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Fla. GOP Sponsored Carbon Tax Proposal Expected (Reg & Leg)
Carbon Tax
Date: 2018-07-20
According to E&E News, Republican Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo will next week table legislation calling for a gradually escalating carbon tax. Starting in 2020, the proposal would require fossil fuel companies and manufacturers to pay a fee of $23 per ton for their carbon emissions, rising an additional $2 each year emissions targets aren't met.

Preliminary modeling shows that the policy would meet former President Obama's climate target under the Paris Agreement -- a 26 to 28 pct reduction in U.S. emissions by 2025, compared with 2005 levels.

The proposal would eliminate the gasoline tax, stall the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and earmark the lion's share of its revenue to building new transportation infrastructure nationwide. Details of the proposed legislation have not been released. (Source: E&E News. Grist, 18 July, 2018) Contact: Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo, https://curbelo.house.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  US Carbon Tax,  


NWT Touts Planned Carbon Pricing Proposal (Ind. Report)
Northwest Territories
Date: 2018-07-13
In Yellowknife, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), a signatory to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, is touting its planned approach to implementing carbon pricing in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Some of the key components of the NWT approach to carbon pricing include:
  • Introducing a NWT carbon tax on fuels effective July 1, 2019 based on $20/tonne of GHG emissions. This would increase annually to $50/tonne;

  • Excluding aviation fuel from carbon pricing;

  • Rebating 100 pct of the carbon tax for heating fuel for most residents, businesses, and government;

  • Enhancing benefit programs to offset the impact of carbon pricing on NWT families through benefits that will be delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency on behalf of the GNWT;

  • Rebating the NWT Power Corporation for carbon tax payments related to fuel needed to produce electricity, in order to ensure electricity rates do not increase;

  • Establishing rebate program for large GHG emitters to partly offset the impact of carbon pricing and to incent investments to reduce GHG emissions;

  • Investing in GNWT initiatives that reduce emissions and address climate change as identified in the 2030 Energy Plan and NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework.

    The results of the federal-territorial analysis of the impact on carbon pricing in the NWT and the results of the public engagement on carbon pricing completed by the GNWT can be found HERE. (Source: Government of the Northwest Territories, Todd Sasaki, Senior Communications Officer, (867) 767-9151 ext. 14032, todd_sasaki@gov.nt.ca, www.gov.nt.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emission,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Pricing,  


  • Ford Kills Ontario Cap-and-Trade Funded Energy Efficiency Programs (Ind. Report)
    Ontario Cap-and-Trade
    Date: 2018-07-05
    Following up on our June 22nd coverage, the Canadian Press is reporting newly elected populist Ontario Premier Doug Ford (Progressive Conservative) has revoked the province's carbon pricing cap-and-trade program that was instigated by the former Liberal government of Catherine Wynne. With the goose that layed the golden eggs dead,Ford's administration will begin winding down all green programs funded through the province's cap-and-trade system this week.

    In his most recent announcement, Ford noted the province will nonetheless honour existing contracts, orders and projects -- such as energy efficient insulation and window retrofits -- funded by cap-and-trade. Some existing Ontario energy efficiency rebates were being phased out before Ford officially took office last week. The premier says the government will decide on a case-by-case basis whether some initiatives previously funded by the cap-and-trade program will be paid for using tax base revenue.

    As previously reported, Ford claimed eliminating the provincial cap-and-trade system will help him deliver on campaign promises Ontario the electorate doesn't realistically expect him to keep -- cutting retail gasoline prices by roughly 4 cents per litre -- which is apparently more important than the roughly $3 billion the carbon tax contributed to the provincial coffers since the system was introduced by the then Liberal government in 2017. And, in a move that rings of Trump political posturing, the new Premier also reportedly promised to lower the price of beer to $1.00 per can in an effort to appeal to his base. (Source: Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Various Media, Canada Press, 3 July, 2018) Contact: Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, www.ontario.ca/page/premier

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  Doug Ford,  Energy Efficiency Program,  


    Trump Finds a Kindred Spirit in Former Aussie PM Tony Abbott (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Tony Abbott,Trump,Climate Change
    Date: 2018-07-03
    In the Land Down Under, former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the prime minister who signed Australia on to the Paris Climate Agreement, now says Australia should pull out of the treaty to end "the emissions obsession that's at the heart of our power crisis."

    In a recent speech to a group of "climate skeptics", Abbott, who is perhaps best remembered for his comment "climate change is a load of CRAP", now says he wouldn't have signed up to the Paris treaty had he known the US would withdraw from it.

    In his speech, Abbott noted: "I didn't anticipate how agreeing to emissions that were 26 pct lower in 2030 than in 2005 would subsequently become a linear progression of roughly equal cuts every year over the next decade." "As long as we remain in the Paris agreement -- which is about reducing emissions, not building prosperity -- all policy touching on emissions will be about their reduction, not our well-being. It's the emissions obsession that's at the heart of our power crisis and it's this that has to end for our problems to ease."

    Other oft repeated Abbott comments include:

    "There are respectable arguments for an ETS but the one Labor (the then governing party) has in mind could easily be expensive and futile. I am wary of a system which creates new vested interests - which an ETS will do. I suspect that a straight carbon tax or charge could be more transparent and easier to change if conditions change or our understanding of the science changes." -- Tony Abbott, ,July 10, 2009

    "I am confident, based on the science we have, that mankind does make a difference to climate, almost certainly the impact of humans on the planet extends to climate." -- Tony Abbott, May 27, 2010 "We do not believe in artificially imposing a carbon price on consumers. There will be no carbon price on consumers under a (my) Coalition government." Tony Abbott, July 19, 2010.

    "Now, we do have policy out there. We've had it out there since February. It basically goes -- it involves going to the market and buying abatements through soil carbon, through tree planting, through businesses that are prepared to change their processes to less emitting ones. It will reduce our emissions by five percent by 2020, so we will achieve our targets. Now, that's our commitment. It's doable. It's deliverable." -- Tony Abbott,16 August, 2010

    "Yeah, look, I never said it (climate change) was a myth. I once used some colourful language describing the so-called settled science of climate change but look, climate change is real, humanity does make a contribution to it and we've got to take effective action against it. I mean, that's my position and that's always been my position but I've never been in favour of a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme." -- Tony Abbott, July, 2011

    (Source: Various Media, Guardian, 3 July, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Trump,  Climate Change,  Tony Abbott,  


    Cdn. National Carbon Tax Projections Revealed (Ind. Report)
    Canada Carbon Tax,University of Calgary
    Date: 2018-06-29
    In a report on Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's carbon tax to the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Calgary economics professor Jennifer Winter used Statistics Canada energy-consumption data to project the impact of Trudeau's carbon tax on a typical Canadian household:
  • At $50 per ton, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia households will be hit with more than $1,000 of carbon tax per year to comply with the $50-per-tonne carbon tax Ottawa has mandated for 2022. Nova Scotia ($1,120) and Alberta ($1,111) will have the highest bills, followed by Saskatchewan ($1,032), New Brunswick ($963), Newfoundland ($859) and Prince Edward Island ($788). The average household in Ontario will pay $707 a year to comply with the carbon tax once its fully implemented.

