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Letter: The costs of a carbon tax

Carbon tax
Carbon tax - Contributed

Opposition finance critic Keith Hutchings (“N.L. doesn’t need a carbon tax,” The Telegram, May 12) has a right to be frustrated that the Ball government has no answers about how much a carbon tax will cost families in Newfoundland and Labrador. Despite the federal Conservatives repeatedly asking the Trudeau Liberal government for a price tag for the tax, the true cost is still a secret.

Some numbers are available, however. In “Economic and Fiscal Outlook,” the April 23, 2018 report from the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, it was projected that a federal carbon tax will lower Canada’s GDP by about $10 billion in 2022 compared to a scenario without the tax.

And what do we get for this sacrifice?

Environment and Climate Change Canada conclude that the implementation of carbon pricing (taxes plus emissions trading), if done in all provinces and territories, will lower Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 by 80-90 million tonnes below that which would otherwise be the case.

Dr. Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute explains that a reduction of 90 million tonnes per year will result in between 0.001 and 0.002 degree C less planetary warming by 2100 than would otherwise occur, according to the model employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Is possibly altering our planet’s temperature by thousandths of a degree worth a loss of $10 billion to our economy?

Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)

Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition

Ottawa

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