Monday, July 15, 2013

Carbon Taxes, LNG Revenue And The Squeaky Wheels

 Written by Grant G

The old sayings and phrases are indeed true, this particular one is based on real life experiences....With exceptions..

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease"

Those exceptions are people, the public and workers can complain, gripe and even protest in the streets but still are ignored, it seems that today only those with the power to flex biceps made of money get the grease..

Toronto floods, Calgary floods, China floods meanwhile the world burns, and no, I am not a climate change theorist or alarmist, however, I do believe that we should all be encouraged to clean up our act, and carbon taxes are part of the stick, as in carrot and the stick, though with carbon taxes there are no carrots, only sticks..

I was and still am against British Columbia`s carbon tax, the reason is because the biggest polluters were exempted, gas flaring companies pay nothing for fugitive emissions, the greenhouse produce growers are exempted, isn`t that ironic, people think of greenhouses growing peppers and tomatoes off of sunlight, little do they know our greenhouses burn wood, cardboard, construction garbage and vent their emissions directly into the atmosphere...I can cite many more reasons why our carbon tax is a sick joke..The number one reason is the revenue neutral part of it, all monies collected from our carbon tax is returned in the form of tax cuts, corporate tax cuts and tax cuts skewed to the wealthy, also, having schools and hospitals pay budgeted $dollars into Pacific Carbon Trust where these dollars are distributed to wealthy private corporations, we give school book money to $billion dollar corporations for projects they were doing anyway, schools, hospitals and other Government entities have no ability to reduce emissions, they do and will emit emissions forever, everything man does gives off emissions, if one thinks of the insanity of giving our schools and hospitals operating budgets then clawing those monies back and giving it to corporations that create emissions a thousand times greater....One would think that a Government that was serious about reducing provincial emissions they would give monies to schools and hospitals to increase efficiencies, they should give them a separate pile of money that is dedicated for building improvements and cleaner power sources..And as for the dollars businesses and individual people pay shouldn`t that money have gone into a transit fund, or new infrastructure fund...Again that squeaky wheel scenario comes into play, we as people are all but ignored

So money for patients and students gets funneled to profitable polluting corporations, carbon taxes paid by individuals gets returned to corporations and disproportionately to wealthier earners...Cruise ships pay no BC carbon tax, overseas flights pay no carbon tax, schools, hospitals and average people pay the tax in BC, the money comes in and gets returned as tax cuts, and anyone who proposes using that carbon tax revenue for Translink gets blasted by this corrupt BC Liberal Government, and gets blasted by a useless media as tax-raisers, don`t you see the irony..

Christy Clark has proposed a referendum on new sustainable revenue for Translink, the Province Newspaper columnist and kool-aid drinker Jon Ferry is promoting this referendum as a must happen event, Ferry is strident that this referendum must not be derailed...Is it brilliant minds think alike or idiots seldom differ logic, I believe the latter is true..

I wrote about this Translink referendum here, I highlighted some leaked information how this referendum is going down, many people believe (because of the way Christy Clark framed the subject) that they will be given a choice of no new taxes for Translink, that`s a falsehood, you will get a choice of 5 different forms of fees and taxation to choose from, there will be no :None of The Above: options on that referendum question..

Am I missing something, we are paying a carbon tax now, a tax that goes in to Government coffers and back out in tax cuts, and now the same Government is setting the public up for more taxes to fund Translink, the answer is so simple, no new taxes, remove the tax cuts associated with the current carbon tax and redirect that money to Translink, problem solved!..Except for that greasy wheel factor, the tax cuts that came with our carbon tax were skewed to the corporate sector and the wealthy, this Translink funding referendum being proposed by Christy Clark the fees and tax choices being given are directed towards individual people not industry, there is no new taxation in this referendum being pointed towards the corporate sector, this referendum is only targeting individuals, thus removing the tax cuts associated with our current carbon tax would hurt the higher income earners and the corporate bottom line..

Therefor individuals, the poor, the middle class, homeowners, car insurers and drivers are about to be taxed again, more tax and new fees being funneled to Translink, all this pain to secure that corporate squeaky wheel continues to get all the grease, rather than just cancel the tax cuts associated with our carbon tax and redirect that money to Translink so everybody contributes including the corporate sector this BC Liberal Government is going to ram new fees and taxes down the individual`s throat..

