Friday, December 19, 2014

Stephen Harper's Crazy Carbon Tax problem

As I've been warning recently, Stephen Harper's mental state is clearly growing more unstable by the day.

The exhaustion of all those foreign photo-ops, combined with the shock of seeing his beloved Albertonia torpedoed by low oil prices, and his budget surplus going up in flames, has driven him to the brink.

And there is no better example of that than his wildly oscillating position on a carbon tax.

Just ten days ago he called one "crazy." Or CRAAAAAAAZY.

But in the CBC interview the other night, while being stroked with a feather by Peter Mansbridge, he all but called it a good idea. 

Stephen Harper is still taking a hard line against introducing a "job-killing carbon tax," but in an interview with CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge, the prime minister has indicated for the first time a willingness to accept a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, in his usual oily con artist way, he didn't call it a carbon tax.

"It's not a levy, it's a price. And there's a tech fund in which… [the] private sector makes investments. "So look, that's what Alberta has done. That's a model that's available.

But while he might fool some Canadians, and Peter Mansbridge, who for some reason didn't challenge him to call a spade a spade.

He can't fool Big Oil. 

For years, whenever it came to the question of putting a price on carbon Prime Minister Stephen Harper has always resorted to a familiar refrain: His government would never implement a “job-killing carbon tax.” But in a recent year-end interview with CBC, Harper strayed conspicuously off-message. “I think it’s a model on which you could go… on which you could go broader,” he said of Alberta’s existing carbon levy. “That’s a model that’s available.

Because they know a carbon tax when they see one. Many in the industry actually like the idea, because they see it as the only way to make themselves and their oily agenda more popular.

In a perfect world, Canadian energy companies wouldn’t have to worry about market access issues. In a perfect world, pipeline applications would get with the same degree and kind of attention as a proposed new power line does. And in a perfect world, Canadian crude wouldn’t trade at a material discount to WTI. But the Canadian energy sector doesn’t exist in that perfect world, and it hasn’t for some time. Politics, as Otto Von Bismarck famously said, is the art of the possible. And make no mistake: a carbon tax is possible in Canada.

And in this grubby petro-state what Big Oil wants usually happens, which helps explain why their stooge Stephen Harper is looking like he's on the verge of cracking up.

Because he knows that backing down after calling it crazy, and after having attacked the opposition for years over an imaginary "job killing carbon tax" could be REALLY embarrassing.

And make a lot of Canadians wonder who's REALLY crazy...

He's caught between Big Oil, the growing environmental movement, and the opposition who could use those clips to make it look like him and his Cons don't know what they're doing.

Or make Canadians roar with laughter from coast to coast to coast.

Which would DESTROY him.

Yup. Settle back, get a big bag of popcorn.

And watch him go slowly CRAZY...

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