By having the Notley government agree to the Prime Minister’s demands to include a $50 carbon tax in Alberta, Mayor Don Iveson sees that changing the business case for a lot of the projects Edmonton wants to do.
More money into the carbon tax, will mean more money available on ideas to reduce Edmonton’s carbon footprint.
“If in the case of Alberta that produces sufficient proceeds from the carbon levy to fund things like LRT expansion more quickly then that’s a good thing,” Iveson told reporters shortly after it was announced the Trudeau government had approved the Kinder-Morgan Trans-Mountain, and Enbridge Line-3 replacement pipelines.
“You have to put a price on pollution in order to incent investments in everything from energy efficiency of buildings to the adoption of electric buses.”
“The business case for things like that get stronger with carbon pricing because we can actually reduce green house gas emissions in the process, create jobs in the process, and have certainty for funding our most expensive infrastructure which is transit.”
The higher cost of energy will be a double edged sword for Edmonton tax payers. While funding benefits may come for LRT projects, there will also be higher fuel taxes that will increase the cost of doing business for city operations.
Iveson said he’s hoping the Notley government will help defray some of those costs.
“We would appreciate some relief on that when it comes to emergency services, and some incentives to help us with things like electrification of our fleet. But it does send a strong signal and creates the right incentives for us like every business and private individual to invest in our own energy efficiency and invest in our own energy transfer because that’s the best way to avoid that cost.”
Notley, in a statement, confirmed the agreement with the feds on a higher carbon tax that her government had previously set at $30.
“We are getting out of coal by 2030.”
“We are implementing an emissions cap in the oil sands.”
“And we will all be phasing in a $50 carbon levy to help reduce emissions and to help finance a transition to a lower-carbon economy.”