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Vancouverites Begin Paying Carbon Tax

pump_gas.jpgDrivers in Vancouver have begun paying more for gasoline as a result of the provincial government’s carbon tax on all fossil fuels — including gasoline, diesel, natural gas and home heating fuel, CBC News reports.

Vancouver is taxing the fuels at a rate of $10 per ton of GHG generated and the price will increase $5 per ton a year for the next four years until it hits $30 in 2012. The tax will cost drivers there about 2.4 cents a liter to start, and 7.24 cents per liter by 2012 and generate about $1.8 billion over three years. The government promises British Columbians will get the money back through reductions to income and business taxes, making the tax “revenue neutral.”

Climate-change specialist Ian Bruce, with the David Suzuki Foundation, says he believes the carbon tax will work by prompting the energy industry to look for ways to save money.

“We’ll start to see more things like wind power [and] more solar power for home heating, these solutions we haven’t seen in Canada because we haven’t had a carbon tax,” he says.

Residents also received a $100 “Climate Action Dividend” in June to ease the pain of the two-and-a-half cent increase and encourage them to make more environmentally friendly choices.

Carole James, the head of British Columbia’s NDP, or New Democratic Party, which has started an “Axe the Tax” campaign around the province, says the tax is unfair because it doesn’t apply to big industrial polluters.

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