Trudeau’s Trumped on carbon pricing – All it will do now is hurt ordinary Canadians

trudeau
With each new cabinet selection, President-elect Donald Trump makes it clear he’s not interested in imposing a national carbon price on the United States.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take note.

Because if he doesn’t, it will cost Canadians billions of dollars, while making our industries less competitive with those of our largest trading partner.

Why would Trudeau do that?

On Tuesday, U.S. media reported Trump had offered the job of energy secretary to Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor of oil-rich Texas, who ran against Trump unsuccessfully in the Republican primary race.

Also Tuesday, Trump nominated oil-industry executive Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobile, as his secretary of state, another key player on U.S. energy policy.

Last week, Trump nominated Scott Pruitt, attorney-general of Oklahoma, an oil and gas state, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, which Pruitt had previously sued over President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Trump, who has vowed to make America “energy independent”, has investments in the oil industry.

In 2012, he tweeted global warming was, “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

None of this means the U.S. will abandon green energy during Trump’s presidency.

Trump has dialled back his most extreme statements about climate change following his victory.

He met with Al Gore, who described their talk as a lengthy, productive and sincere search for common ground.

Trump told the New York Times he now believes “there is some connectivity” between industrial carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.

Perry, Trump’s reported choice for energy secretary, who famously forgot in the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination that energy was one of three government departments he wanted to close, was a supporter of wind power as Texas governor.

But the key issue on green energy policy is carbon pricing.

Not even Obama, with whom Trump is also consulting, was able to get a national carbon pricing plan, proposed by the Democrats in the form of a cap-and-trade market, through the U.S. Congress.

The idea Trump would, or could convince the Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives to agree to national carbon pricing, even if he wanted to, is far-fetched.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did not propose a U.S. national carbon price during her unsuccessful campaign against Trump for the presidency.

Trudeau did run on implementing a national carbon price, which, post-election, he has set at a minimum of $10 per tonne of industrial carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, rising by $10 annually to $50 in 2022.

But with the U.S. having pivoted on its green energy policy post-election, Trudeau must pivot, too.

Or all Canadians will pay the price.

Toronto Sun December 13th 2016 by Lorrie Goldstein

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