Two mountain town mayors in Alberta endorse carbon tax
BANFF, Alberta – Mayors of Banff and Canmore have endorsed Alberta’s adoption of a carbon tax similar to the tax in British Columbia.
Beginning next year, carbon dioxide emissions are to be assessed at a rate of $20 per metric tonne, with an increase to $30 per tonne the following year. That will match British Columbia’s tax. The intent is to phase out coal-fired electricity, but the tax will also apply to gas and oil—including the oil produced from the province’s so-called tar sands deposits around Fort McMurray.
“We applaud the direction toward climate leadership taken by the Province, which will help us sustain our tourism economy and provide a better future for all Albertans,” Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen told the Rocky Mountain Outlook.
The provincial government estimates the levy will cost the average family $400 or more a year in direct and indirect costs, with much of that rebated to households in the middle and lower-income brackets. But the taxes are expected to produce $9 billion over the next five years to fund green projects such as expanded public transit, according to The Canadian Press
Washington state is also talking about adopting a carbon tax.
And in Colorado…
In Colorado, meanwhile, formation of a new advocacy organization was announced last week. The Colorado Communities for Climate Action’s nine founding members include both the town governments for Aspen and Vail, along with their respective county governments, Pitkin and Eagle. Also included is San Miguel County, but not Telluride, its county seat. Other members are along the Front Range: Fort Collins, Boulder, and Golden.
The consortium’s goal is to advocate for state and federal actions providing the authorities, tools, and policy frameworks that state and federal governments need to reduce heat-trapping emissions.
More conservative is Mountain Village, the connected-by-a-gondola sibling of Telluride, which also did not join the consortium. But officials there announced $170,000 in grants to homeowners who take action to save energy in heating systems for roofs and gutters, among other measures.
“We like carrots better than sticks,” Mayor Dan Jansen told the Telluride Daily Planet. “Our people want to do the right thing; they just need a nudge.”