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Elizabeth May Destroys Pipeline Arguments


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My septic tank is full and will cost about $500 to pump out and haul away.

Why $500? How much of that cost presumes access to low cost fuel for the truck and treatment plant? Would septic tanks even be economic without fossil fuels? What is the monetary benefit of a septic tank and how much of that benefit can be attributed to fossil fuels?
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They are also purely subjective whose magnitude depends entirely on the ideology of the people doing the calculation. In the case of the IMF report the political objective was to provide support for "the fossil fuels are subsidized" narrative so the only reasonable conclusion is the alleged health and environmental costs have been grossly exaggerated to support the political objective.

The subjective nature of these kinds of costs also mean they are largely irrelevant when it comes to planning. What really matters are the real subsidies in terms of economic resources that have to be diverted to per kWh of energy. By those measures fossil fuel subsidies are tiny and renewable subsidies are huge.

Second, one cannot add up the 'health costs' of fossil fuels without including the benefits. For example, modern healthcare depends on access to low cost energy and fossil fuel products (e.g. plastics and chemicals). Any calculation is nonsense if it does not include the savings that are only realized because we use fossil fuels.

Of course, the 'fossil fuels are evil' crowd are not interested in a rational discussion of economics of energy production.

It isn't about economics anymore.

It's about foolishly subsidizing environmental destruction.

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It's a good point. Fossil fuel addicts (like other addicts) are in deep denial and don't acknowledge that the environmental and health costs that are not paid for by the cost of fossil fuels are, in fact subsidies. And as the IMF has pointed out, they are huge.

Another subsidy probably won't even be recognized for years, perhaps decades. And that is the huge cleanup costs that will be required once the industry dies away. Suddenly, marginal wells will be completely unprofitable and many of the companies that own them will be bankrupt. Already, with the recent downturn, the industry is asking Ottawa for hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up old wells. And that isn't even the tip of the iceberg.

Ya that's a cost we don't even talk about.

I wonder if the fossil fuel industry would even be viable if they had to pay the environmental cleanup costs.

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It isn't about economics anymore.

It's about foolishly subsidizing environmental destruction.

Without economical options no one cares about the environment. Green living is luxury that only the wealthy can afford.
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Why $500? How much of that cost presumes access to low cost fuel for the truck and treatment plant? Would septic tanks even be economic without fossil fuels? What is the monetary benefit of a septic tank and how much of that benefit can be attributed to fossil fuels?

I don't care. I just want to know if it's a subsidy or something else if I dump it instead of paying someone $500 to haul it away.
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I don't care. I just want to know if it's a subsidy or something else if I dump it instead of paying someone $500 to haul it away.

And my answer was it depends on how you determine what the cost is. In your artificial example you had a clear action with a clear monetary cost. Most cases there is no simple way to estimate the costs and when one does estimate these estimate are biased by the conclusions that someone wishes to draw. i.e. if someone wants a huge number for political purposes then it is easy to overestimate the costs to get that number. Edited by TimG
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I don't care. I just want to know if it's a subsidy or something else if I dump it instead of paying someone $500 to haul it away.

Fossil fuel apologists like to claim that CO2 isn't a pollutant because it's "plant food". The contents of your septic system is also plant food. So, I'm sure Tim would have no objection to you just dumping it on his front lawn. Maybe he'd pay you for it.

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And my answer was it depends on how you determine what the cost is. In your artificial example you had a clear action with a clear monetary cost.

I didn't determine it and don't care who did or why. I just don't want to incur it.

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From that link:

Is an oil company tax break a subsidy?

If you use the World Trade Organization (WTO) definition, which includes tax breaks, he estimates there's likely one billion dollars annually in federal supports that flow to the oil and gas sector in Canada.

There are still substantial [fossil fuel] subsidies remaining," he said.

And more recently this:

Psst, Trudeau: IMF Now Pegs Our Fossil Fuel Subsidies at $46 Billion

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Two points:

1) One billion is almost nothing compared to the size of the industry and the amount energy delivered per Canadian. The subsidy per user or per unit energy for alternative, is enormous in comparison.

A good analogy is thus: You want to subsidize cars, so you decide to give $10 to every ford owner and $100 to every Ferrari owner. Which one is bigger? Using the logic of your argument, the ford subsidy is bigger because there are far more fords, so that total is going to be far larger. In reality, the subsidy to Ferrari owners is 10x as large.

2) The $46 billion number is, from an articled linked to that one "The lion's share...are uncollected taxes on the externalized costs...includ[ing] impacts like traffic accidents, carbon emissions, air pollution and road congestion."

This is just nonsense frankenaccounting. It is not even an actual tax break, it is the perceived level of what taxation should be (based on nothing but opinion of the authors), compared to what it is, with the conclusion being 'a subsidy'.

That is like if I just decided that gluten free foods should be taxed at 40%, and since they are currently taxed at usually nothing (like most foods), I conclude they have a massive subsidy. Makes sense? Nope.

