The Greens Face Growing Global Push-Back

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The Greens Face Growing Global Push-Back

Despite increasingly apocalyptic warnings from U.N. officials, 2018 saw a wave of high-profile defeats for policies aimed at fighting global warming.  Around the world, politicians and voters pushed back attempts to raise energy prices as part of the climate crusade.

It started with the June Ontario election in which residents overwhelmingly voted Doug Ford’s conservative coalition into power on a platform that included axing the Canadian province’s cap-and-trade program. 

Ford said his first priority upon taking office would be to “cancel the Liberal cap-and-trade carbon tax.”  Ford then joined a legal challenge led by Saskatchewan against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policy of a central government-imposed carbon tax on provinces that don’t have their own.

Carbon tax opponents said Trudeau’s plan was an attempt to “use the new tax to further redistribute income, which will increase the costs of this tax to the economy.”

Meanwhile, roughly ten thousand miles away in Australia another revolt was brewing.  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saw his power base crumble within days of failing to pass a bill aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Turnbull’s so-called National Energy Guarantee to reduce energy sector emissions was opposed by a group of conservative members of Parliament led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Turnbull tried to delay the vote on his climate bill in response to the opposition but was too late. He stepped down in late August and has since been replaced by Scott Morrison.

Back in the U.S., $45 million was being pumped into the battle over a Washington state carbon tax ballot measure.  Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who is seeking the 2020 presidential nomination, supported the measure.  The Inslee-backed law called for taxing carbon dioxide emissions at $15 a ton in 2020, then increasing that by $2-a-ton-per-year above the rate of inflation until the state meets its emissions goals.

However, opponents outspent carbon tax supporters and Washington voters rejected the carbon tax measure in the November election despite Inslee’s support.  It was the second time in two years that Washington voters rejected a carbon tax ballot initiative...

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