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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for February 19th, 2008

B.C. budget hikes fuel costs with new carbon tax

with 6 comments

CBC

Budget details now appearing (the post above appeared at 4:18 local)

carbon-based fuels — including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, coal and home heating fuel — will be taxed at $10/tonne of greenhouse gases generated, starting July 1, 2008.

and then will rise by $5/tonne a year for the next four years

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At the pump that means 2.4c per litre, which will hardly make much difference as it bounces around by more than that every week. (One forecast has gas prices going up 10/l in the next two weeks!) It is said to be “revenue neutral”. While the tax reductions in personal income tax and corporate taxes do not kick in until 2009, in June the government will issue a $100 rebate to every adult and child in the province to offset the cost of the carbon tax.

The province [will] teach the rest of the country what it means to tackle global warming.

By widening a freeway! She is still spinning the line that it will reduce idling – which is untrue and was debunked two months ago by Environment Canada and Health Canada – never mind what the environmentalists have been saying for much longer.

You can also see the official version

UPDATE Wednesday February 20

From today’s Vancouver Sun

The $370 million announced [for increased transit spending] Tuesday represents less than eight per cent of that total. [The Province says it will spend $4.75bn out of $14bn needed for its transit plan. This includes the $2bn being spent now on the Canada Line]

It is also dwarfed by the nearly $1.9 billion the province is planning to spend over the next three years on new roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure.

The Gateway Program alone, which includes plans to twin the Port Mann bridge, is scheduled to receive $438 million in funding over the next three years.

Taylor said the share of transportation funding that goes to transit versus roads will rise in coming years.

“That number will grow as the plans get developed, as consultations with municipalities get concluded and we can do actual construction,” she said.

Taylor also said that the Gateway Program will help promote the province’s transit plans – by allowing bus service across the Port Mann – as well as reducing idling by cars stuck in traffic.

“If you get traffic moving, that would help in terms of the usage of fuel and the carbon emissions,” said Taylor.

That is a very big “if”. The “traffic moving” effect will be at best short lived, and will be overcome by the increase in induced traffic and the effects of changes in future land development patterns. The responses to the EA produced by Environment Canada and Health Canada cite a number of sources which show the fallacy of Taylor’s assertion. I also think the data produced an on a regular basis by the Texas Transportation Institute (all from US experience, of course) is salutory.

And, of course, as we keep saying , you could do a bus service across the Port Mann now. Easy.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 19, 2008 at 4:51 pm