  • At $100 a tonne, households in Alberta will be slammed $2,223, Saskatchewan will be hit with $2,065 and in Nova Scotia, $2,240. At $100 a tonne, the average price for households in all provinces will be well in excess of $1,000 per year. (Source: University of Calgary, Fraser Inst., Financial Post, 27 June, 2018) Contact: University of Calgary, Prof. Jennifer Winter, https://econ.ucalgary.ca/profiles/jennifer-winter

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  


  • Americans for Carbon Dividends Carbon Tax Advocacy Group Launched (Ind. Report)
    Carbon Tax, Exelon, First Solar, AWEA
    Date: 2018-06-22
    The newly launched bipartisan Americans for Carbon Dividends, which follows on an unsuccessful attempt last year from Republicans George Shultz and James Baker to push a price on carbon, would place a $40 per ton tax on CO2 that would increase over time. Some money would be returned to the public through a carbon dividend of approximately $2,000 per year for a family of four.

    Supporters of the policy include Exelon Corp., First Solar and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and the former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, say it's a climate policy that makes economic sense. Exelon has reportedly contributed $1 million to the initiative and AWEA is offering financial support, according to Americans for Carbon Dividends. (Source: Americans for Carbon Dividends, GTM, 20 June, 2018) Contact: Americans for Carbon Dividends , info@afcd.org, www.afcd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Exelon,  First Solar,  AWEA,  


    Friends of Science Society Challenges Cdn. Carbon Tax, Climate Change Policy (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Friends of Science Society
    Date: 2018-06-22
    The Canadian carbon tax and climate change policy revolt gained strength as Conservative Premier-elect Doug Ford gave notice he would scrap the present cap-and-trade deal with California and Quebec, as reported by CBC News on June 15, 2018. Ford also has stated he is willing to go to court to challenge the Liberal Canadian federal government's intention to impose a carbon tax on provinces.

    The scientific justification for carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, and the Paris Agreement took another hit on June 20, 2018, when the Financial Post published an article by economist Ross McKitrick laying out flaws in climate simulations (models) upon which carbon taxes and climate policies are based. The article noted: "It also means that greenhouse gas emissions do not have as big an impact on the climate as has been claimed, and the case for costly policy measures to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions is much weaker than governments have told us. For a science that was supposedly 'settled' back in the early 1990s, we sure have a lot left to learn," the McKitrick article said.

    The Friends of Science Society, an independent group of earth, atmospheric and solar scientists, engineers, and citizens, says CO2 from human industrial emissions has nominal impact on climate, there is no significant climate risk and no need to phase out fossil fuels or enact related climate policies.

    Download the Friends of Science Society Challenging the Canadian Federal Government's Carbon Pollution Pricing System Results Report HERE. (Source: Friends of Science Society, PR WEB, June, 2018) Contact: Friends of Science Society, (888) -789-9597, contact@friendsofscience.org, www.friendsofscience.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


    Ontario Renewables, Green Renovation Rebates Chopped (Ind. Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2018-06-22
    Hard on the heels of the election of Ontario's new Conservative Premier Doug Ford's announcement to scrap the province's 2017 vintage carbon tax -- cap-and-trade program, a post on the GreenOn.ca website announced the closing of several renewable energy and residential and commercial energy efficiency rebate programs. Existing rebate program commitments will be honoured.

    The rebate program was funded through proceeds from the province's cap-and-trade program through a provincial agency called the Green Ontario Fund. Ontario has earned approximately $3 billion in a series of cap-and-trade auctions since the system was introduced by the Liberals last year. (Source: Green Ontario Fund, Bell Media, 20 June, 2018) Contact: Green Ontario Fund, www.GreenOn.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  Doug Ford,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Rebate,  


    Freshman Premier Scraping Ontario Cap-and-Trade to Lower Gasoline, Beer Prices (Ind.Report)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-06-15
    At Queens Park, Ontario's freshman Conservative premier Doug Ford reports he will give notice of the province's withdrawal from the linked carbon pricing market with Quebec and California and issue clear rules for an "orderly wind down" of the system. The newly elected premier will also instruct his equally wet-behind the ears attorney general to challenge the Liberal federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rules requiring provinces to establish a carbon tax or have a tax imposed on them by the feds.

    According to Ford, eliminating the cap-and-trade system will help him deliver on a campaign promise that the electorate doesn't expect him to keep -- cutting retail gasoline prices by roughly 4 cents per litre -- which is apparently more important to him than the roughly $3 billion the carbon tax contributed to the provincial coffers since the system was introduced by the then Liberal government in 2017. And, in a move that rings of Trump political posturing, the new Premier also reportedly promised to lower the price of beer to $1.00 per can in an effort to appeal to his base. (Source: Various Media, Canada Press, 15 June, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Carbon Tax,  Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  


    Ontario Greens Support Cap-and-Trade, Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    Ontario Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-06-01
    Speaking in Ontario, Casey Laonde, the Canada Green Party candidate in the riding of Timiskaming-Cochrane said her party supports a cap-and-trade system where money collected under the system is re-distributed to taxpayers much in the same way that people now get a GST refund cheque.

    In the upcoming June 7 Ontario provincial election, the Progressive Conservative candidate, Doug Ford, is calling for the abolition of the sitting Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne's carbon cap-and-trade program which, according to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, generated an estimated $471 million for the province in the first joint Ontario, Quebec, California cap-and-trade program auction held February 21, 2018. The funds will be invested in programs that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help families and businesses reduce their own emissions through the province's Climate Change Action Plan. (Source: Green Party of Canada, MyWestNippisingNow, 31 May, 2018) Contact: Green Party of Canada, www.greenparty.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Tax,  


    WA Carbon Tax Addresses Environmental Justice (Reg & Leg)
    Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
    Date: 2018-05-30
    In Washington State, "communities of color" are reported to be organizing support for Initiative 1631, a state carbon tax that would charge $15 per ton on carbon emissions starting in 2020.

    Front and Centered, an organization that represents communities of color fighting climate change, notes the disproportionate effects, such as higher asthma rates for children of color, in these communities. According to Front and Centered, "(Initiative) 1631 represents an opportunity to put the cost burden back onto the polluters and holds the largest corporate polluters accountable, because our communities, you know, we've been paying our fair share. And now it's time to make it more equitable, in that sense."

    Thirty-five pct of the fee would be earmarked for communities of color. Fifteen-percent of the carbon tax collected would address the oversized energy burden for low-income households, 10 pct would go to Native American tribes affected by climate change, and a $50-million reserve from the fee would assist displaced fossil-fuel workers. Opponents of the measure say companies could pass the cost of the fee onto Washingtonians. Initiative 1631 is supported by Washington Governor Jay Inslee. (Source: Washington Public News Service, 29 May, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


    Ontario NDP Candidate Calls for $150 Tonne Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    Ontario Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-05-28
    In the upcoming June 7 Ontario elections, Ottawa Centre New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Joel Harden isn't pulling his punches calling for a $150 per tonne carbon tax that will increase gas taxes by 35 cents a litre -- roughly $1.40 per gal. -- a $4,100 in new costs per year for a two-car family.

    The NDP platform says that if elected, the government would use 25 pct of cap-and-trade revenue to help low-income earners in northern and rural Ontarians adapt to a lower carbon lifestyle and $50 million to a home efficiency retrofit program.

    The Progressive Conservative (PC) party says if elected it would scrap the sittingt LIberal government's existing cap-and-trade program and oppose the federal mandated minimum price on carbon emissions. The province's 2017 vintage cap-and-trade system has to date contributed nearly $2.5 billion to Ontario's coffers. (Source: Various Media, Edmonton Sun, 27 May, 2018) Contact: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, (416) 235-5743, www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-environment-and-climate-change

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Carbon Tax,  Cap-and-Trade,  


    Global Carbon Market Up 56 pct, says World Bank (Ind. Report)
    World Bank
    Date: 2018-05-25
    According to a new World Bank report, the global value of carbon pricing schemes has jumped by 56 pct over 2016 to an estimated value of $82 billion. The increase follows the opening of new markets, including China, Chile, Colombia, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Ontario.

    The report notes there are currently 51 carbon pricing initiatives around the world, consisting of 25 emissions trading schemes and 26 carbon taxes. These initiatives cover 20 pct of all global greenhouse gas emissions. The World Bank estimates that receipts from carbon pricing now amount to $33 billion -- a 50 percent increase on the previous year. (Source: World Bank, Climate Action, Other 22 May, 2018) Contact: World Bank, Marcene Broadwater Global Head, Strategy and Business Development, (202) 473-1000, mbroadwater@ifc.org; John Roome, Senior Director for Climate Change, www.ifc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Bank,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Market,  


    Global CO2 Emissions Pricing Schemes Worth $82Bn, says World Bank Report (Int'l. Report)
    World Bank
    Date: 2018-05-23
    In a just released report, the World Bank pegs the value of global schemes to put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and designed to reduce greenhouse gases blamed for global warming at $82 billion, as compared to $52 billion in 2017. The report estimates that 25 emission trading schemes and 26 carbon taxes initiatives worldwide cover 11 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, or 20 pct of global greenhouse gas emissions.

    "Looking ahead, this trend is set to continue, as indicated by some of the jurisdictions which are planning carbon price increases," the World Bank report says. "This includes emerging carbon pricing initiatives, which are launching at relatively low price levels, with the intention of scaling up over time," the report added.

    Governments raised around $33 billion in carbon pricing revenues in 2017, compared with $22 billion the previous year, the report said. (Source: World Bank, Economic Times India, 22 May, 2018) Contact: World Bank, John Roome, (202) 473-3373, http://www.worldbank.org/en/about/people/j/john-roome

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  CO2,  GHG,  World Bank,  


    UK Climate Campaigners Call for "Rigged" Clean Energy Investments (Int'l Report)

    Date: 2018-05-21
    In London, the Financial Times is reporting UK Members of Parliament "are warning of a 'dramatic and worrying collapse' of clean energy investments in Great Britain in the last three years." The paper notes that While the UK's share of low-carbon energy roughly doubled in the last decade, the government's annual investment in clean energy dropped 10 pct in 2016 and an additional 50 percent in 2017" leaving some MP's concerned that the drop is threatening the country's ability to meet its climate change targets.

    According to the Financial Times article, unless government rigs the market in favor of clean energy investments it cannot meet its legally binding climate change targets.

    But, as the Guardian recently noted, to boost clean energy's market share government must also penalize or ban fossil fuel investments. Such penalties can come in many forms, not only the obvious ones like carbon taxes and cap-and-trade, but also interminable environmental reviews and permitting delays.

    The UK Department for Business, Investment and Industrial Strategy recently published a proposal to weaken the grip of "under-performing local planning authorities that repeatedly fail to determine oil and gas applications within statutory time frames." The Department seeks to expedite environmental reviews of onshore hydraulic fracturing projects.

    Thanks in part to offshore natural gas production, which is now declining, the UK has "had competitively-priced energy since 1990 whilst reducing carbon emissions across the economy by 49 pct." (Source: UK Department for Business, Investment, and Industrial Strategy Competative Enterprize Institute, 20 May, 2018)Contact: UK Department for Business, Investment, and Industrial Strategy, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  Clean Energy,  Renewable Energy,  Carbon Tax,  


    New York ISO Floats Carbon Tax Proposal (Ind. Report)
    NYISO
    Date: 2018-05-02
    In Rensselaer, the New York Independent Systems Operator (ISO) has released a carbon tax "straw proposal" aimed at getting wholesale energy markets to reflect the state's aggressive decarbonization goals. The proposal would subject all suppliers inside the market to carbon charges, while rules would be developed to ensure imports and exports compete fairly.

    New York is targeting an 80 pct reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, and has been considering placing a price on the emissions associated with electricity generation.

    A draft of the NYISO proposal is HERE. (Source: New York Independent Systems Operator, UtilityDive, 1 May, 2018) Contact: New York Independent Systems Operator, (518) 356-6000, www.nyiso.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NYISO,  Carbon Tax,  


    EU Members Seeking Climate Change Target Increases (Int'l)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-04-30
    The Irish Times is reporting Ministers in charge of climate action in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Luxembourg have called for a more ambitious strategy to counter global warming in response to "alarming scientific analysis" suggesting current measures will not deliver as hoped.

    According to Brune Poirson, secretary of state to the French minister for ecological transition, said EU countries "must take more action and we must take it faster."

    "Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, member states had agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, with the EU's current climate policy these goals would not be achieved," the ministers said in a joint statement. The group added member states "are still divided on climate policy -- especially on a carbon price floor setting a higher price on carbon, which would penalize activities contributing to global warming -- an overhaul of emissions trading schemes for heavy emitters of CO2, and how to exit from the use of coal and nuclear power. The carbon price does not send a strong enough signal, the price isn't high enough, the group statement added. (Source: Irish Times, Various Other, 28 April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Climate Change,  Carbon Tax,  


    CEI Lauds Resolution Opposing Carbon Tax (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Competitive Enterprise Institute
    Date: 2018-04-30
    Last week in the nation's In the nation's capital, Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced H. Con. Res. 119, a resolution "expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy." According to the resolution, a carbon tax is a tax on the fuels that provide 81 percent of all U.S. energy, will increase the price of gasoline, electricity, natural gas, and home heating oil, will force consumers to pay more for necessities like food, gasoline, and electricity, will lead to less economic growth and more businesses and jobs moving overseas, will impose disproportionate burdens on industries in energy-intensive manufacturing regions, and will fall most heavily on the poor, the elderly, and other persons on fixed incomes. The resolution also spotlights the incompatibility between a carbon tax and the energy production boom that "undergirds" U.S. competitiveness.

