CANADA Bold, gutsy . . . but not exactly a brilliant move for metals

Apr 01, 2008 | 01:47 PM |

British Columbia has offered a bold—and politically gutsy—solution to help combat global warming by becoming the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a carbon tax on both business and consumers.

But it's a move that has left executives at one of the province's biggest mining companies, Teck Cominco Ltd., scratching their heads over whether they'll be subject to a tax penalty that could ultimately ruin their competitiveness. It's also created further uncertainty in the minerals sector over just what the fight against climate change will ultimately cost.

If the province isn't careful, it could end up trading off private-sector investment in one of its biggest industries in favor of becoming an innovator in greenhouse gas solutions.

The carbon tax, which kicks in July 1, will start at $10 per tonne of carbon-equivalent emissions and rise $5 annually over the next four years. It will apply to all fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane and home-heating fuel.....

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