Let’s talk about putting a price on carbon

Let's talk about putting a price on carbon Re: Pasloski blasts Trudeau's climate change commitment (the News, Feb. 13) Both the Yukon premier and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau should think more deeply about climate change and what needs to be done about

Re: Pasloski blasts Trudeau’s climate change commitment (the News, Feb. 13)

Both the Yukon premier and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau should think more deeply about climate change and what needs to be done about it.

Climate change today can be compared to the ozone layer problem of 25 years ago. Something had to be done to protect the Earth, so governments and industry got together and signed the Montreal Protocol to quickly phase out ozone-destroying CFCs. Mission accomplished.

Climate change is today’s planet-threatening problem. Governments and industry are working together, conference after conference – most recently in Peru last summer – to try to agree on action. Progress is being made; a broad consensus has developed that climate change is real, that humans are causing it, and that action must be taken to avert disaster.

A carbon levy is the way to go, but should it be paid by consumers as an additional tax at time of purchase like the carbon tax in B.C., or should it be paid by extraction companies?

I think the best way is to apply a stiff fee at the source, at the point when oil, coal, and natural gas comes out of the ground, in order to also include an incentive for extraction and delivery companies to improve efficiency – not just consumers.

And in order not to reduce the economic viability of companies, the levy shouldn’t touch the extraction company’s normal operating profit, but instead collect the super profits or “unearned income” that resource companies presently pocket. (That’s everything above about $40 per barrel for conventional oil.)

A second question is, should the revenue from the fee be used to lower general taxes, like B.C., or should we use a fee-and-dividend system, like Quebec and California, where each citizen receives a cheque for their share?

Our American neighbour has been doing the latter for years. The Alaska Permanent Fund collects a royalty on the oil extracted, invests the money and sends every Alaskan an annual dividend cheque between $1,000 to $2,000.

Perhaps a referendum should be held asking if Canadians would like direct payments of their share of the revenue from non-renewable resources (a citizen’s dividend), or should the money be invested in conservation or renewable energy, such as wind farms, solar collectors and slow-turbine run-of-river hydroelectric projects?

It’s not too late for Canada to follow the lead of Norway, which collects all oil revenue above company operating profits, and now has an $800 billion fund for use in difficult economic times – while Canada is deeply in debt.

An excellent first step would be for the Harper government to eliminate the annual $1.3 billion in tax breaks to the oil and gas industry. Ending these subsidies would help level the playing field between fossil fuels and renewables.

Frank de Jong

Yukon Green Party candidate


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Most Read