Continental Approach to Reduce GHG Emissions from Heavy-Duty Vehicles

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					Enviromation                                                                                                                  552

Some form of intensity-based carbon tax is the preference          regardless of the weather that arrived in April of 2008. . . . It
of many in the Canadian oil & gas industry, while covering         was reasonable to take those precautions and Syncrude
both upstream and downstream fossil fuel emissions                 did not’’.
would increase the effectiveness of the system and pro-
mote regional fairness. ‘‘Special’’ (i.e., deferred) treatment          As a result of the ruling, Syncrude faces maximum pen-
for EITE industries (most located in Ontario and Quebec)           alties of $500,000 in provincial charges and $300,000 in
should blunt criticism from these provincial governments           federal charges. Justice Tjosvold will rule on August 20 as to
about special treatment for the oil industry, while being          whether Syncrude can be convicted on both provincial
consistent with promoting economic recovery. Meanwhile,            and federal charges.
implementing ‘‘comparable efforts’’ will alleviate concerns
among Canadian exporters about new American protec-                Federal Government Moves to Phase Out
tionism.                                                           Coal-Fired Power Plants
     For Canada, the devil will lie in the details, particularly        Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced plans
the as-yet-undrafted regulations dealing with issues like the      on June 23 to develop new regulations that will force elec-
measurement of carbon content in various transportation            tricity producers to phase out older, high-emitting
fuels. Hopefully, the ongoing bilateral ‘‘Clean Energy Dia-        coal-fired plants while moving to make natural-gas fired
logue’’ and other channels of communication will ensure            plants the new clean power standard. As part of the new
that Canadian views on specific issues are taken into              standards, newer facilities will be required to match the
account in the drafting of American legislation and regula-        lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of more efficient
tions.                                                             natural-gas fired plants. According to Minister Prentice,
                                                                   ‘‘ Our regulation will be very clear. . . . When each
     Canada is a land of hockey players and curlers. Envi-         coal-burning unit reaches the end of its economic life, it
ronment Minister Jim Prentice has been ‘‘ragging the puck’’        will have to meet the new standards or close down. No
in a manner worthy of the son of Doc Prentice and                  trading, no offsets, no credits.’’
nephew of Dean. Prime Minister Harper has been ‘‘holding
the hammer’’, determined to keep last rock advantage and                The regulations, anticipated to be developed by
avoid a repeat of the Kyoto debacle. With the American             early 2011, are expected to reduce GHG emissions by
situation likely to clarify over the coming months, they have      15 megatonnes and are stricter than similar proposals for
put themselves in a position to introduce a comparable             coal-fired plants in the United States, representing a depar-
Canadian ‘‘Climate Action Plan’’ this fall, or perhaps as part     ture from the federal government’s usual policy of coordi-
of the 2011 federal budget — a plan that could leave the           nating emission-reduction targets between the two coun-
Conservatives well-positioned for the next federal election,       tries.
as the one party saying Canada should match the Ameri-
cans on climate change versus the four saying Canada                     Pembina Institute Executive Director, Dr. Marlo Rayn-
should do more.                                                    olds, has welcomed the move, stating, ‘‘We’re looking at
                                                                   this positively. . . . For once the minister is heading in the
                                                                   right direction but the details of the regulations must actu-
                                                                   ally result in a true and timely phase out [of coal power] in
     CANADIAN DEVELOPMENTS                              
Description: Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced on May 21 that the federal government will develop proposed regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to address GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. Heavy-duty vehicles include full-sized pickups, delivery vehicles, buses, freight vehicles, service trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks, and tractor-trailers.
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