United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney speaks at a rally before the election, in Sherwood Park Alta, on Monday April 15, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

LETTER: Kenney was correct

Carbon taxes do not prevent forest fires however, a change in behaviour can reduce them

Dear Editor,

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was absolutely correct with his statement that carbon taxes do not prevent forest fires. However since more than 50 per cent are caused by humans, a change in behaviour can reduce them. The other factor, our changing climate, can be addressed by a carbon tax.

READ MORE: Trudeau says carbon tax can help deal with extreme weather, Alberta fires

Increasing efficiency in our energy system can also reduce cost to you and me and save us money as well as make our energy system more resilient and reduce our emissions at the same time.

Currently the North American energy system has about 50 per cent waste losses built in, if we reduce that by 25 per cent to 50 per cent our cost savings would be huge. How would you like to pay 25 per cent to 50 per cent less for your energy?

Since a carbon tax by itself will not be enough, how about some incentives at the same time? In some places they exist already. If a company adds a residential unit(s) to a commercial building they can get a rebate on their property taxes up to 100 per cent for five years.

READ MORE: Alberta set to pass law to kill provincial carbon tax, as federal tax looms

We all have rewards programs for points, goods, cash etc. How about a combined federal, provincial and municipal rewards program that rewards energy savings, efficiency?

The more you reduce your emissions the higher the tax rebate. Not only would you save money as in cost saving from reduced energy use, you would get a tax rebate for say five years and at the same time create local jobs. There would be additional benefits for using for example only electricity, such as no more carbon monoxide poisonings and deaths.

Martin Holzbauer

Thornhill, B.C.


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