So now the public will be taxed more and see new fees levied because our original carbon tax was flawed, a carbon tax that should of been Translink`s long term sustainable funding from the very beginning, all this pain to secure even more grease for those squeaking corporate wheels..

BC`s proposed LNG industry, Christy Clark deemed that LNG plants if built and if(which they will) they burn natural gas to produce the enormous gobs of electricity they need...They will not be charged a carbon tax and their emissions will not count against British Columbia`s emission output, if 8 LNG plants are built our emissions total for British Columbia will double, meaning we as a province since our carbon tax was initiated will have accomplished nothing, yet we pay, and soon will pay even more..

Big mining, energy companies, exported coals and raw ores should have a carbon tax placed upon them for the vast majority of their customers are not in Canada, meaning other countries would pay, these carbon taxes should not be returned as tax cuts, monies raised should be used for Translink funding and other emission reducing measures, companies that reinvest in new more efficient operations and or carbon capture can be compensated, only then will these companies really try and reduce emissions and capture fugitive gases, as it stands now for these corporate entities, no pain, no gain, only Joe public will feel the pain....The price at the pump, $1.50 per litre, the barrel price, $106 per barrel, the last time we saw these high pump prices the barrel price was $150 dollars per barrel....Canada is an oil exporting nation, we in western Canada use domestic oil and we are paying(less the carbon tax) $5.56 per gallon, ...Down south, $3.60 per gallon...These corporations will use any excuse to gouge Canadians at the pump, right now Egypt conflict is soup de jour..I`ll remind you that Egypt isn`t an oil exporting country, but the fact that Egypt is connected to the middle east is a good enough excuse for the oil companies to gouge us..What happened to the Alberta oil discount these companies were whining about?

Christy Clark has deemed greenhouse gas emitting LNG plants in British Columbia carbon tax exempt, why?...Can you say corporate grease, I can...

It`s funny how times change yet the pattern remains the same, global corporate power and the bottom line has always been front and center and the driving force in Government decisions, let`s talk LNG exports and Christy Clark`s negotiating power, according to Christy Clark.."we are going to be the most competitive jurisdiction in the world for taxation on exporting LNG"...We are?...

Australia per capita is the most polluting country in the world, they burn coal for electricity and have massive mining operations there, a carbon tax would be very unpopular in that country, even if done right, even if Australia brought in a carbon tax that targeted the 300 most prolific polluting companies and instead of using that carbon tax revenue for tax cuts but using it to balance the Government budget, surely the public wouldn`t be that upset, after all, only big polluters would pay, and those big miners that export product to other countries like China, and that includes all those LNG plants coming online, their product is for export, carbon taxes passed on to China and Japan wouldn`t affect most Australians, the monies these exporting companies charged their foreign customers would be used to shore up the Australian Government books...How could this not be a good idea...It might even force these polluting corporations to invest in cleaning up their act, however, squeaking wheels are not a North American exclusive, squeaky corporate wheels are everywhere..

Australia`s Labour party...Julia Gillard was prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd took over the party leadership June 26th/2013...Julia Gillard lost her popularity with the public, ...Let me explain, Australia`s labour party is a minority Government, the first one since 1940...In 2010 Kevin Rudd lost the support of the Labour party and resigned as leader, Julia Gillard took over the leadership role in 2010 and subsequently won a minority Government in the 2010 elections..Now, on June 26th 2013 Julia Gillard has lost support and has resigned as leader, Kevin Rudd has become leader of the Labour party again...Elections are coming up in September 2013 where Tony Abbot, the leader of the Conservative opposition is predicted a narrow victory...

And why is Tony Abbot predicted to win, the carbon tax, more precisely, he has vowed to remove Australia`s carbon tax...

