Carbon tax to deliver blow to logging sector, says Central Interior Logging Assn.; group calls for supply chain exemption
BURNS LAKE, B.C.
June 24, 2008
(Lakes District News)
– The B.C. government’s new carbon tax effective July 1 is just another blow to logging, log-hauling, and silviculture contractors and suppliers, who are already feeling the impacts from lower logging volumes and contract price reductions.
The harvesting sector is a fossil-fuel consumption based sector and there are limited opportunities to reduce fuel consumption within the industry. For example, you cannot replace a skidder used to skid logs to roadside with a smaller machine that utilizes less fuel.
The industry is already feeling the pinch from increased prices at the pump. The 2004 dyed diesel price of $0.59/litre has now escalated to $1.34/litre today, representing a 227 per cent increase in only four years.
Fuel prices that once represented only five per cent of log harvesting costs are now trending upwards to 30 per cent of total costs. Log-haulers already pay an additional cost of $9,000 to $12,000 to purchase new, more environmentally friendly trucks, which ironically burn more fuel.
The Central Interior Logging Association’s position is that the supply chain involved in producing green building products (lumber, etc.) and green energy (bio-energy, etc.) should be exempt from the carbon tax and government should provide incentives to encourage better fuel efficiency as opposed to a punitive tax.