5 Apr 2013

Alberta, fuck yeah!

I've been following the tarsands/fracking/Keystone debate with interest, as I plan to be in the region in a few months (with my awesome girlfriend, of course :)

I think that Keystone is a good idea, BTW, since the oil is going to get transported one way or another, and the pipeline is better than trucks or trains.

But forget the Keystone. Did you know that Alberta has a carbon tax? It may be too low to matter, but that's better than most US states can claim.* (Yesterday there was a big announcement/PR ploy/negotiating tactic to set a much higher carbon tax.)

But forget the tax. What's cool about the 2003 law enabling the carbon tax [pdf] is this magnificent example of spin:
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has a deep and well
established commitment to protect Alberta’s environment for future
generations through proactive and responsible stewardship of the
environment;

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta owns natural resources in
Alberta on behalf of all Albertans and manages the exploration,
development and production of renewable and non-renewable
resources in Alberta;

WHEREAS Alberta is recognized around the world for
leading-edge innovation in environmentally sustainable
technologies that maximize the value of Alberta’s natural resources
and the prosperity of its residents;

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta recognizes that the
management of emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other
specified gases will serve to protect the Alberta environment;

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta will work co-operatively
with other jurisdictions to harmonize efforts to reduce emissions of
carbon dioxide, methane and other specified gases without
impairing economic growth;

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta is committed to providing
certainty to all sectors of the Alberta economy in pursuing
sustainable development objectives through the establishment of
clear emission reduction targets for carbon dioxide, methane and
other specified gases and related objectives, frameworks, plans and
measures; and

WHEREAS atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane are not toxic
and are inextricably linked with the management of renewable and
non-renewable natural resources, including sinks;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and
consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows...

* Addendum: The tax (officially called "payment to the Alberta Clean Technology Fund") is not levied on most (95%) of emissions due to exemptions/targeting.