When the Labour party under Julia Gillard won a minority Government in 2010 there was no mention of a corporate carbon tax, sometime in 2011 Julia Gillard brought up the issue of a carbon tax, and they enacted a carbon tax for the largest green house emitters in Australia, it came in affect on July 1st 2012(one year ago)....And boy oh boy are the wheels squeaking, corporations who provide domestic electricity have passed on that carbon tax to local Australian power users, electric rates are up, however, big mining companies and energy exporters and other raw resource exporters can`t charge domestically, they must pass on those added costs to their foreign customers, and that is untenable to them...

The carbon charges enacted were as such...on July1st/2012 big corporate emitters were being charged $21.9 per tonne...Rising to $25 per tonne by 2015...Well, with elections coming the labour party that brought in the carbon tax as a budget measure and as leverage to lean on companies to become cleaner have become scared, the squeaking noise is reverberating  through their legislative halls... And now Labour party just ahead of elections are back-tracking, they are dumping the per tonne carbon tax that currently stands at $21.9 per tonne and have vowed to reduce it to a new floating carbon tax...The new carbon tax will be...

"Bowen on Sunday confirmed media reports that the fixed $21.9 per tonne carbon tax would be dumped in favour of a floating price of between $5.5 and $9.1 per tonne from July 1, 2014"....

The new carbon tax will be.......?..No it won`t be, the fact that the labour party is on the ropes the corporates and opposition Conservative party smell blood...The mining and LNG industry has this to say...


Former Queensland treasurer and now Nimrod Resources chairman Keith DeLacy said the move was a direct consequence of both the "excessive and intrusive regulatory regime" and the re-regulation of the industrial relations system.
"Our cost structure is getting out of kilter with the rest of the world," Mr DeLacy said.
Australian Mines and Metals Association chief executive Steve Knott said most of the $250bn worth of mega-projects in the resources industry that were under way had 10-year lead times.

"So the decision on these mega-projects were made pre-carbon tax, pre-mining tax, pre the industrial relations re-regulation that we have seen in recent years," he said.........

  ACCI director of economics and industry policy Greg Evans said: "Companies can invest elsewhere. This means the onus is on Australia to provide for lower costs, remove the imposition of harmful taxes and not increase rigidities in the labour market or in the supply of skills."


So the brand new corporate carbon tax that the Australian Government enacted to balance their budget and help pay the generous corporate tax cuts has now been shelved with a promise of reducing it to 1/4 of the current price...Corporate wheels are howling, and smelling blood, the LNG industry are demanding this tax just vanish...


Australian LNG industry still at a disadvantage on carbon pricing: APPEA

Sydney (Platts)--14Jul2013/1112 pm EDT/312 GMT

The Australian LNG industry will still be at a disadvantage to its international competitors should newly installed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd make good on a promise to drop Australia's carbon tax in favor of a floating price, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association said Sunday.

"A floating price under the carbon pricing mechanism still represents an addition to the cost structure of Australian LNG exporters competing in global markets," APPEA said.

The association's chief executive David Byers pointed out that there was no international carbon price in operation.

"So while the move to a floating price may represent a short-term lowering of the price facing liable entities, Australia is still imposing a cost on its gas export industry that will not be borne by any of its LNG competitors," Byers said. "This will diminish its international competitive standing."

 Ok, the current Australian Government that brought in a carbon tax for industrial emitters and had a starting price of $21.9 per tonne has now agreed to reduce that price to ...$5.5 per tonne...This move will remove any chance of Australia balancing its budget and it will now have to cut services for the public to make up the shortfall, a shortfall partially brought on by corporate capital investment tax credits and subsidies...And now that Australia and their LNG industry is ready to become the world`s largest LNG exporter in the world the corporate wheels start squeaking...

And even though 60% of the Australian people want to keep the carbon tax..


 Three out of five Australians don't want to scrap the carbon tax if doing so damages government revenue, according to polling undertaken exclusively for Fairfax Media.


Even though most Australians want to protect Government revenues and not cut services the leader of the opposition Tony Abbot has vowed to scrap the carbon tax completely, even the lower floating rate..


"On the day the election is called, I will write to the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to make it clear that, if elected, the first priority of a Coalition Government will be the repeal of the Carbon Tax.

Within the spirit of the Caretaker conventions, I will also formally request the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to desist from making any further determinations in relation to grants, funds or financing.
If elected, the Coalition will take immediate steps to implement our plan to abolish the Carbon Tax.

