Tories scrap cap-and-trade plan in order to reduce gas prices | The Star

Cap and trade will soon be scrapped and paid.

The Progressive Conservative government tabled legislation Wednesday to scrap Ontario’s market-driven environmental alliance with Quebec and California.

And the province expects to be paying out $5 million in compensation as it leaves the joint carbon-pricing auction — a sum critics warn is unrealistically low.

Environment Minister Rod Phillips said the moves should help the Progressive Conservatives fulfill their campaign promise to reduce gasoline prices by 10 cents a litre and could save the average family $260 a year.

“We’re sending a clear message: Ontario’s carbon-tax era is over,” said Phillips, whose government will spend $30 million to fight Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national carbon-pricing system.

“It’s a punishing, regressive tax that forces low- and middle-income families to pay more. It’s a job-killing tax that would impose massive costs on business,” he said.

Under cap-and-trade, businesses had greenhouse-gas-emission limits — or caps — and those who polluted less could sell — or trade — credits for these to those who emit pollution contributing to climate change.

Over time, an industry’s cap is lowered to cut pollution, creating an economic incentive to curb emissions.

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Tories scrap cap-and-trade plan in order to reduce gas prices | The Star.