New Brunswick’s electrical agency may see its carbon tax bill increase six-fold if a proposed change is approved.

The plan proposed by the federal government would slash the carbon tax exemption for coal-generated electricity by half.

Currently, most of the energy production at the Belledune Generating Station in northern New Brunswick is exempted from the carbon tax — the first 800 tons of emissions.

If the change is implemented in January 2020 as proposed, the carbon tax bill on coal power would increase to $18 million, an increase of 500 per cent.

NB Power, the crown corporation which provides electricity to most of New Brunswick, already had to take on more debt and cut its profit outlook for the next four years in the wake of the carbon tax, and has not budgeted for such a drastic change.

Despite having its own climate-change plan that it says it can follow while maintaining a balanced budget, so far the federal government has rejected any “made-in-New Brunswick” plan that does not include the costly carbon tax.

The carbon tax — a tax which will make the basics of life more expensive for Canadians while doing nothing for the environment has proven extremely unpopular in the blue-collar province.

A recent pro-carbon tax rally in Fredericton was cancelled after only nine people showed up — the latest in many similar failed demonstrations in the province.

In 2015 New Brunswick sent 11 MPs to Ottawa, all Liberal. The Conservatives believe that their anti-carbon tax platform will be a winner for them in the province.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer told a packed room in Fredericton that “for Conservatives, job number one will be to repeal the carbon tax.”

Since being elected in September, New Brunswick has launched its own challenge to the federal carbon tax in court and is joining the suit launched by Ontario and Saskatchewan.