November 10, 2010

Pricing and Subsidizing Fossil Fuels

What we as consumers pay for coal, gas and oil fails to take into account the damage burning these fuels does to our health, our environment, and our climate. None of these costs are factored into the price of these fuels, and rather than remedy that with a price on carbon, the Harper government chooses instead to unload these costs onto future generations. That in itself is reprehensible
But apparently, when it comes to fossil fuels, unfair pricing is not enough for this government. They have to subsidize these industries. In effect pay them to do their dirty work. Encourage them to diminish our health, to foul our environment, to disrupt our climate.

According to International Institute for Sustainable Development (see Fossil Fuels - At What Cost) federal government subsidies and tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry are well over a billion dollars a year. And while the rest of the G20 is attemting to reduce their subsides, Mr. Harper stands firm.   

So this is what we get from a government that yammers on about the free market and cutting taxes: unfair pricing and enormous subsidies.

If the Harper government feels so strongly about the free market, then they should ensure that the price for fossil fuels takes into account all the costs. And if they feel so strongly about cutting taxes, then they should eliminate the fossil fuel subsidies.  

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