On day one, I will instruct the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to draft legislation that repeals the Carbon Tax and to have the legislation ready within one month.

On day one, the Finance Minister will notify the Clean Energy Finance Corporation that it should suspend its operations and instruct the Department of Finance to prepare legislation to permanently shut-down the Corporation.

On day one, the Environment Minister will instruct the Department to commence the implementation of the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan on climate change and carbon emissions.

Within the first month, the Cabinet will approve legislation to repeal the Carbon Tax.

On the first sitting day of Parliament under a Coalition Government, I will introduce legislation to repeal the Carbon Tax.
The first piece of legislation to be debated in the Parliament will be the repeal of the Carbon Tax.

As soon as the Carbon Tax is repealed, the Environment Minister will introduce legislation to enact the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan on climate change and carbon emissions.

Within the first sitting fortnight of Parliament, the Finance Minister will introduce legislation to shut-down the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
I expect that the Parliament will respect the mandate of the people and repeal the Carbon Tax."

If Labor and the Greens combine to block the express will of the Australian people, a Coalition Government would seek dissolution of both Houses of Parliament. We would then introduce the legislation to abolish the Carbon Tax at a subsequent Joint Sitting of the Parliament.
Unlike the Prime Minister, I mean what I say: there will be no Carbon Tax under a government I lead.

Tony Abbott MHR

Leader of the Opposition


I`m not quite sure what this post is about, I do have some thoughts though, Christy Clark is trying to woo the LNG industry to invest in British Columbia, these companies want free electricity to produce LNG, if they can`t get free electricity they want to burn natural gas to produce power, these companies also want capital cost allowances, that means they can write off the cost of building these plants in 7 years, they also refuse to pay any carbon taxes on their emissions..if 6 to 8 LNG plants are built and they burn natural gas BC`s provincial emission total doubles from 2000 levels..

Natural gas prices are falling, the Asian premium price differential is a thing of the past, the cost off building 8 LNG plants with pipelines is about $200 billion dollars...These energy companies need all that money back before they make a dime, each of those companies require a Site C dam each if they were to run on electricity...Site C dam is a $12 billion dollar cost...8 Site Cs is near $100 billion dollar cost...These companies want to be able to write off the capital build cost against taxes..

It appears to me to be a race to the bottom, this $trillion dollar industry can`t even afford the smallest carbon tax..

This industry needs to bring in $200 billion dollars,  even one LNG plant needs to bring in $20 billion dollars to break even, and that price is before finance charges, carrying charges and shareholder profits..

Australia has just lowered the taxation bar for this LNG industry, the incoming Conservative Government in Australia is lowering the taxation bar even further, resulting in Government budget shortfalls and service cuts...

And Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have vowed to be the most competitive LNG exporting nation in the world....What prosperity fund, what debt paid off, what elimination of sales tax, what elimination of BC Ferry debt, what elimination of BC Hydro debt and what of the $hundreds of billions of dollars in a prosperity fund for future generations..

Meanwhile schools and hospitals in British Columbia pay carbon taxes to profitable corporations, you now pay a carbon tax on everything fuel, even on your BC Hydro bill, and a referendum for Translink funding is coming at you with all options for sustainable funding being posed in that referendum are more gas taxes, road fees, car levies and property taxes or more tolls, there will be no option of...

None of the above....In the new world of fascism only corporations and those who donate large sums of money to political parties get the grease..

Regardless of how loud we squeak.

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought the Libs declared burning of natural gas as a clean energy awhile back? The LNG plants can burn as much as they want with no repercussions thanks to our corrupt Liberals.

I would like to add here that the hypocrisy of the Green Party is off the charts when it comes to the carbon tax. First of all Lizzie May is in favour of a carbon tax that is revenue neutral. When BC implemented its' carbon tax, the Greenies were lining up to support the Liberal Party even knowing that this money will not do a damn thing to help the environment. So far all I see from this Party is greenwashing.

I imagine Coleman and Christy are going to give away our resource and everything imaginable to grease the corporate welfare wheels here in BC. And future generations will be paying for it through austerity and higher and higher taxes.

When is the revolution?