Earlier, we noted the provincial New Democrats did little to respond to yesterday's criticism of their campaign platform by three environmental groups - a story that is now making headlines in today's newspapers. And that ink must have woken someone up because the party just distributed a news release with the headline: "Liberal Gas Tax Ineffective In Cutting Greenhouse Gases." The following is a complete copy of that day later, dollar short release.
April 14, 2009
Liberal Gas Tax Ineffective In Cutting Greenhouse Gases
The claim: Gas tax key to meeting GHG emission reductions The Campbell Liberals and their allies say the "foundation for meeting [BC's] targets is the carbon tax.
The truth: Gas tax a trivial part of BC's carbon reduction plan. The governments own climate change plan says the gas tax will lower emissions from fuel by less than 4% by 2020.
The claim: The gas tax is working. The Campbell Liberals and their allies say "in less than a year the carbon tax is beginning to show the fundamental shifts that scientists and economist tell us are critical."
The truth: The statistics show the opposite. Fuel use and the greenhouse gas emissions produced have increased since the tax was introduced. According to Statistics Canada fuel use increased by 4% in BC since the tax was introduced. That means GHG emissions went up as well.
The claim: Investments in retrofits and energy efficiency are a result of the gas tax. The Campbell Liberals and their allies say "innovation and shift toward clean energy solutions will become more pronounced as the carbon price is strengthened."
The truth: BC Hydro and the government increased grants and subsidies for clean energy alternatives and retrofitting and more British Columbians took advantage. That plan worked and that's why we will double it.
The claim: BC is in sync with Obama and others on the gas tax. The Campbell Liberals and their allies say "US President Barack Obama has asked Congress to pass legislation that effectively places a price on carbon pollution."
The truth: Obama's plan is almost identical to the BC NDP strategy. President Obama rejected a carbon tax and focused his plan on a cap and trade system plus significant investments in transit, energy efficiency and new technology. That's the BC NDP plan in a nutshell.