Canada's Oil Industry Begs to be Taxed

Issue 03-11-13   |   Reviewer:   Katherine Campbell, Ph.D.


Extracting and processing oil from Canadian tar sands produces more pollution than the production of other fossil fuels.  Interestingly, this worries oil companies enough that they are encouraging the Canadian government to impose a carbon tax.

In recent years, Canada has not prioritized environmental issues, and it has fallen out of step with other countries. Canada is the only nation to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, and the country's carbon emissions have increased 17 percent in the past twenty years. It is quite remarkable that, rather than opposing regulation, oil companies are arguing that becoming a laggard on environmental issues has compromised the competitive position of Canada's energy exports.

This suggests that there has been a substantive increase in the priority many countries (and their citizens) now place on controlling carbon emissions. Oil companies themselves are looking at carbon taxes or other emission regulations as a way to make their products more acceptable and competitive in a global market.              

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