Cap-and-Trade’s first stage show is not a sold out performance

If you’re lucky enough to secure a sold out concert or theatre ticket, then Mama Martha assures us that this is a good thing. Aha! But if the customer is sold-out then Martha gets all grumpy, the mashed potatoes go all lumpy, and this is not a good thing.

Some may consider this an Ontario-centric report, which may be true for all the wrong reasons. 

It’s offered as a commentary, meekly disguised as a warning so that the rest of this country doesn’t march in lockstep with the meandering permanent student crowd – the loyal sheeple of Kathleen (just call me Chuckles) Wynne, the Premier of Ontario – in the basket weaving capital of Canada, if not the world.

It was with panic of a goldfish, “Get me out of this bowl, now,” frustration that I read the results and commentaries on the first Ontario Cap-and-Trade Auction, which looks suspiciously akin to a cattle auction where only a select few understand what the auctioneer is saying or what is being sold.

As I get it – but not really because everything’s in secret code — emitters like electricity importers, natural gas distributors, and fuel suppliers participate in this road show. These industry sectors have caps placed on them by the cappers by some mathematical formulae that would have Einstein reaching for Tylenol 3! If the sinners exceed the cap, then they can buy credits from those who fly carbonless under the radar limits. 

This week’s auction was announced as a success, as all the allowances were sold to the tune of about $470 million!

So let me add some banana flavour to the proclamation of the People’s Republic of Ontario. 

If all the allowances were sold, does this then mean that those emitters who over-emitted have decided to carry on emitting, and just buy credits from the secret, unknowing and innocent? The consumer is the one who gets ripped off, as the cap-and-trade tax has been, and always will be charged at the pump, while the fuel suppliers can afford to just buy the allowances, which the consumer has made no allowances for.

But wait, things get worse. 

In and around the trumpeting conquest of the Ontario Liberal’s tax grab conquest of not just provincial, but national, if not global GHG emissions, Chuckles and Prime Minister Justin-time Trudeau, in full photo op euphoria, announced a $200 million federally and provincially funded subsidy to the Ford Motor company in Windsor, Ontario to produce V8 engines for the for the TOP SELLING, gas guzzling F-150. 

This will, they say, result in 300 new jobs, which works out to $680,000 for each new position. But this is diluted if we count the number of Liberal seats in southwestern Ontario.

Take that, oil sands workers in Alberta! But don’t take that consumers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan — you are carbon tax free so far. 

As a major critic of the carbon tax “show and steal” theatre I’m watching play out, the rest of the country is also watching, and it’s not worth the price of admission at any prices.

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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.

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