That’s cap and trade, folks!

So, I got bored with my latest collector’s edition of the Farmers’ Almanac and switched my intellectual channel to, “Home Remedies that Prevent Death and Other Things.”

Don’t smirk, this is a first edition and possibly the one and only copy!

There is a short, but to the point mention of a subject that should be on the, “look into, but keep it quiet” menu of the federal government – and it’s associated and always stampeding provincial Lemmings.

I am fully convinced, yes converted, that we are being led by a government suffering from a soon to be fatal hyperventilation known as political hiccups. With the forever goal to Save the Planet, Ottawa continues to insist on a national carbon tax that Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, un-blinkingly maintains is not a cash grab.

If this is so, why apply the 5% Federal GST to the carbon tax? What you’re doing is taxing a tax that you’re having a problem explaining in the first place.

For example, the Alberta carbon levy on diesel jumped to 8.03 cpl on January 1, 2018, by the Feds with their GST tag that increased this to 8.43 cpl. So, if I’m a consumer in Saskatchewan or Manitoba with no carbon tax, I’d be asking my provincial leaders to justify an overnight 8-cent per litre increase at the pump or rack for what appears to be an environmental photo-op competition.

I would be further concerned when I gaze south of the border, where our largest trading partner (or should it be entity) is really slacking off in the Saving the Planet department, as there’s no national direction or application of a value added tax (we call GST). And forget about a carbon tax in all but the La La Land of California, that have their own cap and trade system that Ontario and Quebec have hooked onto like puppy dogs; so it seems has our own federal government, with its fearsomely labelled Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which in part, and in small print, says “any facility that emits more than its limit will need to pay, and those that emit less could be eligible for carbon credits that could be sold to bigger polluters.”

That’s cap and trade, folks!

I have a problem with this. If I’m an over-polluter, all I have to do is pay an under-polluter for their carbon credits. I don’t have to reduce my pollution, I just have to pay someone else who’s smaller or who is reducing their emissions!

Now, if I am buying carbon credits from California, which Ontario and Quebec may be doing now and then, the revenue goes to a state in a country with no national carbon limitation policy, let alone action plan. If my costs go up to pay for the carbon credits all I have to do is increase my prices to my customer base. So, any claim that a carbon tax is revenue neutral is logically running on neutral.

One way to reverse hyperventilation is to breathe into a paper bag to increase the intake of carbon dioxide, which is critical to balance the oxygen your body needs to survive. Carbon dioxide is not a poison!

Perhaps our politicians should place a metaphorical bag over their mouths, take a breather, and give consumers a break.

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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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