Contributed by Robert Lyman 2019. Lyman’s bio can be read here.

As Canadians celebrate the beginning of 2020, their happiness at starting a new year will be dulled somewhat by the realization that January 1 marks the date when carbon dioxide taxes increase yet again.

The current system of carbon dioxide taxes, charges on industry, and carbon trading prices is complicated, contrary to the claims that it represents a nice simple regime to encourage reductions in our use of the energy services on which we all depend for heat, light and mobility.

The people living in most Canadian provinces are subject to the federal government’s “backstop” regime. Under this regime, carbon dioxide taxes are applied on oil, natural gas and coal purchases according to their estimated effect on causing carbon dioxide emissions, as measured in tonnes. On January 1, 2020, the rate of the tax increases by a whopping 50 %, from $20 per tonne to $30 per tonne.

Residents of British Columbia, always eager to be greener than thou, were already paying carbon dioxide taxes of $35 per tonne, the highest in the country, and that tax rate will increase on New Year’s Day to $40 per tonne.

Quebecers are always treated a bit differently, or manage to negotiate a different deal. In Quebec, energy users are subject not to a carbon dioxide tax but rather the prices that result from an emissions trading system that the province shares with California. Under that system, the companies that consume and/or sell fossil fuels must either reduce their emissions to meet a regulatory limit or buy enough permits under a unified California-Quebec permit auction system. In the last auction, held on November 19, 2019, the reserve price was $20.64 per tonne and the median allowance price actually paid was $22.73 per tonne. So, in November 2019 Quebecers paid more per tonne for their carbon dioxide permits than residents of most other provinces paid in carbon dioxide tax. Surprisingly, for the next auction to be held on February 19, 2020, the reserve price will be only $16.34 per tonne. It remains to be seen what will actually be bid.

Thirty dollars per tonne is equivalent to about seven cents per litre of gasoline.

Next year, we will all get to celebrate another rise in the cost of our energy.

I hope the Grinch did not steal your Christmas. He sure got you at New Year’s.

Read Interpol’s “Guide to Carbon Trading Crime”

Read “Conning the Climate”

Just the Facts on Carbon Tax – Report and Video with Robert Lyman

Read Parker Gallant’s multi-part blog post on how you’ve been conned into carbon taxes by vested interest parties using tax-subsidized charities and foundations to push their agenda, under the guise of ‘expert’ advice.

Quick overview: Just the Facts on Carbon Tax video