When it comes to avoiding temptation, the past week has been a tough one for the OPEC gang. Choosing not to frothily spout on the OPEC (oh yeah, we will) production cut was squirmy.
This seems like an appropriate word for the looming cap and trade carbon tax that the financially and morally bankrupt Ontario Liberal government is going to force down taxpayers throats on New Year’s Day, the argument being that, “it’s not really a tax, silly.”
As mentioned in the Natural Gas portion of last week’s En-Pro Weekly Energy Report, the only beneficiaries of this hastily drawn up plan are those with a tangible measure of emission credits, like some forests in California for goodness sake!
If I take my car in for an emission test they measure exhaust levels of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, particulates, and on and on. This I understand because I can see the numbers. If my emissions are high, I pay to fix it. If I am below the maximum levels, then no financial penalty. But someone please tell me how they come up with industrial cap and trade numbers. How do you measure the emission levels?
If an emitter in Ontario or Quebec is on the high side of this mysteriously established table of emissions evil, then all they do is go and buy the available credits and then what? Send the money to California where they have forests and we don’t.
So now I ask, if this is an additional cost to the Ontario or Quebec emitter, does the emitter eat the cost? I don’t think so. You and I pay for the California emission-free shade trees in the form of a carbon tax.
If I am paying this tax to the Government of the Peoples’ Choice, then I would expect to see the amount in the bill I am paying and itemized as a carbon tax. My reasoning is that the GST, HST, or any change-your-partner nomenclature you want to use, is identified as such on any receipt you hold in your wallet resisting hand.
Well forget that thought with natural gas in Ontario, because the charge will be buried in the “delivery” line of the bill and I suspect the same will hold true for electricity where bills will now require a monthly legal interpretation!
As for gasoline and diesel prices in Ontario, just look to your new carbon buddies in Quebec for some kind of idea because Ontario has copied the Quebec structure, and the cap and trade amount will be buried in the wholesale rack prices to which HST will be added. The consumer will have no idea what portion of his tank is going to subsidize those California forests.
On New Year’s Day 2017, Ontario consumers will wake up to rack and pump prices about $0.05/L higher than the night before for no accountable, transparent reason. May the rest of the country take note!
Government attitude at the Provincial and Federal levels can be summarized as follows:
· Don’t wake up!
· Don’t stand up!
· Just pay up!
Pepto up my Bismol!
Roger McKnight is the Chief Petroleum Analyst with En-Pro International Inc.
Roger has over 25 years experience in the oil industry, and has held senior marketing management positions responsible for national and international accounts. He is the originator of the card lock concept of marketing on-road diesel that is now the predominant purchase method of diesel in Canada. Roger's knowledge of the oil industry in North America, and pricing structures has resulted in his expertise being sought as a commentator by local, national, and international media. Roger is a regular guest on radio and television programs, and he is quoted regularly in newspapers and magazines across Canada. All posts by Roger McKnight