Bob Rae steps up to defend carbon pricing

Bob Rae was in Toronto today to deliver a speech on energy policy. Included in that was a defence of putting a price on carbon.

I also want to say today, to everyone in this room, that we have to move the discussion along with respect to this question of carbon pricing. Do you know who’s providing the leadership today on carbon pricing? The province of British Columbia. And the province of Alberta. They’re not afraid to talk about carbon pricing. They’re not afraid to use market mechanisms to force innovation and more conservation. They’re not afraid to send the right messages to markets. They’ve done that. They’ve moved ahead of the game. The Conference of CEOs, under the leadership of John Manley, has said exactly the same thing. We have to send a signal to the markets about the price of carbon going forward and we have to do it in a way that, once again, will force producers and force the industry to become more innovative. And that’s a more effective way to do it than, and this is really ironic coming from a so-called Conservative government, the kind of centralized, command-and-control regulatory approach which now seems to be the vogue in Ottawa.

Now, you and I both know our shared experiences as a country in trying to have a national conversation on this question of carbon taxing or cap-and-trade—either technique, either method of trying to create a signal to the markets about price. But I’m here to tell you that if we don’t send a signal to the markets about price, the market won’t take us seriously when it comes to conservation and the market won’t take us seriously when it comes to greening the economy and the world won’t take us seriously when it comes to those things.

What’s more, the industry itself is asking for this. Talk to a CEO of any major energy company in Canada and they will tell you we need to know what prices are going to be and what government policies are going to be in order for us to make and justify the investments to our shareholders that we know we have to make. Two projects right now on carbon capture, two separate major projects on carbon capture, have been put on hold by two major companies for the simple reason that there is no signal to the market. That’s wrong.

But I know full well that anyone who steps up to the plate and says this is something we have to do and at the same time provide for tax cuts to lower and middle income people, provide for real cuts in income taxes, make sure that regions that are badly effected are helped and not hurt, it’s quite possible to do it, but anyone who suggests it will immediately have their head blown off. But, having my head blown off many times, I don’t mind. What I do mind is the absence of national leadership. What I do mind is the fact that the provinces are getting together, and getting together again at the end of this month, they’re going to be talking about the need for a national energy strategy. They, themselves, are taking steps to move forward. The province of Ontario, the province of Manitoba, the province of Nova Scotia, they all want to move forward. Quebec wants to move forward. It already is ahead of the federal government when it comes to setting targets and getting there and sending signals to market. So the federal government is hiding under its chair while that conference is going on. And the federal government is hiding under its chair when the national industry and the CEOs of this country are looking for leadership. And they don’t find it.




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Bob Rae steps up to defend carbon pricing

  1. The LNG industry is blowing up BC carbon tax and carbon emissions policy. The government has except the carbon emissions from the natural gas consumed to produce electricity to liquify the LNG from the carbon tax and from being counted in their emissions totals.

    Try again.

    Alberta’s regulatory carbon tax is higher than Europe’s tradeable cap-n-trade carbon price…about 100% higher actually.

    They are back to burning coal in Europe like mad, because natural gas prices are tied to Brent/world oil pricing.

    • As often is the case you don’t finish your thoughts or sentences. The reason BC may change its policy is, theorectically at least, LNG sent to asia may prevent or slow down proposed coal fired power plants. I don’t believe it will stop them, but it may mitigate the expansion of coal. To do that BC would need to prevent LNG expansion from blowing a hole in its legislated targets. Maybe not a bad trade off. Certainly many enviros aren’t happy about it. If it does displace some coal i’m ok with it.

      • The same is now true of oil sands pipelines. If you support exempting natural gas carbon emissions from LNG liquefactions from the BC’s protocol’s and from carbon taxation, because it reduces global thermal coal usage, oil sands pipelines do the exact same thing by lowering global natural gas prices, and discourages increased coal use.

        • Nonsense. Tell us how much Alberta oil will lower global gas prices. Show your math.

          • You are the one calling “nonsense”, the onus is on you!

        • Do you have a good source for that oilsands over coal stuff, or is it just opinion?

    • I don’t support exemption LNG, but the exemption does nothing to diminish the effectiveness of the carbon tax regime on the rest of the economy.

  2. Bob Rae needs to be quiet.

    He is neither the Liberal leader, nor the Liberal policy setter.

    • Rae is right. Economists favor the carbon tax. So now’s the best time to discuss the facts before the Liberals have to play politics and come up with the green platform that sells the best…

      Who knows, public opinion may even start to favor it. (Just because Dion’s inane “green shaft” bombed, doesn’t mean a carbon tax is dead forever…)

      • He is neither leader nor policy maker….he needs to be quiet.

        • The Liberal party would be making a huge mistake following Harper’s example of muzzling MPs. They need to challenge Harper’s propaganda based on the evidence, not cower before it…

          • Bob Rae is not the leader nor the party. He needs to clam up.

          • Repeating the same thing over and over again doesn’t make it any more true… ;)

          • It was true to begin with. I can’t help it if you’re deaf.

