Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Axe The BC Gas Tax - send Premier Gordon Campbell a message on Facebook

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column
Tuesday June 10, 2008

Axe the BC gas tax

Send Premier Gordon Campbell a loud and clear message that you're fed up with his carbon tax


We are not changing the carbon tax. No. The carbon tax is there for everyone in British Columbia.

- Premier Gordon Campbell, May 9, 2008

Big oil companies are already hosing you at the gas pumps and now Premier Gordon Campbell wants to do the same – are you going to let him?

Because in just 20 days this province’s gas prices will go up even more – thanks to the B.C. Liberal government’s new “carbon” tax that will add 2.4 cents a litre immediately to your gas bill and then keep going up.

Amazingly, Campbell actually thinks it’s a good idea to tax British Columbians even more for their already incredibly high-priced gasoline – and for diesel, heating fuel and other carbon-based products.

But you can send the premier a very loud and clear message: Axe the BC gas tax!

I have created a special Facebook page on the Internet so you can tell Gordon Campbell to drop the B.C. carbon tax right now, instead of adding a new gas tax starting July 1.

Go to: http://www.facebook.com and search for Axe the BC gas tax to join this group – or search my name. If you’re not a Facebook member it’s free and easy to sign up.

Because whether you’re a driver or a passenger, a home owner or renter, if you ride in a car, live in a heated home or take a shower, B.C.’s carbon tax will cost you plenty.

That’s why Campbell is sending you a $100 cheque this month before the gas tax is in place.
Campbell calls it a “Climate Action Dividend” but I call it a blatant bribe – that hardly pays for one tank of gas.

We all want to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases.

But the B.C. Liberals can’t do that by making those least able to afford high gas prices pay even more.

It just won’t work. Norway has had the highest carbon tax in the world since 1991 – more than five times higher than B.C.’s starting tax.

Yet a Statistics Norway study shows that the gas tax only reduced CO2 emissions by two percent.

And gas in B.C. has already gone up 17 cents a litre in just 12 months! [NOTE - in fact, as of today BC gas prices are up 45 cents a litre since October 2007, when they dipped to $1.01 a litre!]

Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the federal government all reject a B.C.-style gas tax.
To fight climate change, people need alternatives, like low-cost, available public transit, affordable housing near where they work, subsidies for more efficient heating, insulation, appliances and more.

Just making those who barely get by on their existing income spend more and more on gas to get to their jobs only penalizes people who have no choices.

Send Gordon Campbell a message today – go to Facebook and tell him to axe the BC gas tax.


Anonymous said...

Gas went up another seven cents a lire today in the little town of Victoria.People still drive and will drive. The local bus system isn't all that handy. If you live up the malahat the once a day train goes the wrong way, up island in the morning and the bus system Falcon talks about is no where to be seen. Another billion to add to Olympic expenses is staring us in the face easly obtained by this so called carbon tax. Even the Harper government is agaisnt such a tax.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend viewing the BBC's "The Global Warming Scam," before supporting Campbell's self-interested politics (Tyee is doing some serious butt kissing on same). Scientists universally agree that warming follows every Ice Age and at some point cooling begins. Warming is real, but it is NOT caused by humans. Nearly 100% of CO2 emissions are produced by the oceans; human industy contributes little. However, it is obvious that where it is released in an area where thermal inversion is effected by local conditions, it can concentrate. (The mountains around Los Angeles trap same; Vancouver's mountains do not). Scientists have found that post Ice Age warming increased ocean water levels by 3-sixteenth of an inch in the past 20 years; that hardly foretells the flooding of Florida that Al Gore's cassandra's predict. As for temperatures, increases are equally marginal. In the above mentioned film, it is noted that within warming, Mini Ice Age phenomena occurs at times. For example, in the early 17th century, London's Thames River froze over for several years. Locals adjusted to same until normality returned. Before you buy the snake oil; examine the motives of the snake oil vendor.

Anonymous said...

Why I remember when PM Trudeau converted us from Imperial to metric meaurements at a time when gasoline prices at the pump was at the astonishing high of 28 cents a litre.

Here we are at 1.46 a litre and its just the last 17 cents that seems to be hitting our pockets the hardest ++++++ of course Gordo's Carbon Tax is going to tack on another 2.4 cents.

Could someone explain to me how I must pay in "legal tender" but be billed by Gordo in POINT 4 of one cent? If the rule of thumb is to round down if a decimal point is below 5, or round up if its above 5, how did Carol Taylor arrive at such a number. Why not two cents?

Anonymous said...

Campbell is not going to get rid of the CAMPBELL TAX
When the provincial election rolls around, the BC LIBERALS and the GREEN party are going to have to state that it is a "GOOD THING" that gas and oil are expensive,just think how hypocritical it would be for the LIBERALS to say gas is too high,propane and heating oil is too high but were not going to get rid od the CARBON TAX.
On the other hand if CAMPBELL does remove the carbon tax he will be lambasted by all the enviro groups and be accused of pandering.
Campbell has to wear this carbon tax from here on out,now if only the NDP can campaign on no carbon taxes.

Anonymous said...

Here's a new fairy tale straight off the sheets of the BC Young Liberals blog site.

(Kelowna-) MISSION (flyer drop) ACCOMPLISHED

"Originally written at 5:00PM on May 11."

"Tonight, as mothers in Merritt and Kelowna put their children to bed after a wonderful Mother's Day, they'll look around for a relaxing bedside story. If they were one of the more than TWO THOUSAND homes where flyers were dropped this weekend, they will no doubt choose to soothe their children with tales of lower taxes, environmental leadership, and improved access to healthcare. Then they'll wait one year, go to the polls and join millions of fellow British Columbians in choosing the BC Liberals to form the provincial government once more.

I'd call that a mission accomplished.


PS - Hey Prince George, you're not the only place with ginormous driveways! Look at the behemoth I had to trudge down to deliver a flyer today..."

Anonymous said...

Tieleman and the CTF sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a summer time gas holiday in a baby carriage.

Anonymous said...

- Your “ax the tax” campaign would do precisely nothing to help consumers, as the oil and gas companies would simply keep prices at the same level and then pocket the additional revenue for themselves with the tax being lifted.

You’ve been in the labour movement long enough to understand that Shell and Exxon are not going to say “Oh, Bill Tieleman and Carole James are scrapping the carbon tax, I guess we’re morally obliged to pass on the savings to drivers in Prince George.”

It would be a direct subsidy from taxpayers to large corporations, exactly the thing you (correctly) criticize Gordo for doing.

- Luckily, voters see through this kind of snake oil as Hillary Clinton recently found out with her “summer gas tax holiday” debacle – which was critical in helping Obama clinch the nomination and erase the Wright pastor story.

People know a pointless gimmick when they see it, and that’s what the “ax the tax” campaign amounts to. Voters are way ahead of the politicians and pundits and are ready to deal with the root causes of high gas prices as Obama proposed (i.e. by raising fuel efficiency standards and taxing the windfall profits from oil companies).

- More generally, voters support carbon taxes and reward politicians who implement them. Gordon Campbell and Jean Charest have both experienced surges in popularity since introducing carbon taxes (NDP MP Tom Mulcair was the architect of the Quebec carbon tax, btw), both will shortly be re-elected to a 3rd straight mandate, and recent polls confirm that Canadians endorse the concept at 60-70% levels of support.

- In BC, the Green Party is already polling around 15% and for Carole James to call for “ax the tax” as you suggest would send the GP above 20%, and likely put them over the top in 2-3 ridings, and more importantly take the NDP from a likely 20-seat result outcome in 2009 to a rump of 8-10 seats in East Van/Burnaby and Vancouver Island.

Voters want action on climate change and they will not support a leader who rejects serious action on that issue without proposing a credible alternative.

The carbon tax or equivalent is becoming a litmus test for whether a politician is serious in supporting climate change, and it is test the NDP cannot afford to fail, both substantively and politically.

- Furthermore, the BC carbon tax itself is so small in 2008 that it will not be noticed by voters (you and Norman S are correct that it will be ineffective in the short term for this reason – if it is so ineffective, how can Carole mount a massive campaign against it?).

Gordo hasn’t won 8 out of 9 elections by being politically stupid – the tax won’t bite at all until 2010 and beyond, nobody will care about 2.4 cents a litre when the price is going up by 10 cents a litre in a matter of weeks. You simply can’t build an effective political campaign around something so trivial in terms of impacts.

Every expert regardless of political stripe says you can’t reduce GHG emissions without putting a price on carbon. You can call it cap and trade instead of a carbon tax but the effect is the same – people have to understand that the atmosphere is not a free dumping ground.