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis said the following about this resolution: "A carbon tax is like all other 'progressive' climate policies. All ratchet up over time until their politically-disfavored victims are financially depleted and politically marginalized. In short, a carbon tax is a form of economic warfare waged by government against otherwise perfectly lawful enterprises. That is not how business is done in a free society and this resolution from Reps. Scalise and McKinley gets it exactly right."

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. CEI's mission is to promote both freedom and fairness by making good policy good politics. CEI make the uncompromising case for economic freedom because we believe it is essential for entrepreneurship, innovation, and prosperity to flourish, according to the group's website. (Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute, PR, 26 April, 2018) Contact: CEI, (202) 331-1010 , info@cei.org, www.cei.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Competitive Enterprise Institute,  Carbon Tax,  


    MIT, NREL Study Carbon Tax Effectiveness Scenarios (Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
    Date: 2018-04-11
    According to researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a carbon tax on the use of fossil fuels coupled with returning the generated tax revenue to the public in one form or another, can be an effective way to curb GHG emissions and, depending on the mechanism chosen, could be fair and not hurt low-income households.

    In reaching their conclusion, the researchers considered carbon taxes at $25 and $50 per ton of carbon emissions produced and two rates of increase -- 1 pct or 5 pct per year -- as well as three different approaches to dispensing the revenue: an equal rebate to every household; a tax break for individuals; or a corporate tax break.

    The study showed that even the lowest taxation rates could lead to reductions sufficient to meet the U.S. near-term commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. However, the most efficient way of achieving those reductions, in terms of overall impact on the economy, is to use the revenue to reduce taxes on corporate profits or investment income. Rebating equal payments across the board was found to be the least efficient and individual tax breaks came in somewhere in between on both criteria. The researchers suggest a combination of tax breaks to corporations and rebates to the low-income families most affected by the tax could virtually eliminate the regressive aspects of the tax at very little cost in overall efficiency as well as be politically acceptable.

    Their analysis indicates that starting with a $50 per ton carbon tax and increasing it by 5 pct per year would lead to a 63 pct reduction in total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. (Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PR, AAAS, 5 April, 2018) Contact: MIT, Sloan School of Management, John Reilly, energy.mit.edu/profile/john-reilly

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Sweden Launchs Eco-friendly Aviation Carbon Tax (Int'l Report)
    Carbon Tax,Sweden
    Date: 2018-04-02
    In Stockholm, Sweden's Ministry of the Environment and Energy is reporting the introduction of a new aviation tax on all passenger flights departing the country. The tax is intended to "minimize the carbon footprint of flights following a sharp increase in air travel", according to the Ministery announcement.

    All flights departing Swedish airports will have an added charge of between 60 to 400 krona ($7 to $49) depending on the destination. The tax will apply to everyone except babes in arms, flight crews, passengers stopping over without changing planes and -- in some circumstances -- those in transit to take another flight. A recent survey found that over half of all Swedes favoured the new tax. (Source: Sweden Ministry of the Environment and Energy, AFP, April, 2018)Contact: Sweden Ministry of the Environment and Energy, +46 8 405 10 00, www.government.se/government-of-sweden/ministry-of-the-environment

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  


    Saskatchewan Challenges Trudeau's Fed Carbon Tax (Reg & Leg)
    Saskatchewan
    Date: 2018-03-30
    In Regina, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe reports his province will resort to the courts in its fight with the Trudeau government's carbon tax. The province questions the federal government can force a provincial government to slap a carbon tax on gasoline.

    Saskatchewan is the only province that has not adopted a carbon tax voluntarily. Because it has resisted the levy, the Trudeau government is imposing a tax of $10 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions -- which adds up to roughly 10 cents per liter of gasoline.

    The premier has also accused the Trudeau government of hiding its carbon tax in the federal budget that was released last month. The document lists the carbon tax as one of the federal government's environmental initiatives. (Source: Saskatchewan CBC, Various Others, April, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  


    Nat Gas, Carbon Tax Credited with Cutting UK CO2 Emissions (Int'l)
    University of Sheffield
    Date: 2018-03-28
    A new study from the UK's University of Sheffield finds Britain's emissions dropped by 6 pct in 2016 due largely to a meaningful carbon tax and switching from coal to natural gas for power production. The report notes that Britain is on track to become the first major economy to transition away from coal after centuries of production and consumption.

    The study highlights the scale and speed of emissions reduction in Britain as a result of fuel switching from coal to natural gas through effective carbon pricing. The switch analyzed in the study was made possible by incentivizing gas over coal through effective carbon pricing. A carbon price of £18 per tonne in 2016 was needed to incentivize the fuel switch.

    The research found that if spare capacity already existed, then switching from coal to gas will be a quick win method of reducing emissions as it does not require several years to build the generation to impact reductions in emissions, unlike other options such as renewable and nuclear energy. The necessity for spare capacity is one of the factors that the potential for other countries adopting this tactic was contingent upon. Other factors for success outside Britain include the security of supply chains, price, and also political interest.

    The study also notes that Russia and the US could potentially convert 40-50 pct of their coal generation to natural gas but China and India could only displace 6-12 pct due to the relative size of their natural gas generation. A high level assessment of the scale of decarbonisation if other countries were able to switch with existing generation assets was found to be in the region of one Gigatonne of CO2 per annum, which is equal to 3 pct of global emissions.

    A major benefit of switching from coal to gas is that the electrical system has decarbonised faster in the short term. Although, one risk of switching fuels is that natural gas may stay on the system for longer than necessary to be compatible with longer term decarbonising targets. (Source: University of Sheffield, PR, 29 Mar., 2018) Contact: University of Sheffield, Dr Grant Wilson, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Energy, +44 (0) 114 222 7608, grant.wilson@sheffield.ac.uk, www.sheffield.ac.uk; Dr Iain Staffell, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, +44 0 7940 329303, i.staffell@imperial.ac.uk, www.imperial.ac.uk www.sheffield.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Sheffield,  Carbon Emissions,  UK Carbon Emissions,  


    Manitoba Introduces Carbon-Tax Legislation (Reg & Leg)
    Manitoba
    Date: 2018-03-21
    Last week on the Canadian prairies, Manitoba's Sustainable Development Minister, the Hon. Rochelle Squires, tabled the PC government's Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act -- a $25 per tonne carbon tax expected to raise approximately $248 million per year.

    The province intends to use part of the windfall to create a $102-million conservation trust to protect natural areas, and invest $40 million on a "green fund" intended to mitigate the effects of climate change. The legislation also requires the province to set greenhouse gas pollution limits for large industrial emitters as part of a scheme similar to a cap and trade system.