        • He is still a duly elected member of parliament. He has every right and indeed obligation to speak up.

          • He is speaking as leader…not as an MP. He shouldn’t be.

          • If you listened to the speech, he made the disclaimer that he is not the leader of the Liberal Party.

          • Another deaf one.

          • For someone who so many times so vehemently says they’re not a Liberal, you seem extremely concerned about who speaks for the party.

            A non-partisan cares about ideas, policies. Only a partisan cares about who speaks for them.

          • Does Rob Anders speak for the Cons?

            Does Pat Martin speak for the NDP?

            If a non-partisan cares about ideas and policies….then of course they care about who is claiming to speak for them

    • Neither are you, yet you continue to chime in.

      • For those who aren’t paying attention….Rae is not the leader nor the policy maker for the Lib party.

        • And so? His point still stands. He doesn’t need to appeal to authority.

          • He doesn’t have any. He’s pretending he does.

          • No he’s not. He’s making a reasoned argument.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Emily. I don’t give a sh!t about the Liberal Party and who speaks for it. I care about policies. Rae is right on this one. You can natter about stuff that doesn’t matter, but the adults are going to continue the conversation.

          • Doesn’t matter what you think….Rae has no business speaking for the Liberal Party..

          • Great. Irrelevant, but great.

            More to the point, he made a valid argument. Let’s talk about that instead. We can declare him to be Joe Schmo from Toronto if that makes you happier.

          • It’s not TGIF yet, so just go to bed.

          • If he doesn’t then no one does… he is the interim leader, after all…

          • As interim leader, he speaks for the party until he is replaced. Are you saying he should also keep quiet in the HoC?

            He isn’t making a policy statement per se; he is simply saying there is an issue and there is a lack of federal leadership on that issue… which, by the way, is true.

          • Look up phrase ‘interim leader’.

          • Better yet, why don’t you read the second paragraph of my previous comment?

            He has a job to do and he’s doing it; if he isn’t allowed to speak, every MP needs to sit silently in the HoC and say not a peep until the new leader is chosen.

          • LOL people who haven’t gotten what I said….a dozen times….yet want to repeat their ‘argument’ over and over again.

            Never fails, every weekend ….the nyah nyah crowd comes out.

          • Yes, Emily. Everyone here is collectively too stupid to understand you, and you’re the only clear one here.

          • Apparently I’m not being clear ENOUGH.

            Ciao

          • I’ll give you that last one.

          • I get what you said; my point is that it makes no sense – and that you completely ignore the points made by those who do (pretty much everyone in here but you, on this thread).

            But why do I waste my time? The odds of you admitting you are wrong are somewhat less than the odds of your vanishing in a collision with antimatter…

          • I put my comment on here. I stand behind my comment.

            Why you want to keep discussing my comment, I don’t know. I don’t intend to change my comment.

            But then again, you’re probably still quibbling about cheese and wine in the EU trade treaty.

            Finally….ciao.

          • Gotcha. You stand behind nonsense.
            Finally. Ciao.

          • Noop sorry, I’m not even in the same city as you guys.

          • “Noop sorry, I’m not even in the same city as you guys.”
            I fully agree with you there. Though not as you intend it.

          • I’m not in high school either….which all of you appear to be.

            Hey….you want the last word, go for it.

          • My last word? This has been one of the most inane threads I’ve read in a while. Ron Waller politely disagreed with what you said, at which point you repeated Bob Rae should keep quiet not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… but 6 times.

            We heard you the first time. We are allowed to question you if we disagree with what you said. A reasonable person would defend what they say by elaborating on what they said. Or, they would let it go and move on.

            What a reasonable person wouldn’t do is repeat their first sentence so many times we’re worried you may have Tourette’s. If you do so, you’re gonna get ridiculed by someone, possibly many. Whether you like it or not, expect it.

          • Best reply on this thread! Cheers, my friend!

          • Bored teenage boys on a Friday nite standing on a street corner yelling out stupid things to passersby. A lot of guys never get past that stage. Meh

          • And yet you can’t leave it alone. You really can’t, can you?

            (I could, but frankly I’m enjoying myself)

          • ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz Meh.

          • To summarize, I’m glad Bob Rae spoke out.

          • But a lot less appealing.

  3. Rae is so out of touch. Canadians will not go for his scheme.

    Does Rae not know that the natives already receive 10 billion @ year, and still don’t know how to solve their problems?

    Does Rae not know that disunity in this country will be greater if what he proposes, will be implemented?

    Does Rae not know that this upcoming March, about 5.7 billion will be spent on added refineries in Alberta?

    Rae is so out of touch. It ain’t funny no more!

    • I thought refineries weren’t profitable?

  4. I finally got a chance to listen to his whole speech. There is such a leadership vacuum in this country and the Liberals, in their infinite wisdom, decide to throw this guy overboard. What the hell were they thinking?

  5. Can anyone provide proof from anywhere in the world that a cap and trade policy reduces emissions anywhere on the planet? It is a scam for traders to make money.

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