Car accidents? Congestion? Are you kidding me? As if, if all cars were morphed into Teslas, there would be no accidents or congestion? Give me a break, this is not a serious argument.

You could basically use this same logic and just think of anything you don't like about anything, and conclude that because there is no tax levied on those things you don't like, it is subsidized.

Edited by hitops
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Two points:

1) One billion is almost nothing compared to the size of the industry and the amount energy delivered per Canadian. The subsidy per user or per unit energy for alternative, is enormous ...

2) ... Car accidents? Congestion? Are you kidding me?

The two messages from Canadians are these:

We are not willing to subsidize the fossil fuel industry any more.

We are not willing to subsidize the 'car culture' anymore.

You want it, you pay the full cost.

Get used to it.

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Edited by jacee
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We are not willing to subsidize the fossil fuel industry any more.

Except the industry is not subsidized in any significant way. It is a net revenue generator for governments.

We are not willing to subsidize the 'car culture' anymore.

Says who? A retiree who does not have to commute? People use their cars because there is no other choice. Nothing is going to change this. Trying to make life even more miserable for the middle class struggling to find affordable housing is not a vote winner. Edited by TimG
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Except the industry is not subsidized in any significant way. It is a net revenue generator for governments.

Says who? A retiree who does not have to commute? People use their cars because there is no other choice. Nothing is going to change this. Trying to make life even more miserable for the middle class struggling to find affordable housing is not a vote winner.

The low price of gas is artificial.

Get ready to pay the full cost.

Take a bus.

Carpool.

Buy a house that doesn't require miles of subsidized suburban 'infrastructure' so you can pay more than the milk is worth to drive your subsidized fossil fuel vehicle to a store for a litre of milk.

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The low price of gas is artificial.

Get ready to pay the full cost.

Take a bus.

Carpool.

Buy a house that doesn't require miles of subsidized suburban 'infrastructure' so you can pay more than the milk is worth to drive your subsidized fossil fuel vehicle to a store for a litre of milk.

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Can you please direct me to a dealership so I may purchase the Elizabeth May Edition Windmill powered car that is manufactured in Windsor Ontario ? I am also in the market for one of those new David Suzuki solar powered boats , those are excellent value and selling like hot cakes . This green environmental economy is taking off , so many people are already employed by it . Having all of Canada driving windmill powered cars will help offset all the new coal burning plants China is building weekly. Yeepee

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Whatever happens,May will end up with a full pension for life.

We can't do without Fossil fuels.all machines need oil to run.

Unless there's some magical invention under the Justin Liberal regime to replace Oil as a lubercation then it's all a delusional fantasy.

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Whatever happens,May will end up with a full pension for life.

We can't do without Fossil fuels.all machines need oil to run.

Unless there's some magical invention under the Justin Liberal regime to replace Oil as a lubercation then it's all a delusional fantasy.

Um, using oil for lubrication has a quite a bit less environmental impact than burning it.

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After 4 years of Trudeau and most likely another 4 years after that,the Oil Industry and most of the other Industries related to Oil extraction will be gutted.

The damage will take a generation to recover if ever.

So Trudeau and May, show me where these GREEN ENERGY jobs are.

Wind Turbines and Solar Panels will never produce the energy needs we need and wil never replace the massive job losses from the Oil and Gas sectors.

What's coming is a copy of the Ontario (McGinty/Wynn financial nightmare)to the federal level.

A perfect example of this lunacy is contracting a Korean company(Samsung) to install wind turbines in Ontario.

I guess we Canadians are just to dumb to build and Install a tall structure with a propeller on top of it lol.

Green Energy = SCAM!!!!

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Moving toward protecting the air we breath is not a waste of anybody's time.

CO2 levels have nothing to do with breathable air. We could 10X the CO2 in the air, and you would not notice.

Air pollution (particulates) and CO2 emission/climate change are completely separate issues.

Edited by hitops
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Close to $2 billion/year isn't significant to you?

Even if $2 billion was true (it is not), no, it is peanuts compared to the size of the industry, and more than made up in revenues captured by government. Why do you think budget fortunes (federal, AB, SK and NB) rise and fall with the price of oil?

The low price of gas is artificial.

Get ready to pay the full cost.

The true cost without any subsidy, would be a few pennies more per liter. The true cost of removing subsidies to alternative, is that those industries cease to exist.

Edited by hitops
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The budget fortunes don't really depend on the price of oil. We're talking about maybe 5% of the revenues disappearing with no profit being made in the industry.

Edited by Smallc
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The budget fortunes don't really depend on the price of oil. We're talking about maybe 5% of the revenues disappearing with no profit being made in the industry.

It doesn't work that way. Using AB as an example, when prices are high, royalties are much higher by percentage than when prices are low, at which point royalties can drop to nothing. This means the price of oil has a much sharper effect on the royalty revenues for government than on industry profits.

Basically corporate revenues are like a stock that rises and falls proportionally with the price of oil. Government royalties are like a highly leveraged derivative of that stock, moving more exponentially relative to the fortunes of the stock.

Edited by hitops
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