The Harper government is facing growing threats of environment-based protectionism from the U.S. as President Barack Obama moves forward aggressively with a climate-change plan that conservative critics are already blasting as a de facto, economy-wide carbon tax.But don't worry. I'm sure it will all be nice to meet you, looking forward to building a relationship stuff in any event. And Prentice will assure us, as he has to date, that positions that are far apart are actually in perfect harmony. But you just know, the Conservatives are probably itching to jump on board with this kind of Republican rhetoric:
Canadian federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice lands in Washington today to pursue the Canada-U.S. co-operation on energy and the environment that was promised when the new President visited Ottawa two weeks ago.
In meetings with top administration officials, Mr. Prentice will push Canada's proposal for a continental system of emission caps and market-based permit trading that would align Canada's regulatory system with that of our largest trading partner.
But Mr. Obama's budget, released last week, makes it clear he is planning far more sweeping emissions rules than Ottawa's plan to impose regulations on the largest industrial emitters. And the President gave no indication during his trip to Canada that he was enthusiastic about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's idea for a bilateral agreement on climate change.
"Let's just be honest and call [the Obama plan] a carbon tax that will increase taxes on all Americans who drive a car, who have a job, who turn on a light switch, pure and simple," raged Representative John Boehner.A tax on everything...amazingly, that was the Harper rhetoric but a few months ago.