It is also essential that consumers understand that the increase is permanent and will get higher and higher over time, to prevent the relapse we saw in the 1980s and 1990s when all the energy efficiency gains from the 70’s OPEC crisis were lost when prices went back down. For Carole to come out against the carbon tax would require her to put forward a credible alternative climate change plan. Since any such alternative would still require consumers to pay for their emissions, she would not gain anything from this exercise.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1.13---What a load of bull, sure its only 2.4 cent but rising to 8 cents, The liberals provincially and federally have by their actions told the oil companies we want higher gas prices,funny how big oil has complied.
Just how guilty do you feel 1.13

China is opening up 100 coal fired electrical generating plants this year alone.
BC rail used to piggy back semi trailers all over the province,that doesn`t happen anymore after campbell lied and sold it.
What about tens of thousands of children being buses all over the province because campbell shut down local community schools.

What about fish farms destroying wild salmon(when technology exists to get them on land)

What about the flathead valley be destroyed for coal extraction for china.
What about hospital laundrey being shipped to alberta,cleaned and shipped back.
What about port expansion that will put 5000 big trucks on the road daily.
What about the SFPR going through burns bog when another right away exists.
What about port mann twinning which enviroment canada says will add to greenhouse gasses,and create more health problems.
What about 700million in subsidies to big oil and gas over this and next year,and they have with all the biggest polluters been exempted from the gas tax.

What about all that gas flaring.

What about a 4 billion dollar pipeline to bring oil to prince rupert for shipping to CHINA.

What about campbell promoting offshore oil and gas drilling when there is a moratorium.
What about the next round of cuts to school,hospitals,regional districts everything because this tax will come out of all ready lacking budgets.
What about shiploads of old growth cedar leaving the province everyday,when we could ship dead and dying pine.

What about 16000 old growth trees to be cut on burke mountain for another large development.
You want to tax something,tax our exports to the real big polluters.

I hope you feel morally superior because your willing to pay 2.4 cents a liter,what a hero you are.

There are no buses where I live and most of bc does not have transit options.
How many seniors or citizens are going to get killed walking or biking on unlit no sidewalk highways.
How many seniors are going to fall and break their hips because they have turned out the lights.
How many seniors are going to catch flus or phenomia because they can`t afford the gas and how much will that cost the health system.

When technology gets here people will buy into it but this is only BC LIBERAL pandering that has nothing to do with global warming!

So take your rightous attitude elsewhere,besides if it was such a visionary GAS/HEATING/PROPANE/TAX why did campbell sit on bill 37 for months allowing it to collect dust then ramming it through the legislature in the last hour of the last day of the last legislative session in bc this year along with many other dubious bills! GET A LIFE

Anonymous said...

You are the only one writing against carbon tax. I can not look that people do not oppose Mr Campbell and agree about everything.

Only BC is putting this carbon tax because Campbell Liberals want this. For them it is never mind because they do have very big salary and still do they get reimbursement for gas.

What about middle class people?

The carbon tax is bringing all prices up not only the gas. I do not see any manifestations and it looks that every British Columbian can handle this.

Every intelligent person can recognize that under the carbon tax it is different meaning. The money will never go for environment or to protect our atmosphere. I do not see people controlling government spending because for this the carbon tax will go. Who pays for Campbell all the trips to China or other countries.

I wonder why we should not change the Liberals. They are very disgusting when it come to their politics and manoeuvring public opinion. Why they do not call referendum and let the people to vote about this issue? This is not democratic what Campbell is doing.

I do fully agree with you in your article " let's bring the axe to the gas tax" and I wish that more people respond to your article.

Please sent my message to Mr Campbell.

Anonymous said...

Bill, there is a very good write- up in the current issue of Island Tides. Apparently, US oil executives testified before congress that the proper price of oil should be $35-$67 a barrel, and anything higher is from speculation or hedging on oil futures. Traders buy future supply, don't even have to take posession of the product, nor even have to even pay for it. They just buy it on margin, pay 6 to 7% of price, hold it for a while, then sell it again. The stuff is traded over and over again. This is legalized theft. The grand poobahs have been allowed to write their own rules in recent years, (deregulate, deregulate, deregulate) doing whatever fills their coffers the quickest. Greedy bastards should all be in jail, stealing it from everybody's pocket. This is what the Gordo's of the world believe in-schemes. Perhaps the paying public would accept this tax if it was coming from a government that actually means to care about the environment and do something about it. ABC-anything but campbell!

Anonymous said...

Mr Cambell I have never voted N D P , but if they campain against your Carbontax they have my vote This Global warming scare is only a Tax Grab and an opportunity to invent new ways to gouge the consumer