Canadian Premiers are aiming their attacks at carbon caps — at a time when the plan is designed to be less progressive than expected

Canada’s provincial leaders have a solution for the federal government’s carbon emissions cap on oil and gas companies: first, Alberta is asking Ottawa to exempt the industry from the cap. And second, the premier…

Canadian Premiers are aiming their attacks at carbon caps — at a time when the plan is designed to be less progressive than expected

Canada’s provincial leaders have a solution for the federal government’s carbon emissions cap on oil and gas companies: first, Alberta is asking Ottawa to exempt the industry from the cap. And second, the premier of British Columbia says the cap should include the entire sector.

The federal government is moving forward with a plan to sharply reduce emissions from fossil fuels, raising the ire of Western Canadian provinces who say it will hamper the development of the energy sector.

Ottawa argues the plan will also be good for the environment. The plan puts a price on carbon emissions in three ways.

Firstly, any company that emits over 250,000 tons of carbon per year would pay $1 per ton; second, they would pay $10 per ton if they emit more than 500,000 tons per year, and thirdly, they would be required to pay $50 per ton if they emit over 10 million tons per year.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says an exemption is justified because of the size of the oil and gas industry in the province.

“We are not exempt. Let me be clear. We absolutely are. Our industry will be exempt,” Notley said.

“The carbon tax being faced by our industry already dictates some of the decisions we’re having to make,” she continued. “Those decisions which force us to invest, which force us to exit particular projects before they are completed.”

Alberta is asking the federal government to exempt the oilsands sector from the cap. British Columbia’s premier, John Horgan, agrees.

“Today we’re announcing that industry, for example the oil and gas sector, and other sectors of our economy will be exempt from this pricing mechanism,” Horgan said.

And Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford is openly suggesting an exemption.

“As British Columbians understand, this is about free market principles: being able to reinvest in our country – it’s a very American system that we have here in Canada,” Ford said, according to the Edmonton Journal.

Ford said he will not raise the tax just because it is supposedly necessary for “climate change.”

“We’re not going to raise the sales tax because the Trudeau Liberals are taxing us for ‘climate change’ which means we can’t buy goods, services or investment in Alberta,” he said.

British Columbia is already exempt from a national tax on carbon emissions because it has its own carbon tax. The emissions cap, however, is still calculated according to the national numbers.

Ford and Horgan have already discussed the issue, and the premiers may propose their own carbon pricing plan.

These plans will come in the lead up to a climate change summit that’s expected to be convened at the end of this year.

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