbon tax on heavy emitters could be next bargaining chip in heated battle with Trudeau . Trudeau will need the support of other parties to pass legislation and survive confidence votes. But a look at Canada’s recent minority Parliaments shows there are different ways to achieve

Justin Trudeau wearing a suit and tie: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 2, 2019. Tensions between the western provinces and Ottawa have been running especially high since the federal election.© Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press Alberta Premier Jason Kenney meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 2, 2019. Tensions between the western provinces and Ottawa have been running especially high since the federal election.

OTTAWA — Proposed changes to Alberta’s carbon tax on industrial firms could become the province’s latest bargaining chip with Ottawa, amid souring relations between the two over differences in climate change policy.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is currently reviewing a proposal by Alberta to adjust its so-called “Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction,” or TIER, a carbon tax applied solely to heavy emitters. Alberta posted the proposed changes late October.

Moe asks PM for 'hiatus' on carbon tax to negotiate climate plan with feds

  Moe asks PM for 'hiatus' on carbon tax to negotiate climate plan with feds Moe asks PM for 'hiatus' on carbon tax to negotiate climate plan with feds Moe made the pitch in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted on his social media accounts Thursday. He noted that Trudeau had committed to an in-person meeting “soon” at the time of their post-election telephone call last week.

Trudeau ’ s big political bet is that the experience of receiving tangible benefits will soften the political blow of the tax , and perhaps even turn it into a positive. Emitters in a particular sector are allocated credits based on their carbon output — or rather, based on the average carbon output of a facility in

This timeline of events shows how Alberta adopted a carbon tax and how the policies in the Climate Leadership Plan were developed and rolled out. Companies that failed to reach that emissions target paid a tonne into a new climate change fund. Critics in heavy industry called it a carbon tax .

If Ottawa determines that the proposal falls short of its environmental thresholds it could enforce its own regulatory regime in the province, similar to the highly controversial consumption-based carbon tax that will come into force there in January 2020.

Such a move would further inflame tensions between Ottawa and the West, where resentment toward the federal government has been running high since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a narrow minority government and failed to win a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan. Observers said it is unlikely Ottawa would do so in the current political climate, despite criticism that the proposed changes will provide more cushion to the most emissions-intensive facilities in the province.

If Wexit were to happen, Alberta would be a world leader in greenhouse gas emissions per capita

  If Wexit were to happen, Alberta would be a world leader in greenhouse gas emissions per capita Globally, he said there is a "clear trend towards transitioning to a low carbon economy," which could spell trouble for the would-be country. "Alberta being extremely resource rich, like fossil fuels, resource rich and with a relatively small population, it makes the ratio totally out of whack," he said. "Their economy is so focused on the one resource. It's not a good position to be in when you want to be a country."Wexit is a burgeoning political movement stemming from Western Canada's dissatisfaction with the federal government.

Alberta ’ s Premier, Rachel Notley, will probably lose her job next year because she has delivered carbon taxes but no pipeline. As the date for Mr. Trudeau ’ s carbon tax gets closer, taxpayers might start asking an even more basic question: What difference will this make in the big scheme of things?

The federal carbon tax is broken into two parts: an economy-wide tax on fuels like gasoline and diesel, and Saskatchewan is next -highest with 12.9 million tonnes. Despite criticism of the OBPS, some Alberta first introduced a carbon levy in 2007 aimed solely at heavy emitters like oilsands facilities

In late October, Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon released a proposal for heavy emitters that included keeping the carbon tax at $30 per tonne, a level set by the former NDP government. The province did not commit to raise that price to $50 per tonne by 2022, as laid out by Ottawa.

The proposal would also revert back to a system in which the emissions profile of a facility is compared against its own past performance, rather than against an industry-wide average — a change that many observers said will provide relief to the most emissions-intensive sources.

“This is all about incentives and in terms of establishing strong financial incentives to reduce carbon emissions, the new TIER regime is likely to be less effective,” said Jessica Kennedy, a regulatory expert at law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Calgary.

Moe to speak about carbon tax, equalization, with Trudeau

  Moe to speak about carbon tax, equalization, with Trudeau Saskatchewan's premier will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tuesday, according to a statement from Moe's office.The statement said the premier will speak about the “inequitable equalization formula, putting a one-year pause on the carbon tax” and expanding the province’s market access.

