Carbon Tax Would Be Costly for Many

Among the punitive solutions bandied about by those seeking to do something, anything, about climate change is a tax on carbon emissions. Our friends north of the border are giving us a chance to preview how that might work out for the United States.

Canada plans to implement a “price on carbon dioxide pollution” that will reach a peak of $50 in U.S. dollars, per metric ton by 2022. The Financial Post has done the math on what that will cost Canadians, and it is not pretty.

Households in British Columbia will pay an extra $450 per year. Those in Nova Scotia will pay $840 more. The average Canadian household will pay $640 a year more for electricity.

That is just the beginning. Some contend the price must go even higher to lower carbon emissions to a level that will satisfy them (though, in truth, what they mean is to lower carbon emission levels to a degree that will counterbalance the enormous amounts of carbon being released by China, India, and the developing world.)

In Canada, that might someday mean an additional charge of $75 per metric ton, sending the household cost in a place like Nova Scotia to an astounding additional $1,680 per year.

Some households here in the Ohio Valley can absorb an extra $640 per year — though even for those folks, $1,680 would begin to be a bit painful.

But the vast majority of us would have to make more sacrifices to pay the electric bill. Imagine what a blow that would be to households already financially crippled by the war on coal and affordable electricity.

In Canada, by the way, 20 percent of households are classified as being in “energy poverty,” where 10 percent or more of household expenditures must be spent for that purpose. Elected officials and the environmental lobby don’t seem to care.

Here in the United States there are plenty who are also eager to see traditionally sourced electricity priced out of reach for the majority. Affordable electricity is, in their minds, a bad thing; and they are willing to snuff it out without first providing an alternative that will not cost most people more than they can afford, and cost some people their jobs.

Let us hope, then, that U.S. politicians remember they have a duty to the environment — and to the people who live in it.