    The government has promised to return all proceeds of the carbon tax to Manitobans within four years through income tax relief, small business tax reductions and cutting the provincial sales tax. . (Source: Manitoba Sustainable Development Minister, CBC Manitoba, 15 Mar., 2018)Contact: Manitoba Sustainable Development Ministry, www.gov.mb.ca/sd/index.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Manitoba Carbon Tax,  


    Newfoundland Set to Auction First Carbon Credits (Ind. Report)
    Newfoundland
    Date: 2018-03-21
    Following up on our Nov. 1, 2017 coverage, the province of Newfoundland-Labrador's first 50,000 carbon credits will soon be on the auction block. Local environmental firm Sharp Management quantified, verified and acquired certification for the credits through partnerships with the towns of Stephenville and Appleton-Glenwood to design and implement engineered wetlands to treat sewage waste water.

    "These carbon credits represent a significant step towards giving municipalities a green solution to their wastewater needs that is truly self-sustainable," Sharp Management said.(Source: Office of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball, The Telegram, 19 Mar, 2018) Contact: Office of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball, (709) 729-3570, prenier@gov.nl.ca, www.gov.nl.ca/premier

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Newfoundland,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Credit,  


    Saskatchewan Still Rejecting Ottawa's Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    Canadan Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-03-14
    In Ottawa, the Canadian federal government reports it has rejected the Province of Saskatchewan's requested exemption from the Liberal Gov. of Justin Trudeau's carbon pricing plan.

    Saskatchewan's Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy doesn't include an explicit carbon tax and lowers the threshold of what is considered a "heavy emitter" from 50,000 tpy of emissions to 25,000 tpy. The provincial plan also calls for carbon offsets to be purchased by heavy emitters as well as a best performance credit for companies demonstrating low emissions or investments in reducing their emissions. The provincial government is refusing to accept the Canadian federal government's planned imposition of a carbon tax. (Source: Saskatchewan Environment Minister, Regina Leader-Post, 12 Mar., 2018) Contact: Saskatchewan Environment Minister, Hon. Dustin Duncan, (306) 787-0393, https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/cabinet/honourable-dustin-duncan

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Gore Touts Ontario's "Superior" Cap-and-Trade System (Ind. Report)
    Ontario Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-03-12
    In his recent Toronto meetings with Liberal Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, former U.S. democratic presidential hopeful, VP and climate change fight pioneer Al Gore praised the province's recently mandated cap-and-trade system as "superior" to a carbon tax in fighting climate change. According to Gore, cap-and-trade lets government work directly with emitters to cut carbon emissions over time.

    Ontario's 2017 vintage cap-and-trade system is aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions by putting caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries can emit. To date, the system has contributed nearly $2.5 billion to Ontario's coffers. (Source: Various Media, Canadaian Press, 8 Mar., 2018) Contact: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, (416) 235-5743, www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-environment-and-climate-change

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  Ontario Carbon Tax,  Cap-and-Trade,  


    OECD Report Urges More Effective Energy Taxes to Address Climate Change -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    OECD
    Date: 2018-02-19
    In its report Taxing Energy Use 2018 the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds that current energy taxes are insufficient to effectively address climate change.

    The report analyzes the coverage and magnitude of 2015 energy use taxes, and assesses changed between 2012 and 2015. Data is based on the OECD's Taxing Energy Use database, which compares taxes on energy use in 42 OECD and G20 economies, representing 80 pct of global energy use and associated CO2 emissions.

    The publication finds that, outside the road transport sector, 81 pct of emissions were untaxed, noting there was almost no change in emissions tax rates between 2012-2015. Overall, tax rates fell short of the €30 low-end estimate of climate cost per tCO2 for 97 pct of emissions. Though not addressed in this publication, the report notes that emissions trading systems had minimal impact on this broader trend.

    Emissions from coal-fired energy generation, which were responsible for nearly half of the carbon emissions associated with energy use in the 42 countries studied, remained untaxed in almost every country. In contrast, taxes on oil products were relatively high, exceeding €100 per tCO2. The share of road sector fuel emissions taxed above climate costs increased from 46 pct to 50 pct between 2012-2015, driven by fuel tax reforms in China, India and Mexico. Road transport fuel tax rates remained nonetheless below levels required to cover even non-climate external costs, according to the study. Additionally, in all but two countries, taxes on diesel for road use were lower than taxes on gasoline, despite diesel's known effects on air quality.

    The report concludes that, aside from increases in transport fuel taxes that occurred in some low to middle income economies, no structural change to taxation patterns on energy use materialized between 2012-2015. It recommends that, if public compensation for higher energy costs is deemed necessary, targeted transfers should be provided rather than lower tax rates or exemptions to maintain the environmental integrity of market-based instruments

    Download the Taxing Energy Use 2018 Report HERE. (Source: OECD, PR, Feb., 2018) Contact: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, www.oecd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News OECD,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


    OECD Urges Increased Carbon Tax to Fight Climate Change (Int'l)
    OECD
    Date: 2018-02-16
    In its new Taxing Energy Use 2018 report, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) calls for governments to start taxing CO2 emissions more aggressively, and warns that current taxation levels are not enough to fight climate change effectively.

    The OECD study concluded that there was little change in energy taxation levels between 2012 and 2015, and that only 0.3 pct of emissions are taxed at a level that is equitable to the cost to the environment. The report also notes that coal taxes are few and far between, even though coal accounts for nearly 50 pct of carbon emissions in the 42 countries studied in the report. In only five countries does coal taxation exceed €5 per ton of CO2.

    Carbon pricing is emerging as one of the main tools used by governments to limit emissions. China started to roll out its own carbon market this year and it will be the world's biggest by the time it is fully operational An update to the EU's own Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was given the seal of approval by the European Parliament last week and the price of carbon has continued to climb ever since a draft deal was agreed in November. (Source: OECD, EURACTIV, 15 Feb., 2018) (Contact: OCED, www.oecd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News OECD,  Carbon Tax,  


    Carbon-Capture Tax Extensions Included in Trump Budget (Reg & Leg)
    Carbon Capture
    Date: 2018-02-14
    In Washington, the office of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reports the bipartisan FUTURE Act, S. 1535, bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Capito to bolster carbon-capture system development while reducing carbon emissions has been incorporated Trump administration's budget as signed by the president on Feb. 9.

    The Furthering Carbon Capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground storage, and Reduced Emissions Act (FUTURE Act, S. 1535) expands the federal tax credit for per-ton carbon dioxide disposal in a secure geologic storage unit, according to the legislation text of Capito's original bill.

