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LETTER: True comments; weak responses

People pass the German pavilion in the shape of the Earth during the COP 23 Fiji UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, Nov. 15. — Martin Meissner/The Associated Press
-The Associated Press/File

The new P.E.I. Climate Change Plan is full of cognitive dissonance, with realistic statements about the current and coming problems we have to address, coupled with weak, non-action responses.

One of the more outlandish proposals in the plan is one that the minister has doubled down on in the press. That is the elimination of a portion of the tax on electricity. That would be a fair action in its own right, since other forms of heat do not pay that portion of the tax presently.

However, the reasoning goes off the rails in the justification put forth for the action. The hope is that by providing perhaps a couple of hundred dollars a year in tax relief, people will spend thousands to rip out oil furnaces and replace them with electric heat systems. Based on the tax reduction, the payback on that action would be in the 25-35 year range. Adding to the fantasy potential of this proposal, people switching would have to pony up the entire cost up front. Aside from some money for low income families, everyone would be on their own. Nothing else in the Plan provides for Provincial loans, grants or other assistance.

Finally, the tax reduction would only level the playing field with oil heat anyway, so there would really be no tax advantage to switching. Would this incentivize you?

And, as the minister says, this is our answer to carbon pricing?

Harry Smith,
Bonshaw

 

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