Murray Mandryk: Moe takes a positive step forward with carbon tax deal

why now? Probably because the government and he couldn’t put things off for SaskPower any longer.

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The question of coal power is why it took so long for the federal and Saskatchewan governments to agree to levy a carbon tax on large emitters.

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I suspect most of you already understand at least part of the answer.

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Prime Minister Scott Moe and his Saskatchewan government long ago discovered that keeping the federal Liberal government’s climate change initiative under fire was good politics at home. upon.

A better question might be: Why isn’t Moe as obsessed with carbon taxes as he has ever been?

Well, it probably has a lot to do with demands from Saskatchewan industry itself. It is very likely that you are concerned about

But the biggest driving force is the government’s own self-interest. This change also paves the way for SaskPower to start getting serious about making much-needed adjustments to keep our power flowing.

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why now? Probably because the government and he couldn’t put off SaskPower any longer.

A Saskatchewan government news release on Tuesday said the state’s own Output-Based Performance Standards Program (OBPS) has met the federal government’s 2023-2030 carbon pricing benchmark requirements. .

This paves the way for states to collect future carbon taxes. (Yes, folks, states will collect carbon taxes.) More importantly, the government claims the move will save the industry an estimated $3.7 billion between 2022 and 2030.

The OBPS agreement also gives states access to $480 million that the federal government has already raised. The federal government’s OBPS plan previously did not apply to Saskatchewan’s power and natural gas industries. This meant that we had to pay for emissions that exceeded the limit.

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On Tuesday, recently minted Environment Minister Dana Skoropad explained that the OBPS met after extensive consultations with industry that paved the way for Tuesday’s federal decision.

Despite media requests, Moe did not speak on the issue on Tuesday.

But he spoke about it on Wednesday. And while his anti-federal rhetoric wasn’t entirely conciliatory, Mo’s reaction was considerably more thoughtful and positive than some of the reactions he’s given in the past.

“These are turbulent times for our country,” Moe told reporters. “What we all need to realize is that these policies are not free.”

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Such policies would result in a “significant increase in the cost of electricity,” so the state would do everything it could “to combat these policies,” as well as provide “clean, affordable electricity to its citizens.” need to do it.

Let me be clear, on the road to Damascus, Mo experienced little conversion like the Apostle Paul.

The Saskatchewan premier continued the trend of blaming “Justin and Jagmeet”, tying it to his government’s largely symbolic Saskatchewan First Act.

Asked why the deal hadn’t happened sooner, Moe said the state proposed despite Skoropad’s admission the day before that OBPS came about through work and negotiations with industry here. He further accused the federal government of refusing to do what it did.

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“I don’t think we’ve done anything to slow the process,” said the prime minister, who unsuccessfully took the federal government to the Supreme Court of Canada to stop the implementation of the carbon tax.

That said, it also became clear that Moe’s focus is on leveraging the existing $480 million and future funding to develop a small modular reactor. gas.

Key is the technology fund that is part of OBPS that will be made available to industry, Moe said.

Don’t expect all politics to dissipate quickly.

But on Wednesday, Moe turned the fire down a bit and the light up a bit.

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Mandryk is a political columnist for the Regina Leader-Post and Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

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Murray Mandryk: Moe takes a positive step forward with carbon tax deal

Source link Murray Mandryk: Moe takes a positive step forward with carbon tax deal

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