Emissions for the poor, tax breaks for the wealthy

The Harper government is sometimes accused of favouring the rich while ignoring the poor – even cozying up to wealthy oil barons at the expense of regular Canadians.

It would be nice if Harper could say it wasn’t so. Unfortunately, there’s enough evidence in the climate change file alone to make the case.

Soon after coming to office, the Harper government abruptly eliminated a $500 million program, the Energuide for Low Income Households, designed to help poor families do home retrofits to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. In stark contrast, the government’s last budget effectively assured wealthy oil and gas corporations that all of the federal tax breaks they currently enjoy, amounting to about $1.4 billion each year, would remain in place until at least 2010.

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MT senator Baucus says BP dropping coal-bed methane project

HELENA — Sen. Max Baucus says BP America is dropping its potential coal-bed methane project in British Columbia. The project had raised concerns about environmental effects in the province and Montana.

Baucus says BP America President Bob Malone informed him of the decision.

In Montana, the prospect of coal-bed methane development in southeastern British Columbia triggered concern that waters flowing into Glacier National Park would be harmed. The Flathead River Basin spans the British Columbia-Montana border.

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BP Abandons Green Plans, Goes Back to Carbon

Under the leadership of former CEO Lord Browne, British Petroleum had made steps to move its business model beyond only petroleum and into newer and greener energy sources.

But with oil prices at record highs, and expected to stay there, new CEO Tony Hayward has decided to forget about environmental initiatives and return BP to its profitable roots.

The move is part of Hayward’s larger overhaul of the energy giant, including a cost-cutting program that will see 14,500 jobs cut and nearly $1 billion trimmed from overhead costs. The company has decided that high oil prices are here to stay, and has decided to maximise its profit by focusing on that area including a much greater investment in the Canadian oil sands. The oil sands in Canada have recently been in the news after being labelled “the most destructive project on Earth”.

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