Wednesday, February 20, 2008

British Columbia introduces a carbon tax

The government of British Columbia has announced a tax on all fossil fuels - gasoline, coal, natural gas, you name it. The revenue-neutral carbon tax is being touted as the centerpiece of what the Globe and Mail called 'the greenest budget ever seen in North America'.

The details of the tax plan and other components of the budget will be heavily scrutinized over the coming weeks, as they should be (e.g. is $10-$30/tonne too low to effect people's decisions? should consumers be taxed directly, or indirectly through taxes on industries?). Right now, the most important feature about this budget is the fact that it exists. North America will finally have a real example of carbon pricing, that can serve as a model or a cautionary tale. You can be sure many other provinces, US states, and federal political parties will be watching closely.

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