The federal output-based carbon pricing system works because it’s not an exemption

This week, the federal government announced more details of their Output Based Pricing System (OBPS) which targets greenhouse gas emissions from large, industrial facilities. These policies are complex (although perhaps not as complex as their acronyms make them sound) and build on a long line of similar policies proposed and/or implemented in Canada.  In this post, I take you through the history of these policies, discuss which facilities are covered, and explain why the system implemented in Alberta and now being implemented as part of the federal backstop is far better than other systems in preserving competitiveness and providing rewards for innovation.

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The evolution of Alberta gas prices

Today was mostly a course prep day for me and, as part of that, I was updating a graph package for my students.  I decided to pull down some longer history on Alberta natural gas prices and overlay them with settlement prices for futures contracts.  These are US-dollars-denominated contracts but for gas at the Nova … Read more

All credible agencies?

My fellow economist Jack Mintz has a piece out this morning in the Financial Post on Alberta Separatism.  By Jack’s standards, this piece leaves a lot to be desired – it makes a claim that an Alberta exit from Canada would be easier (implied) and more beneficial (explicit) to Alberta than Brexit has been for England.  Now, to be fair to Jack, given that we are mere months from an official Brexit and no one seems to have any idea how it’s going to work, it would be hard to come up with a major change in policy which would be less beneficial to the region involved than Brexit is likely to be for Britain, but let’s put that aside.  The piece struck me as being glaring in its many omissions. What of currencies? Trade deals? Border security? International relations? Family connections? Perhaps amid all of these, you’ll think that the omission which struck me the most is relatively minor, but I don’t believe it is.

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My FINA remarks

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pleasure to speak to you today to express my overall support and to provide context for the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, Section 5 of Bill C-74.  This legislation is the backbone of the federal government’s approach to climate change and will complement the measures already taken by … Read more

Western Canadian oil pricing

A lot of discussion happening about pipelines, market access and crude differentials these days.  I’ve started using this map as a means of illustrating the various levels to this debate.  First, it’s important to always note that all oil is not equal – if you’re looking at a WTI-WCS differential and getting really upset about … Read more

Back to the FrogBlog

It’s been two and a half years (wow) since I’ve written anything on this blog site, and more than three years since I’ve updated in on any kind of a regular basis.  Over the next while, I’m going to get back to more writing so hopefully that will change.  I hope that a few of … Read more