Climate Change

Planting seeds of destruction

If you’re wondering why governments continue to spend tens of billions of dollars to subsidize an industry that moves humanity toward extinction:

Why Fossil Fuels Subsidies:

  • To increase profitability of fossil fuel production and incentivize new production.
  • To protect financial institutions heavily invested in fossil fuel companies.
  • To allow politicians to enjoy jobs, contributions, and favours arranged by industry lobbyists.
  • To accelerate GDP growth that politicians use to boost political support.

Why No Fossil Fuel Subsidies:

  • They worsen the climate crisis by encouraging the use of carbon-intensive fuels.
  • They distort the energy market and create unfair competition for renewable energy sources.
  • They impose a fiscal burden on governments and divert public funds from other priorities.
  • They benefit mostly the wealthy and powerful, not the poor and vulnerable.
  • They enable fossil fuel companies to block climate solutions by investing in lobbying operations.

Instead of moving away from climate damaging energy sources, both Liberal and NDP governments of British Columbia have accelerated fossil fuel production through direct and indirect subsidies paid for with carbon taxes.

Beyond royalty credit programs, the NDP government has dropped monthly sales of petroleum and natural gas rights, a once lucrative program for the provincial treasury. The change is too enormous to represent this reward to producers by a simple chart. Yet, this change seems not to have been debated in the Legislature or mentioned by legacy media.

Of course, the province needs money, but they had a way of replacing lost revenue. Cash is taken from the pockets of citizens heating their homes and fueling their vehicles and used to finance welfare that benefits foreign owned corporations.

Categories: Climate Change

5 replies »

  1. Extracting tax dollars, particularly income taxes is the name of the game in this world where jurisdictions compete to raise the revenue required to provide the resources the public demands.
    Governments of all levels have , in this competitive world ,decided to reduce or eliminate taxes that could reduce the employment of persons that provide income to the Government, IE us the taxpayer!!
    The end game would suggest that, YES, we the taxpayer are subsidising industry and it’s investors!


  2. Thank you for keeping us in the know, Norm.

    A few questions:

    • is there a simple way of explaining the meaning of “Cash sales from Crown petroleum and natural gas rights”? What were they for — and with them missing, does this mean the oil & gas companies have rights to mine that they haven’t paid us for? Is Alberta doing similar?

    • I didn’t expect any carbon tax rebate — but recently got $245.00 deposited in my bank account. If rebates are being given back to taxpayers (and remember Gordon Campbell promising they’d be ‘revenue neutral’)… how much of the Carbon Tax is being kept by the government?


    • Good questions.
      Until March 2020, the province held monthly sales of petroleum and natural gas rights. Companies would compete for production rights on particular parcels of land. They would pay cash for fees and rents, plus, depending on their assessments of parcel values, they bid bonus amounts to acquire rights.

      In 2020 and 2021, there were two public, competitive sales in each year. There have been none since May 2021. My understanding is that rights allocations and renewals are now being made administratively without competitive tenders. The industry saw these rights auctions as deterrents to increased production. The NDP government agreed because, despite their climate-friendly boasts, they want higher fossil fuel exports.

      Government did not recognize the cash revenue from bonus bids in the year received but would defer it and spread recognition over eight, nine or ten years. (This deferral was preferred by Gordon Campbell’s government because recognizing a major influx of money would lead to surpluses and demands for improved services.)

      I cannot find a statement that gives the total cost to the BC government of carbon tax rebates. These are calculated according to adjusted family net income. A threshold amount is set each year (now $43,051 for families) and a full rebate is paid to those below the threshold, but payments are reduced by 2% of the income above the threshold until the credit becomes zero.


  3. Campbell’s Carbon Tax was a vehicle cobbled together by a SFU Liberal acolyte to masquerade the fact the tax was a revenue replacement for the massive tax cuts given to the wealthy of BC by Campbell’s Liberals.

    The tax is not revenue neutral (what tax is) and has little to do about the environment as it is deposited in “general revenue”.

    The rebates are nothing more than a vehicle to make the tax acceptable to the voter, as there is no record of carbon tax monies actually going to projects to mitigate the issues of Global Warming and climate change.

    The NDP have just continued with this tax grab.


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