British Columbia, Alberta , Quebec, Newfoundland, and the Northwest Territories already have carbon taxes with a price high enough to meet federal The Trudeau carbon tax will force our seniors to pay more for home heating in cold winters, make parents pay more to fill up their car when they drive their

Scheer: Trudeau ’ s carbon tax plan will make everything more expensive. The remaining 10 per cent will The rebates will ensure families don’t suffer and can further increase their savings if they do find ways The carbon tax is set to be a critical element for debate in the next federal election with the

However, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has already floated the idea of hiking the tax as part of a grand bargain with Trudeau, telling reporters in October that the province would be “willing to be flexible on the price of our TIER levy” in exchange for assurances the Trans Mountain pipeline would be built.

His comments on the tax are part of broader efforts by Kenney that he claims will improve Alberta’s position within the federation. They include a threat to pull the province out of the Canada Pension Plan and a challenge to the current balance of the national equalization program.

He has also expressed concerns that Trans Mountain will not reach completion, adding to frustrations over a decade-long pipeline bottleneck. While the project no longer needs cabinet approval, some worry it could become a line in the sand for smaller parties propping up the Trudeau minority.

A carbon tax on heavy emitters was first introduced in Alberta by the former Conservative government in 2007. It is separate from the economy-wide carbon tax introduced by Trudeau, which functions by increasing the price of consumer fuels like gasoline and diesel. That consumer tax will also come into force at the beginning of 2020, after the Kenney government scrapped its provincial fuel tax soon after winning power.

Conservatives to try to force Trudeau's hand over western alienation

  Conservatives to try to force Trudeau's hand over western alienation The Conservatives warned on Sunday thay they will use every measure available to force the Trudeau government to bend to their demands over western alienation. Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner said the interests of western provinces, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, will be priority number one in the next session of Parliament — but she didn't shed further light on what tools her party would rely on to achieve their goal other than to say "stay tuned.

As carbon taxes go now, they vary by province. Alberta currently tax ' s emissions off the oilsands, but British Columbia goes as far as to put a carbon tax on the fuel you pump into your car, adding 7 cents per litre. If Trudeau goes beyond what Alberta is already doing, analysts say the next step is at the

Imposing a carbon tax on Canada’ s largest province will be tough. Taking on Alberta at the same time could well prove impossible. Having said the above, if Trudeau mishandles this he could be in deep trouble next federal election. It’ s really hard to win federally without the Ontario vote.

Ottawa has so far not imposed its heavy emitters tax, known as Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS), in any provinces except Saskatchewan, where it enforced tighter rules on the province’s electricity market. Ottawa is currently also reviewing heavy emissions regimes put forward by Ontario and New Brunswick.

A spokesperson for Nixon urged the federal government not to impose its OBPS, saying “Ottawa should not force a one-size-fits-all system, and should instead take into account a variety of effective emission control regimes.”

a man wearing a suit and tie:  Environment Minister Jason Nixon at the Alberta Legislature where he introduced legislation for the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system, Oct. 29, 2019.© Shaughn Butts/Postmedia Environment Minister Jason Nixon at the Alberta Legislature where he introduced legislation for the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system, Oct. 29, 2019.

The response mirrors complaints from other Conservative premiers in Canada, who have challenged the Trudeau carbon tax on the basis that it is too prescriptive and allows few other options to reduce emissions.

Environmental advocates argue that climate change policy without financial incentives would fail to adequately lower greenhouse gas pollutants.

GMP FirstEnergy analyst Michael Dunn said in a research note the proposed changes would decrease costs on the most emissions-intensive steam-driven oilsands projects by as much as 80 per cent.

Other observers including environmental groups said the change would hurt the most efficient projects, who had earlier benefited from emissions profiles that were above the industry average.

“It’s ultimately weaker than straight up sector-based benchmarks because it rewards companies that haven’t taken any action and punishes progressive companies,” said Jan Gorski, analyst at Pembina Institute.

He nonetheless applauded the proposal for maintaining the industry standard on the electricity sector, which would be applied to highly emissions-intensive coal plants.

“We’re happy to hear that they kept a strong approach there,” Gorski said.

Ottawa will pass down its decision on the Alberta regime sometime before the New Year, according to Environment Canada officials.

Trudeau meets Bloc leader in hunt for support for minority government .
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is meeting Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet this morning as he looks for support for his new minority government in Parliament. Trudeau is sitting down with opposition leaders one by one this week, trying to identify areas of common ground where he can get their support for legislation once the House of Commons sits again in December. Without a majority in the Commons, Trudeau's Liberals willTrudeau is sitting down with opposition leaders one by one this week, trying to identify areas of common ground where he can get their support for legislation once the House of Commons sits again in December.

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