    Under the bill, the credit applies to carbon oxide storage, encompassing any of three carbon oxides: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and carbon suboxide. Expanding the credit enables wider CCUS adoption by power generators not currently eligible for the 45Q tax credit and offers certainty for companies that need to use the credit for securing private funding for carbon-capture projects, such as those using certain carbon oxides for improved oil recovery and for converting carbon into usable manufactured products including fuel, carbon fiber and plastic, and others. (Source: Office of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Rippon Advance, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, www.capito.senate.gov/contact/contact-shelley

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emission,  Carbon Tax,  CCS,  Carbon Capture,  


    $81Mn Energy Efficiency Funding Available in Alberta (Funding)
    Alberta
    Date: 2018-02-12
    in Edmonton, the Province of Alberta and federal governments have announced the availability of $81 million in new funding over 4 years to help Alberta farmers, ranchers and food processors improve energy efficiency, save on energy costs and reduce emissions. Of the total, the province is providing $61 million primarily from the provincial carbon tax revenue, and the feds are contributing $14 million.

    The funds are available to producers who want to install solar panels, convert their irrigation to low-pressure systems or add things like natural gas monitors and LED lights to improve energy efficiency.

    To date, more than 300 applications are reported to be awaiting approval. Approximately $42 million is earmarked for the Farm Energy and Agri-processing program, which is designed to encourage energy management for farms and small processors. (Source: Gov. of Alberta, Western Producer, 8 Feb., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alberta Energy Efficiency,  Alberta Carbon Tax,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Conn. Lawmakers Renew Carbon Tax Proposal (Reg & Leg)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In Hartford, a group of Connecticut lawmakers are reintroducing a proposed $15 per ton state carbon tax again introducing a carbon tax levied on emissions from coal, oil, natural gas, propane, or any other petroleum products. It would also be levied on electricity generators that use fossil fuels. In 2017, the bill died in committee after a public hearing.

    Connecticut is a RGGI member state along with Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. New Jersey, a former RGGI member state is rejoing and Virginia is seeking entry. (Source; CT News Jumkie, 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  RGGI,  


    Notable Quote -- Carbon Tax
    CalSTRS
    Date: 2018-02-09
    "We all know the capital markets work best when we have honest pricing signals. Currently carbon pollution, which is costing society hundreds of billions of dollars per year, is priced too low, or in some cases not at all. That's unacceptable." -- Jack Ehnes, CEO, California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: CalSTRS, (800) 228-5453, www.calstrs.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CalSTRS,  Carbon Tax,  


    Vt. Republican Gov. Nixes State Carbon Tax (Reg & Leg)
    Vermont Gov. Phil Scott
    Date: 2018-02-02
    Meeting in Montpelier, Republican governor of Vermont Phil Scott's office reports the governor is rejecting a key state carbon tax recommendation from his own Climate Action Commission. The Governor has opposed a carbon tax clear -- both on the campaign trail and after his election -- on the grounds that Vermonters can't afford a tax on fossil fuels.

    The governor did, however, agree on four fossil and clean fuel recommendations, including supporting advanced wood heat, boosting weatherization efforts, growing the climate economy, and electrifying the transportation system. (Source: Various Media, WCAX3, 31 Jan., 2018) Contact: Office Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, (802) 828-3333, (802) 828-3339 - fac., governor.vermont.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  


    Carbon "Fee" Proposed for Athens Ohio (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2018-01-29
    In the Buckeye State, the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) is proposing a 2-mill carbon "fee" -- about $2 per megawatt hour of energy consumption -- to Athens City Council. The proposal is intended to encourage cuts in energy consumption and related emissions and thus fight climate change. According to SOPEC, an average Athens home consumes about 800-900 kWh per month, so the average home in Athens would pay between $1.60 and $1.80 per month.

    The proposal would allow homeowners to opt-out of the tax is they decide not to pay. Proceeds from the fee would be used to fund alternative energy power for schools and other public buildings in the city of Athens. Athens is aiming to cut carbon emissions by 10 pct. (Source: SOPEC, NewPolitical, 26 Jan., 2018) Contact: SOPEC, Eddie Smith, Exec. Dir., (740)677-2759, www.sopecinfo.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Singapore's Major Emitters Seeking Emissions Benchmarks (Int'l)

    Date: 2018-01-26
    In anticipation of a soon to be imposed carbon tax, some of Singapore largest carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emitters are calling for the Government to set emissions benchmarks for petrochemical, energy and other high-emissions industries. Some industries contend that emitters that meet the benchmarks should be exempted from a carbon tax, on the grounds that the tax would hurt Singapore's competitiveness.

    Singapore's carbon tax, first announced in Budget 2017, is expected to apply to 30 to 40 companies and facilities that emit 25,000 or more tpy of greenhouse gases. The tax is expected to be in the range of S$10 and S$20 per tonne of greenhouse gas under a credit-based system. The carbon tax is among Singapore's measures to meet its target of cutting emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, under the global Paris Agreement. (Source: Singapore Today, 23 Jan., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Singapore Carbon Tax,  


    R.I. Env. Council Promoting Carbon Tax Legislation (Reg & Leg)
    the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI)
    Date: 2018-01-24
    In Providence, the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) is calling for the 2018 state legislature to implement a carbon tax on all fossil fuels burned, stored or produced in the state.

    In addition to a state carbon tax, the ECRI bill includes: legislated carbon emissions reductions under the Rhode Island Global Warming Solutions Act; a climate and economic stimulus package; a coastal adaptation trust fund to help cities and towns address sea-level rise; mandatory and enforceable state greenhouse gas-reduction goals; increased support for energy efficiency; renewable energy siting regulations; require products sold in Rhode Island to meet minimum standards for electricity and gas consumption; and others.

    The ECRI's initiatives are backed by a coalition of advocacy groups and environmentalists, including the EnergizeRI Coalition, an advocacy group with ties to Brown University, and the People's Power & Light utility. (Source: Environment Council of Rhode Island, eco'RI News, 22 Jan., 2018)Contact: Environment Council of Rhode Island,(401) 621-8048, www.environmentcouncilri.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News the Environment Council,  Climate Change of Rhode Island,  CLimate Change,  


    Canadian Federal Carbon Tax Rebate Proposal Floated (Reg & Leg)
    Canada Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-01-17
    In Ottawa, recently released Canadian government (Lib.) draft legislative proposes that any federal revenues raised by a carbon tax can either be rebated back to any provincial government that hasn't imposed a provincial carbon tax. A rebate could also go directly to individuals or divided between the two. Those province that voluntarily chooses to use the federal carbon price system will get the revenues to use how they see fit. But those that have the system imposed on them -- Saskatchewan and New Brunswick -- for refusing to enact one that meets the minimum requirements could find themselves sidestepped, with Ottawa sending those rebate cheques directly to residents.

    As previously reported, Ottawa requires every province to have a system with a minimum $20 per tonne carbon price in place by Jan. 1, 2019, rising by $10 a year until 2022. HERE. (Source: CBC, Various Media, Canadian Press, 15 Jan., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  


    Green Party of Canada Concerned Liberal Government Weakening National Carbon Pricing System (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Green Party of Canada
    Date: 2018-01-17
    "Reducing the responsibility of the biggest polluters is simply irresponsible," said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). "The Pan-Canadian Framework, negotiated by the federal government with the provinces and territories, is already weak. It is not clear how it can even achieve the Harper target, now endorsed by the Liberals, which itself is too weak to achieve what we pledged in Paris. The federal government cannot afford to lose a single ton of emission reductions.

