Carbon disaster

Edmonton Sun – Stop worrying about a carbon tax driving up the cost of everything we buy after this election.

Start worrying about a cap-and-trade carbon market doing the same thing.

Canada will only get a carbon tax if Liberal Leader Stephane Dion wins a majority government Oct. 14, or a minority in which Green Party Leader Elizabeth May holds the balance of power — both unlikely.

By contrast, it’s very likely the next Parliament will create a cap-and-trade system.

To varying degrees, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Jack Layton, Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe, Dion and May all support cap-and-trade, as do U.S. presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain, neither of whom supports a carbon tax.

The American position will put economic pressure on Canada to adopt a cap-and-trade system consistent with the U.S. Both countries already have voluntary carbon markets whose volume would skyrocket under cap-and-trade.

There’s also more support for cap-and-trade, rather than a carbon tax, among provincial governments.

Politicians prefer cap-and-trade to carbon taxes because they never have to say the word "tax," which is also why Dion doesn’t talk about carbon taxes but a "green shift."

But cap-and-trade does exactly what a carbon tax does — puts a price on emitting carbon — an added cost to businesses they will pass along to us for everything we buy from utilities to fuel, manufactured goods and food.

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