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As you know, some countries are trying to reduce fossil fuels consumption by creating a carbon tax that is applied to products such as gasoline. One such example is British Columbia, Canada, where a tax of 2.4 cents for each liter of gasoline is going to be included in gas prices next summer. Voices have been raised in opposition to this measure. One of them is such as Don Martin, who writes in an article for the National Post that, with oil prices above $100 per barrel, Canadian consumers are paying 10 cents per liter more for their gas already. And yet they continue to drive their cars and heat their houses. Therefore, a low 2.4 cent tax would have little to no impact on consumer habits to reduce their fuel consumption.

Similar taxes in other countries seem to have had a similar effect. Germany's gas prices are almost twice as high as Canada's and yet Germans drive a lot, and in powerful cars as well. In the end, it might seem that these taxes just seem a nice way to add revenue, albeit for a good cause, for Mr. Taxman.

[Source: National Post via Automotive]





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  • 9 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      By all means raise prices even more for heating and gasoline the people with money will dislike it but will be fine. But what about the lower income people who are just making it by now. They haven't the money to buy a better fuel milage car and already keep their home heat turned so low they have to wear their coats in the house or stay wrapped in blankets to keep warm. Not to mention farmers and ranchers who have to have trucks and tractors to run their opperations, and most times are already running in the red, so all you green people can have meat and vegies. Maybe you will think about them when they are out of business and you can't get enough food to feed your kids, like alot of lower income people now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There is a renewed policy interest in using renewable energy as a way to decrease emissions of Green House Gases (GHGs) and other pollutants. Canada is a world leader in the production of renewable energy. In fact, hydro-electricity is the dominant source of electricity in Canada, representing nearly two-thirds of total generation. Canada has abundant water resources and a geography that provides many opportunities to produce low-cost energy. The largest producers are provincially owned electric utilities. They include Hydro-Quebec, BC Hydro, Ontario Power Generation Inc., Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, and Manitoba Hydro. Hydro-Electricity production is projected to increase by about 14 percent until 2020. The need for reducing GHG emissions in Canada may lead to additional growth potential for hydro-electricity.

      Quebec’s electricity production comes for the greatest part (97%) from hydroelectricity. Using FEV in Quebec will make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 3.8 tons per year per vehicle.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually it seems to work in Europe for the most part. But it would probably need to be a 24.0 cent not 2.4 cent tax to make a difference.

      Anyone who follows cars knows there are dozens of small, highly efficient, gas and diesel hatchbacks in Europe that aren't available here and one of the often cited reasons is the massive cost of fuel over there vs here.

      When fuel is more expensive people migrate to more efficient vehicles.

      Tax or no tax, the writing is on the wall for future fuel prices. I know I will buy something very efficient for my next car. I currently drive a small 4cyl 5-speed, but it doesn't get great mileage. I am looking for 4cyl diesel or small hybrid next (my car is a '99 so maybe an '09 or '10 model to replace it).

      I applaud fuel tax increases as a step in the right direction, they make a lot more sense than loophole ridden CAFE farce, it is just that few politicians have the stones to tax fuel, it is a lot easier to do something lame like CAFE.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The reason politicians don't tax fuel is because we (The American people) don't want to pay more for gas. I agree a high gas tax would force many people to buy smaller more fuel efficient cars. Unfortunately that would not be the only consequence of raising the tax on gas. Everything that is transported by trucks, delivery vans or cars will go up in price. Not everyone can afford to just pay more.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The carbon tax is not just for gasoline, but all forms of carbon emitting fuel including natural gas. Carbon dioxide emissions do affect the environment negatively. We all breathe the same air and enjoy the same environment. Emitters of carbon dioxide should pay for the damage done to the environment to compensate the general public for the damage done. The only way this can be achieved is through a carbon tax. Its a sound economic principle really. Of course, the revenue collected should be used to either mitigate the effects of carbon dioxide emissions, research alternative fuels and technologies and pay for a healthy environmental monitoring program so that the heaviest polluters do not get away with anything. The downfall of the BC carbon tax is that the revenues collected are being offset by tax cuts in other areas, hence the money collected is not giving any benefit to society in general to try and correct the problem of carbon dioxide emissions.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @john,

      With that attitude, you should never visit Europe, either.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This tax was introduced on February 19th by the Government of British Columbia when they announced that in their 2008 budget they are introducing a “Revenue-neutral Carbon Tax”, effective July 1, 2008. The idea is that the monies collected will be used to fund R&D, policy objectives, and to provides rebates, etc. that will lead to reduced CO2 emissions.

      From: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2008/backgrounders/backgrounder_carbon_tax.htm

      The carbon tax will be phased in to give individuals, businesses, and industry time to adapt, innovate, and reduce the impact of the tax. The carbon tax starts at a rate based on $10 per tonne of associated carbon, or carbon-equivalent, emissions and will rise by $5 a year for the next four years — reaching $30 per tonne by 2012. This works out to 2.41 cents per litre for gasoline, rising gradually to 7.24 cents a litre by 2012. For diesel and home heating oil, it works out to 2.76 cents per litre, rising to 8.27 cents over the same five-year period.

      Monies collected from the Carbon Tax will be used to fund a $1 Billion fund for Climate Action …

      From: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2008/backgrounders/backgrounder_climate_action.htm

      Balanced Budget 2008 provides an additional $1 billion over four years for operating and capital expenditures and tax incentives to encourage environmentally responsible choices, implement new regulatory requirements, undertake cutting-edge research, and make needed low-carbon investments.

      This includes: $33 million to provide tax relief for the purchase of conventional fuel-efficient vehicles that meet the fuel efficiency criteria set out in the federal government’s ecoAuto rebate program.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Living in British Columbia, I've got no problem with a carbon tax, providing the revenue from it goes to green technology. The way the system is set up now is that each resident of the province will receive $100 with the proceeds of the tax to spend how they wish. Whippty doo. Why not take that money and invest it in cleaner energy?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Way to go Canada! Lets make it even more difficult for the average family to afford a summer vacation. Not to mention supporting local business at vacation spots. I'm glad it will soon be mandatory for having a passport to enter Canada. It will give me more reason never to go there again.