Dear Ms Bader,
(B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation)
I recently read your column titled “Say No to Gas Tax Hike” published by Westcoaster.ca
Your views are shared by many, but as with many major societal changes, change comes slowly, and reluctantly. My purpose is not to argue about man-made climate change, scientific proof will be many years in the future.
CO2 emissions are simply a symptom of a much greater and fundamental problem. The Human Race transitioned to fossil fuels in the 18th century…. the reason why oil prices are so high and we are building giant Natural Gas import plants is because we are nearing the end of our fossil fuel endowment which we started using 200 years ago.
According to Natural Resources Canada, take away the Oil Sands, and Canadas conventional oil supply is already past its “peak” production and Natural Gas will peak within 4 years. After being some of the largest exporters in the world, Mexico, the UK, Indonesia are also declining in their production, and exports… Russia is set to decline within 5-10 years, and Saudi Arabia, the largest of all… may have peaked this year. Now if you say ‘we have oilsands’, you’re right… but it takes millions of cubic feet of NG… in fact the energy from a barrel of tarsand synthcrude is only 2:1 compared to the energy used to produce it. Conventional crude is about 16:1. And our 3 million barrels a day by 2020 will only satisfy 3% of projected world demand by then.
The bottomline is that $80 oil is only the beginning… crude oil is 70% of the price of gas at the pump. So when oil hits $100, $125 (equal to the ’70s high), or $150… in the next 5, 10, 15 years, how much will gas be then? The Loonie will rise right along with it… hitting our exporters even harder. 1% more in gas taxes will be nothing in comparison, even raised more overtime. Our economy, if it is still completely dependant on fossil fuels for its energy needs, will suffer every step of the way…
If on the other hand we gradually raise gas taxes, yes there will be economic hardship… but
IF INVESTED PRUDENTLY, those taxes and other incentives can be used to wean our economy off of fossil fuels and increase our efficiency drastically…. while at the same time leaving that much more for us to export to other needy oil importers (mainly the US).
It is my hope that the Canadian Taxpayer federation will be one of the champions of this strategy because in the end… the less fuel we use, the less tax we pay, both to the gov. and to our Environment.
The basis of my argument is not scientific consensus, it is mathematical certainly. For more on this phenomenon, and specifically how it affects oil exports from the worlds largest supporters, please go here: