Premier Wall clarifies he did not call for a carbon tax

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Premier Brad Wall issued a press statement to clarify claims that he called for a carbon tax or levy to assist with the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Wall notes that he answered several questions about whether oil and gas regulations in Canada might help with the pending Keystone decision by the US administration.

"My answer was unchanged. I said that it might help to have those regulations in place but they ought not to be needed for approval because the overall emissions targets of Canada are harmonized with those of the United States. How each sector of the economy is regulated is therefore not the most significant thing," Wall stated in his release.

The remainder of his clarification states:

To a hypothetical question from a journalist: "If the United States is going to come in and say you guys (Canada) are going to have to put some price on carbon etc. They are probably going to dictate a price to you. What price is that going to be?"

I responded as follows (transcribed from tape):

"First of all, in answer to your question, it's obvious we are talking very hypothetically.

"Even if it's not a direct dictation, we have said we will support the Federal Government, we are going to harmonize with what you folks (United States) do. If the United States decided to have some sort of a levy to price carbon, I think then, I can't speak for the Prime Minister or the Federal Government, but I am guessing based on what they have said, they would head down that road – the price would not be that much different than what Alberta has done.

"I think you start slow, admittedly, Alberta's been there for a while and so there can be this argument that 'when are they going to increase theirs?' You start slow and see what impact it is going to have on the economy. If I was here, in politics here, in government here (United States) that is what I would want. If I would agree to that at all, I would want to make sure it started slow because the recovery here (United States) is tenuous, the economic instability here is, the lethargy is certainly here. So I don't think you want to knee cap your economy with a carbon tax.

"But I mean, this is a hypothetical."

Wall noted the full transcription clearly shows he was talking hypothetically about the United States and what they might do with this hypothetical.

"What I did reference regarding Saskatchewan was the technology already announced but yet to be structured."

Organizations: Keystone XL Pipeline, Federal Government, Provincial Government

Geographic location: United States, Canada, Alberta Saskatchewan

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