Carbon corner carbon tax transparency

Carbon Corner: Carbon Tax Transparency

Date PublishedMarch 30, 2017
CompanyOilfield HUB
Article AuthorKevin Turko
Article TypeMarch 2017 Issue
CategoryArticles, Carbon Corner
Tags, , , ,
PULSE Interactive

Carbon Corner: Carbon Tax Transparency

We’re as Mad as Hell and We’re Not Going to Take This Anymore!

I am confident if you have read some of my previous articles in the Carbon Corner section of Oilfield PULSE magazine, you know by now I am not a fan of carbon taxes in any way, shape or form. Yet this article might lead you to believe I have softened my opposition to any type of carbon levy or cap and trade schemes that have been dreamed up to save us, and future generations, from our own unfortunate demise. Nothing could be further from the truth! I am still a huge supporter of ‘Axe the Tax’ both provincially and federally in Canada.

Carbon Corner: Social License – Shenanigans, I Call

But reality bites! We are straddled with these carbon tax cash grabs for the foreseeable future, at least, and hopefully only until our current politically correct governments are replaced by others where common sense and good fiscal management prevails. Until this occurs, we should all be demanding carbon tax transparency from our ideological political leaders who are unwavering and unwittingly taxing all of us into carbon consumption helplessness and eventually energy poverty. If we all must live and be taxed under these new wealth re-distribution programs we should demand nothing less than full disclosure and total carbon tax transparency!

Have you ever heard of “What gets measured gets improved”? It is a common refrain in most successful businesses. If businesses left their employees guessing all the time as to how they are doing with achieving

such things as sales goals or the adoption of process changes, they would fail. People need to understand how they are doing at work and at home, and carbon taxes are not exempt from this new debate. How can any business or individual lower their carbon consumption when they have absolutely no idea how the changes in their behaviour and spending patterns are impacting their carbon footprint? Why should we all get on the GHG and carbon tax bandwagons, and agree to make do with less, if we have no clue how these so-called lifesaving imperatives are going to improve your life immediately or in your lifetime. We all can be pushed without justification only so far!

Carbon Corner: Carbon Tax Transparency

Carbon tax transparency is the key. No matter how you dress carbon taxes up, none of them should be a hidden or an indirect tax. We should be encouraging and supporting every business, regardless of size, that is prepared to bring carbon taxes out of the closet and into the open! Nothing like a constant daily reminder of the costs we are all paying to sway your consumption, or to fund green schemes that can’t find investment dollars to get off the ground or sustain themselves without huge government grants and tax breaks. Or more simply put, your carbon tax dollars!

If carbon taxes are so good for us, why aren’t they itemized on every utility bill, Visa stub, grocery receipt and restaurant menu. It’s hard, if not impossible, to do so when much of the impact on our pocketbooks comes in the form of an indirect cost! If you want to fund renewable and alternative energy schemes, don’t pretend and treat us like petulant children with a hidden tax, just charge everyone a flat tax to fund these green initiatives. It is a sales tax, so charge tax on all

hidden tax

consumed goods, not just carbon based goods and services. The NDP government in Alberta has gotten away scot-free, at least for now, with initiating a sales tax in Alberta without calling it a supposedly revenue neutral sales tax. Opponents will argue that the tax will encourage, or force us to change, our energy consumption ways. But if the tax is hidden and blended into the cost of goods and services we all consume, what you don’t see doesn’t change anything. What doesn’t get measurement, doesn’t get improved!

It’s impossible to change someone’s behavior when you have no way to gauge or understand how that behavior needs to change. Just saying use less carbon, or wear a sweater, won’t do it, because we are unable to monitor our progress and achievements. When you are trying to lose weight, you have the dreaded scale to monitor your progress. If you use it, it may change your eating habits. If you refuse to step on it, you have no idea how well you’re doing. Nothing likely changes!

Our government spin doctors would rather have us all believe, that even with a total lack of carbon tax transparency and accountability, in the name of green, we should be thankful for the actions they are taking on our behalf. Again, nothing could be further from the truth! We need to know what the cost is to the taxpayers to run these carbon tax programs. We need to know what impact carbon taxes are having on reducing GHG emissions. We need to know where all the money is going from carbon taxes collected, to what specific companies, and on what specific initiatives. We need to know how much carbon taxes are costing us each and every single day.

Carbon Corner: Social License – Shenanigans, I Call

We should all be demanding and shouting for carbon tax transparency at every turn. Then, and only then, can individuals and businesses make informed decisions to sway consumption, or not. Leadership means you must be accountable for your actions, as are we all. Our government leaders must also be accountable for their carbon tax policies, not just their eco-activist spin. Put your money where your mouth is, and let the people, your employers, decide. If our political leaders are proud and have nothing to hide with their climate change initiatives, please lead the way to carbon tax transparency, and the people will rate your performance at the ballot box. 

Carbon Corner: Carbon Tax Transparency

Kevin Turko
Oilfield HUB Inc.

Carbon Corner: Carbon Tax Transparency – March 2017






Originally published in the 

March 2017 Issue of Oilfield PULSE