    "The most recent Environment Canada data show that nearly 40 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions came from just 563 individual operations, mainly power plants, refineries and cement plants. They should be contributing their fair share towards meeting our commitments to slash GHG and avoid going above 1.5 degrees C global average temperature, as promised in Paris. Instead, those big polluters located in provinces that have refused to create their own carbon tax will have a special rate based on a complex pricing mechanism using energy intensity and an average of industry emissions," said Ms. May.

    "With hundreds of millions of dollars a year in federal subsidies still going to the fossil fuel industry - which successive Canadian governments have promised to phase out since 2009 - the Trudeau government is already breaking its promise to Canadians," added Green Party climate critic and meteorologist Richard Zurawski. "The new proposal to give carbon tax breaks to the largest polluters is yet another squandered opportunity to show real leadership in the fight against climate change." (Source: Green Party of Canada, PR, 16 Jan., 2018) Contact: Green Party of Canada, Debra Eindiguer , (613) 240-8921, debra.eindiguer@greenparty.ca, www.greenparty.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax news,  Carbon Tax news,  GHGs news,  


    Companies Quickly Adopting Carbon Pricing Schemes (Int'l Report)
    CDP,OECD
    Date: 2018-01-15
    The Economist is reporting that 41 OECD and G20 governments have announced either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade scheme, or both. Add state and local schemes, and they cover 15 pct of the world's emissions, up from 4 pct in 2010.

    Of the approximate 6,100 worldwide companies that report climate-related data to CDP, 607 now claim to use "internal carbon prices" while 782 say they will introduce similar measures within two years. Total annual revenues of these 1,389 carbon-price champions amount to $7 trillion, according to the Economist.

    CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, is an international non-profit that runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to help manage their environmental impacts. (Source: CDP,Economist, Jan., 2017) Contact: CDP, (212) 378 2086, info.northamerica@cdp.net, www.cdp.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CDP,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Pricing,  


    Wash. State Gov. Inslee Pushing Carbon Tax Plan (Reg & Leg)
    Washington State
    Date: 2018-01-12
    Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D)on Tuesday unveiled details of his latest effort to get legislative approval on a new $20 per metric ton of carbon emissions tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

    If passed, the bill would come into force on July 1, 2019 and increase annually by 3.5 pct over inflation. The tax would raise about $1.5 billion over the first two years and an estimated $3.3 billion over the next four years.

    Half of the revenue from the tax -- which would be paid by power plants and fuel importers but would ultimately come down on consumers -- would be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as programs to expand opportunities for renewable energy at both homes and utilities, and research of clean energy technology. An additional 35 pct would go into flood management and storm water infrastructure, and would also be used to reduce risks of wildfires.

    It's estimated the tax could result in a residential electricity price increase of about 5 percent, a residential gas price increase of about 10 percent; gasoline prices could rise between 6 to 9 percent by 2035, according to policy officials briefing. (Source: Office of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, K5 News, Others, 9 Jan., 2018) Contact: Wash. State Gov. Jay Inslee, (360) 902-4111, www.governor.wa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Washington State,  


    Alberta Carbon Tax Jumps $10 (Ind. Report)
    Alberta Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-01-05
    On the Canadian Prairies, oil soaked Alberta's carbon tax has increased from $20-Cdn per tonne of CO2 emissions to $30-Cdn, effective January 1, 2018. Alberta's carbon levy entered into force on January 1, 2017, at an initial rate of $20-Cdn per tonne of CO2 emissions. A $10 increase scheduled for January 1, 2018, has now entered into effect.

    The Albertan levy is charged on all fuels that emit greenhouse gases when combusted. The rate is based on the amount of carbon pollution released by the fuel when it is combusted.

    The Government said that revenue from the levy will continue to be invested in the province, through green infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable energy, bioenergy, and innovation. The Government estimates that 60 pct of households will receive a full or partial carbon levy rebate in 2018. (Source:(Source: Alberta Environment Minister, Various Media, CBC News, 10 Jan., 2017)Contact: Alberta Environment Minister, Hon. Shannon Phillips, (780) 310-3773, http://aep.alberta.ca/about-us/ministers-office/default.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alberta Carbon Tax,  


    Notable Quotes from Former Aussie PM Tony Abbott
    Tony Abbott
    Date: 2018-01-05
    "The science of human-caused climate change is 'CRAP." -- Tony Abbott, Sept., 2009

    "I am confident, based on the science we have, that mankind does make a difference to climate, almost certainly the impact of humans on the planet extends to climate." -- Tony Abbott, May 27, 2010

    "There are respectable arguments for an ETS but the one Labor (the then governing party) has in mind could easily be expensive and futile. I am wary of a system which creates new vested interests - which an ETS will do. I suspect that a straight carbon tax or charge could be more transparent and easier to change if conditions change or our understanding of the science changes." -- Tony Abbott, ,July 10, 2009

    "We do not believe in artificially imposing a carbon price on consumers. There will be no carbon price on consumers under a (my)Coalition government." Tony Abbott, July 19, 2010

    "Now, we do have policy out there. We've had it out there since February. It basically goes -- it involves going to the market and buying abatements through soil carbon, through tree planting, through businesses that are prepared to change their processes to less emitting ones. It will reduce our emissions by five percent by 2020, so we will achieve our targets. Now, that's our commitment. It's doable. It's deliverable." -- Tony Abbott,16 August, 2010

    "Yeah, look, I never said it (climate change) was a myth. I once used some colourful language describing the so-called settled science of climate change but look, climate change is real, humanity does make a contribution to it and we've got to take effective action against it. I mean, that's my position and that's always been my position but I've never been in favour of a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme." -- Tony Abbott, July, 2011

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Tony Abbott,  Australia Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


    Former Aussie Prime Minister Still Opposes Carbon Tax (Int'l)
    Australia Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-01-05
    Australian parliamentarian and former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is perhaps best remembered for his politically incorrect comment "The science of human-caused climate change is CRAP", is reportedly "back on the warpath" in his crusade against low carbon energy and may well sink the current Labour Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's national energy guarantee policy. Abbott has declared he doesn't support plans for overseas carbon credits being made available to Australian businesses on the grounds that it is a carbon tax in sheep's clothing.

    The national energy guarantee would involve energy retailers delivering a set level of ready-to-use power in each state to shore up reliability, while also being compelled to meet a lower emissions target. According to acting opposition leader Tanya Plibersek, major business and industry groups support reducing carbon pollution by trading in well-regulated markets.

