Quebec Approves Carbon Tax on Fuels to Cut Greenhouse Gases

gas.jpg

Quebec will become the first Canadian province to impose a carbon tax on energy producers. Bloomberg reports:

The provincial cabinet approved the tax in Quebec City yesterday, according to a statement on the Natural Resources Ministry Web site. Refiners including Valero Energy Corp.’s Ultramar unit and Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Canadian unit will start paying a tax of 0.8 cent a liter on gasoline and 0.9 cent on diesel on Oct. 1. Power producers such as state-owned Hydro- Quebec and gas companies will also be taxed.

"Everyone is talking about the environment; everyone wants to play their part," Natural Resources Minister Claude Bechard told reporters in Quebec City yesterday. "Well, the oil companies too have to play their part."

The province will direct proceeds from the tax to a "green fund" that will invest in commuter rail networks and other forms of mass transit.

Bechard said he expects that the companies will absorb the higher costs, though he "can’t guarantee" that producers and refiners won’t pass them on to consumers. The tax is based on the "polluter pays" principle. "That is not negotiable," the minister said.

Charles Komanoff of the Carbon Tax Center (and Streetsblog), while hailing the tax as a positive step, notes that it’s extremely small, equating to little more than 1% of the tax level that CTC proposes the U.S. phase in over a ten-year period.

Photo: _EM/Flickr

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Enormous Promise of a Carbon Tax-and-Dividend

|
Absent any foreseeable action from Washington, some states and localities are stepping up with policies that put a price on carbon. And that has a number of exciting implications for cities and sustainable transportation. California is using revenue from its cap-and-trade program, for instance, to subsidize housing near transit. In Oregon, advocates are now pushing a […]

Grover Norquist Buckles to Pressure From Koch-Backed Group on Carbon Tax

|
Some readers took issue with yesterday’s post that characterized a carbon tax as a terrific but politically unlikely proposal, after the Obama administration shot down the idea last week. Putting a price on carbon emissions is, after all, generating renewed interest from across the ideological spectrum. Notably, the libertarian American Enterprise Institute is co-sponsoring a forum on […]
Slain Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. Photo: 
Project on Middle East Democracy

Tax Carbon to Hurt Saudis for Killing Khashoggi

|
This story was originally published by the Carbon Tax Center. It is reprinted here with permission. It’s often said that a carbon tax is first and foremost a tax on coal. I’ve probably said it myself, and David Roberts wrote as much the other day in his useful post for Vox, “The 5 most important questions […]

Pricing for Sustainability

|
In his weekly radio address yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg discussed some steps his administration is taking toward a sustainable future, including the creation of an Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, and a Sustainability Advisory Board, which held its first meeting last week. Long-term sustainability is of course right up Streetsblog’s alley. Correspondent Charles Komanoff donned his […]

Eno: Stop Obsessing Over the Gas Tax and Change How We Fund Transpo

|
Twenty years ago, Japan’s electoral reform redistributed power, giving urban constituencies a greater voice. One result: Japan eliminated its version of the Highway Trust Fund, which urban voters saw as satisfying the interests of the construction lobby, not their own. If city-dwellers had a greater voice in the United States, would the same thing happen? […]