Natural Gas

Carbon tax justification for fools

According to a study published by Nature Climate Change, governments of 51 countries spent C$940 billion subsidizing fossil fuels in 2021. The number is likely higher since there are many indirect subsidies, such as Canada’s $35 billion Trans Mountain pipeline, and it is unclear if benefits provided by sub-national governments are included.

In fiscal year 2022, fossil fuel companies in British Columbia used royalty credit programs to reduce payments to the BC government by more than $1.5 billion. In addition, monthly tenders for natural gas and petroleum rights have been eliminated. These sales once put billions of dollars into the provincial treasury.

Royalty reductions and elimination of rights payments have drastically altered provincial revenue. These numbers, extracted from Ministry of Finance documents, include accrued royalty credits but all numbers have been adjusted to 2022 dollars using the Bank of Canada inflation calculator.

Declining government revenue might suggest declining production of natural gas. The opposite is true according to production numbers provided by Canada Energy Regulator.

The BC Government is recovering part of the forgone fossil fuel revenue through carbon taxes, as shown in the latest Budget and Fiscal Plan.

Vancouver Sun’s Gordon Hoekstra reports that carbon taxes will triple in BC by 2030.

Carbon tax is levied in BC to encourage residents to reduce consumption of carbon based fuels. But that is justification for fools, because natural gas not burned here is exported to be burned elsewhere. The trouble, of course, is that we have only one Earth and one atmosphere.

Comments may suggest I oppose carbon taxes. The opposite is true, but it is idiotic to use them as a device to to raise fossil fuel exports and achieve no real improvement in carbon emissions.


Writing at The Tyee, J. David Hughes shows that Canadian politicians and bureaucrats promise climate friendly actions, then facilitate climate destructive projects:

The Orwellian emissions accounting scheme used to justify Cedar LNG with its 40-year lifespan clearly shows Canada and B.C. are not serious about their emissions reduction promises.

Perhaps uneasy about the emissions accounting smokescreen in its environmental assessment and to distract the public’s attention, the province held a second news conference within hours of announcing the approval of Cedar LNG heralding stringent new rules for future LNG projects. The province will now “require all proposed LNG facilities in or entering the environmental assessment process to pass an emissions test with a credible plan to be net zero by 2030.”

BC’s Orwellian LNG Con

Note: Writing this leaves me wondering if the next boardrooms Coalman John Horgan occupies will be those of gas producers. No doubt they believe he deserves generous rewards.

Categories: Natural Gas, Taxation

5 replies »

  1. Looks like this decline in revenue happened 1 year after Christy Clark took office in BC, and we have had greedy extraction brokers ever since. Will Eby turn it around? Or will he too leave office with padded pockets?


  2. So, the Carbon tax is nothing more than a subsidy paid to the oil and gas industry.

    I call that criminal fraud.


  3. 51 countries you say. that is a shit load of money, now divided by 51 it may not amount to much, but really the oil/gas companies don’t need that money. There are though a lot of people who could use a subsidy to pay for pressing health needs, housing, food, etc.

    It always amazes me, the kind of money which goes to the oil and gas companies but not to children. Many children live below the poverty line in Canada and other countries. Its enforced poverty. Its cruel. Government enforced poverty for children, seniors and disabled. It doesn’t make sense. Yet here we are with CEOs making more money on the first day of work in a new year than others do in a whole year.

    Not much has changed. corporate welfare is good, financial support for seniors, children, disabled, etc. living below the poverty line, not good in the eyes of many.

    We see the results of poverty all over north america. Doesn’t look like much of a business plan to me.

    Time to eliminate the “subsidies” for these profitable corporations


  4. e.a f.

    “Time to eliminate the “subsidies” for these profitable corporations”..

    correction for consideration if I may..

    Time to eliminate the politicians who still approve of the “subsidies”
    for these profitable corporations.


  5. All of the political parties “still approve of the subsidies” so changing one set of politicians with another isn’t going to change much. In the meantime i keep objecting to child poverty.

    When choosing a politican or party I look at a few other things. don’t trust conservatives. On the take, the Mulroney Year, by Stevie Cameron still is a good read. When Harper came to office the first thing he did was defund all women’s programs the federal government had been funding and then made it government policy to spend less on Indigenous children than the other children in Canada. Conservatives aren’t progressive.

    That leads us with the Liberals and NDP. The B.C. Lieberals may have changed their name but its still the same old bunch and we can still read old blogs with all this province went through with el gordo and Christy. Kevin Falcon was part of those governments. Its really a good laugh when you see him flapping his gums going on about the lack of affordable housing for those living in tents and others. Now Keven appears to have forgotten the B.C. Lieberals didn’t exactly do much when it came to housing. Come to think of it, they sold all that land to a private developer for chump change, at Little Moutain, which had been affordable Housing. Then when they were socreds they sold all of the former Expo Lands to one person, failed to keep enough land for the future for affordable public housing and didn’t make a profit on it because they had to spend all that money cleaning up the site.

    Had the province charged more in the way of royalties and handed out fewer tax breaks there would have been more funding for affordable housing, higher rates for those on welfare, pensions, disability benefits. We all complain about how high taxes are getting and the increases in the carbon tax makes life more difficult, but if the federal and provincial governments started charging corporations more, there would be more money for other things. Right now we have a model which has working people and the poor subsidizing corporations and that really ought to stop Corporations already benefit from things which our society provides such as roads, airports, education for workers, police and fire departments, governmetn paid health care.

    Changing politicians won’t help much, unless we bring in a load of Norweign politicians who have almost 2 trillion in their national wealth fund.


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