    Abbott was Australia's 28th Prime Minister serving from 18 Sept., 2013 to 15 Sept., 2015. (Source: DailyMail, Australia AP, Others, 2 Jan., 2018) Contact: Tony Abbott, https://twitter.com/TonyAbbottMHR

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tony Abbot,  Australia Carbon Tax,  Carbon Credit,  


    Canadian Financial Powerhouses Financing Coal as Feds Threaten Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    Friends of the Earth Canada
    Date: 2017-12-13
    In a just released report, Friends of the Earth Canada and Germany's coal-tracking environmental NGO Urgewald note that six Canadian financial powerhouses -- Sun Life, Power Corporation, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Royal Bank of Canada, Manulife Financial and even the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board -- have together pledged $2.9 billion towards building new coal plants overseas. According to Urgewald, there are 1,600 new plants in development in 62 nations, more than a dozen of which presently do not have coal plants.

    The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is a Canadian Crown corporation established by way of the 1997 Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act. CPPIB is charged with operating and managing the Canada Pension Plan portfolio at arms length from the federal government which, under the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has seized the environmental moral high ground on "dirty coal" and climate change.

    We can't help but wonder if the Feds and the CPP -- their agency -- are singing from the same carbon emissions-climate change hymnal? (Source: Friends of the Earth Canada, Ugerwald, Canadian Press, Dec., 2017) Contact: Urgewald, https://urgewald.org; Friends of the Earth Canada, (613) 241-0085, www.foecanada.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  


    Carbon Tax Nixed in Sask. Climate-Change Plan (Reg & Leg.)
    Saskatchewan Environment Minister
    Date: 2017-12-06
    In Regina, the Saskatchewan Environment Minister, the Hon. Dustin Duncan, notes that although the proposed provincial climate-change strategy calls for performance standards on facilities that emit more than 25,000 tpy of carbon dioxide equivalent and doesn't include a carbon tax, it "will achieve as much, if not more than, a carbon tax ever would."

    Under the proposed strategy, facilities that exceed their emissions limit will be able to buy carbon offsets from farmers or foresters, a carbon credit from another company with emissions under its allotment or pay into a provincial fund.

    According to the Minister, emissions standards are to be be developed but will recognize investments companies have already made to reduce their emissions. The provincial strategy does not yet outlined or defined the goals, targets nor estimates of the volume of greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced. Transportation, agriculture, home heating, commercial and industrial energy use emissions are largely exempted in the proposed program which is expected to finalized and in place in 2018. (Source: Office of Saskatchewan Environment Minister, CTV, Canadian Press, 4 Dec., 2017) Contact: Office of Saskatchewan Environment Minister, (306) 787-0393, env.minister@gov.sk.ca, www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/environment

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emission,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


    French Pres. Calls for EU Borders Carbon Tax (Int'l Report)
    EU Carbon Tax
    Date: 2017-12-06
    Speaking at the recently concluded COP23 meeting in Bonn, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his call for a European carbon tax to guarantee fair competition for companies taking action to reduce their climate impact. Macron said Europe needs a floor price on carbon -- accompanied by "a border tax that will also protect our economic sectors against imports from countries that do not respect the same objectives and decide not to engage in this environmental transition."

    Macron also called for EU member countries to levy a carbon tax on foreign direct investment (FDI) income derived from coal, oil and gas extraction, the report recommends. The French president said Countries -- especially those that position themselves as climate leaders -- should have to account for the carbon intensity of their trade production overseas. (Source: Transport & Environment, Various Media, 4 Dec., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU,  Carbon Tax,  


    Portugal Killing Coal-Fired Power by 2030 (Int'l. Report)
    Powering Past Coal Alliance
    Date: 2017-11-27
    In Lisbon, the Portuguese Environment minister Joao Matos said last week the government will close the 1,100-MW Sines and the 577 MW Pego coal-fired power plants, as well as reform the domestic carbon tax and remove tax exemptions for coal-fired generation beginning in 2018. The country will also close its two remaining coal-fired power plants before 2030.

    The initiative is intended to encourage electric power producers to move away from coal in favor of solar PV and other renewable energy sources. The country is aiming at carbon neutrality by 2050.

    Under the Powering Past Coal Alliance, of which Portugal is a member, countries commit to taking action such as setting coal phase-out targets and ending further investments in coal-fired electricity domestically and abroad. (Source: Portuguese Environment Minister, Kallanish Energy, Others, 21 Nov., 2017) Contact: Powering Past Coal Alliance, www.e3g.org/library/powering-past-coal-at-cop23; Portuguese Environment Minister, www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/ministerios/mamb.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Powering Past Coal,   Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate NeutralCoal,  


    VA. Regulators Approve Carbon Cap-and-Trade Plan (Reg & Leg)
    Virginia,Virginia Department of Environmental Quality,
    Date: 2017-11-20
    In Richmond, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality regulators are reporting preliminary approval of a carbon cap-and-trade program that if passed into law would cover about 33 predominantly Dominion Energy-owned and operated electric power generating plants across the Old Dominion State. When finally approved and enacted, Virginia would be the first southern state to adopt such a program.

    The plan is now subject to public comment and possible changes. The board will have to vote again on a final version. (Source: Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Ledger Enquirer, 16 Nov., 2017) Contact: Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, (804) 698-4000, www.deq.virginia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Tax,  


    Vermont Carbon Tax Gaining Traction (Ind. Report)
    RGGI
    Date: 2017-11-17
    Last week in Vermont, Burlington-headquartered plant-based products manufacturer Seventh Generation Inc. proposed a state carbon tax that it says would drive down the state's electric power costs by imposing what would initially amount to a $5 per ton tax on fossil fuels for transportation and heating. The tax would rise by $5 a ton a year until 2025 when it would top out at $40 a ton, which is about what the EPA estimated in 2015 as the long-term environmental costs from 1 ton of carbon-dioxide pollution. Over the period, the carbon tax on gas would increase to 32 cents.

    Vermont is a participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade program that took effect in 2009. Through quarterly auctions, the RGGI program has priced carbon-dioxide pollution at between $2 and $7.50 per ton, but only for pollution from electricity. The costs of this carbon-pricing scheme are limited to electricity generated inside New England and its proceeds are invested in energy-efficiency efforts in the RGGI participating states -- Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. (Source: Seventh Generation Inc., , Vermont Digger, 12 Nov., 2017) Contact: Seventh Generation, Ashley Orgain, Outreach, (802) 658-3773, www.seventhgeneration.com; RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vermont Carbon Tax,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Price,  RGGI,  


    French Pres. Macron Calls for Border Carbon Tax (Int'l)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2017-11-17
    In Bonn, French president Emmanuel Macron is calling for Europe to establish a "border carbon tax" and integrate its climate goals into trade negotiations as a way of encouraging all countries to do more in the climate change fight.

    "We should not negotiate (trade deals) with countries who are less ambitious than us because that would reduce our collective ambitions. We need a border tax in which we'll make it possible for us to protect economic sectors as there are imports from countries who do not respect these goals and are not supporting the environmental transition." The second largest bloc within the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats, is also calling for an EU border carbon tax. (Source: SBS, Various Media, 15 Nov., 2017)

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