After things got off to such a questionable beginning, I was quite pleased as the day wore on.
First, the Saskatchewan Minister of Energy said (as a minor part of an otherwise forgetable speech) that people in the West might accept the proposition that carbon taxes are a good idea, but one thing they will not tolerate is having the Canadian federal gubmnt impose carbon taxes on the western provinces and then redistribute the funds to the eastern provinces [shades of the old National Energy Programme, as I said earlier]. I don't know how the provinces will stop the feds, but I can see constitutional challenges on the horizon....
The primary afternoon session that I attended included Jeremy de Beers [law, University of Ottawa] who knows a LOT about biofuel production and trade. He and I had a great talk after his session, during which he said that if gubmnts would set a carbon tax then all the other rent-seeking nonsense would be unnecessary [my words, not his]. Another of the panelists in the session was Stever Dorey from Charles River Associates (based in Trono). He was very astute in his discussion of energy policy and noted that regulations create incentives for mischief-makers to create more mischief [a reference to rent-seeking in the guise of being in the public interest].
As I say in the title of this posting, it was a worthwhile session, seeing that there were presenters here who recognize the importance of prices, incentives, public choice mechanisms, and the private sector.
But the concluding session was a bit of a bust, again, with general, vague statements that seemed more like something from "planners" than should be taken seriously.