Letters to the Editor

Pay-to-pollute a political scam

Letter writers question the environmental benefits of carbon credits, suggesting political benefits are more obvious. - File photo
Letter writers question the environmental benefits of carbon credits, suggesting political benefits are more obvious.
— image credit: File photo

Editor:

Re: Carbon offsets all smoke and mirrors, April 11 editorial.

The editorial on the serious questions raised by the auditor general over the carbon-credit scam is a good start, but there is one very serious issue not addressed.

If the BC Liberals were a free-enterprise party, they would go to the market for carbon credits, not to cozy deals with select private corporations. That would show that the market price for carbon offsets is far below the price they are charging the schools, hospitals and voters.

Of course, finding a viable carbon exchange is a bit of a problem. After the Chicago Climate Exchange’s carbon-credit price high of $7.50 per metric ton of CO2 in May 2008, by November 2010 the value was five to 10 cents and a decision was made to close the exchange after nine months of zero trading volume. Compare five to 10 cents to the $25 the BC Liberals are soaking us for.

The last major exchange is the one run for the European Union, which has its own problems. As the Feb. 19 issue of The Economist notes, the price on that exchange has collapsed to five Euros per ton (about $7). It would have gone even lower but for government intervention holding back 900 million tons of credits,

Just one more way the BC Liberals are abusing the voters of this province to enrich their friends.

Ed Beauregard, Surrey

• • •

The simple words “carbon tax” were motherhood and apple pie to honest environmentalists. Imposed by edict with no truthful disclosure or discussion, most naively believed government had their interests at heart, and was competent and honest. The auditor general proved otherwise and has been scorned by government and Pacific Carbon Trust clients, who all have much to gain.

PCT is like a Ponzi scheme, spending millions of tax dollars on non-existent projects and then claiming credibility because they spent the money.

Our government gives schools, hospitals and other government monopolies operating funds, and then claws them back by imposing carbon taxes. Emissions are never decreased because the object is to achieve “neutral” emissions. Any Grade 10 student looking at this scheme would declare it to be environmentally stupid but profitable for government.

As an extreme example, if I started a lucrative business burning old tires, all I need do is buy “carbon offsets” and I am now “carbon neutral.” Nothing has been done to help the environment, and pollution was increased.

Both BC Liberals and NDP vow to continue with this scam. Like the First World War temporary income tax, they intend the carbon tax to become a permanent source of income for government, with regular increases. Additionally, TransLink, Mayor Watts and the UBCM want a piece of the action, with increases to cover their own dubious spending.

My MLA agrees with the Grade 10s but cannot speak out because of party discipline. The politicians are bilking us not only environmentally but also financially.

The carbon tax should be immediately scrapped, thus removing a tax burden on the working poor who still have to heat their homes and cook their food. Replacing it with fines for excessive polluters would be simpler.

J. Edwards, Surrey

 

 

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