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Canada minister mulls tough auto emissions levels
Friday March 12, 12:51 pm ET
By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, March 12 (Reuters) - A Canadian government minister said on Friday that Ottawa might impose fuel economy standards on major automobile makers if they did not agree to improve the efficiency of their vehicles by 25 percent in the period between 2008 and 2010.

Environment Minister David Anderson also told Reuters that Ottawa planned to work with individual U.S. states such as California and New York to put pressure on manufacturers.

But Natural Resources Minister John Efford -- whose department is helping chair talks between Ottawa and automobile makers on a voluntary agreement to cut emissions -- rapped Anderson for "imposing wild threats" on the firms.

Anderson complained there had been little progress so far in the talks and said one option for Ottawa would be to impose standards using the country's Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Act.

"My desire is to make sure they (the car firms) know we want to have successful results of our voluntary negotiations," he said in an interview.

"Because, if we don't, we will have to consider very soon the Fuel Efficiency Act and measures which (are) regulatory."

Efford said he was committed to talking to the firms involved -- General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler AG, and Ford Motor Co.

"If you're going to give the voluntary standards an opportunity to work, the last thing we should be (doing)... (is) to be imposing wild threats or mandatory standards on them (the firms)," he told Reuters.

"He is entitled to his opinion as minister of the environment. I'm the minister of natural resources working with the automobile industry."

Anderson -- a committed environmentalist who has not always had good relations with the natural resources ministry -- said Ottawa would be looking for help from south of the border.

"We fully intend to work as closely as we can with other American jurisdictions, which are led by California but which include New York and New Jersey ... who we believe to be also favoring a substantial improvement in fuel efficiency which would be similar to our 25 percent target," he said.

Anderson said the auto industry objected to Ottawa's demand for emissions cuts on the grounds that it would cause problems in the integrated North American market.

"Well, if we can get California, New York, New Jersey and Canada together you have 100 million people -- a pretty substantial chunk of the North American market," he said.

Anderson -- who said last month that global warming posed a longer-term threat to humanity than terrorism -- said Canada was committed to sticking to its obligations under the Kyoto protocol accord on global warming.

Full Article Here

 

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Originally posted by Jay@Mar 12 2004, 08:36 PM
So, if Mr. Anderson is such a dedicated environmentalist, does this mean that he and all his Liberal colleagues are going to trade in their luxury sedans for Priuses? I don't think so. Typical Liberal Hypocrit!
the threat angle isn't very proactive. if the governemnt is serious about improving fuel economy working with the automakers is the best solution, not mandating new levels. though i guess that's the easy way for the government: ignore the problem until they decide enough is enough and WHAM... new fuel economy standards.
 

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Funy how the parliment is only focusing it's efforts on GM - DCX - and Ford.

Seems kind of one sided. <_<
 

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Originally posted by Rex Raider@Mar 12 2004, 06:18 PM
I e-mailed the minister to ask what kind of car he drove. No response yet, but I'll let you know.
I'm betting you'll be waiting a while. I live 10 minutes from Parliament Hill, I'll give you an insight into what kinds of cars are parked there. Most common cars: Mercury Grand Marquis, Chrysler Concorde, Cadillac Deville, Chevrolet Impala, Buick Park Avenue. Generally, they spend a lot of time idling out front.

A real concern for the environment I tell ya.

Don't worry, I'm sure we will be the ones to suffer the consequences, surely not them.
 

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On April 6th (over 3 weeks later), I received this:

Thank you for your e­mail of March 12, concerning what type of vehicle I drive.

I am pleased to inform you that my official car is a hybrid vehicle. As you may know, hybrids have excellent fuel economy, and therefore help reduce the greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants emitted by vehicles. In addition, during speeches and events across Canada, I inform my fellow Canadians that I use a hybrid, in order to encourage environmentally responsible vehicle usage.

The federal government overall is demonstrating leadership in the use of alternative vehicles. For example, the Government has purchased 40 hybrid vehicles, and has approximately 1 000 alternative­fuelled vehicles in its fleet.

It may further interest you to know that Environment Canada and the federal government are undertaking extensive measures to reduce emissions from vehicles and engines, primarily through the Federal Agenda on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels, and through climate change measures announced in Budget 2003. This is because the combustion of fuels to power vehicles accounts for a substantial amount of air pollution and GHG emissions in Canada. For details on our work to reduce the environmental impacts of vehicles, please consult the attached information supplement.

As well, information on Environment Canada’s regulatory and other programs regarding transportation is available on our “Transportation and the Environment” Web site at www.ec.gc.ca/transport/home.htm. For details on the Government’s Clean Air Agenda, and to find out how you can contribute to achieving our clean air goals, please visit our “Clean Air” site, www.ec.gc.ca/air/introduction_e.cfm. And, the federal One­Tonne Challenge at www.onetonne.gc.ca outlines many ways in which you can reduce GHG emissions.

I appreciate receiving your inquiry, and hope the information provided is helpful.

Yours sincerely,



Original signed by



David Anderson, P.C., M.P.



Attachment

INFORMATION SUPPLEMENT

Federal Actions on Vehicles and Fuels

The 10-year Federal Agenda on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels includes regulations, guidelines and studies that will benefit the environment and Canadians’ health, by reducing emissions from a broad range of on­road and off­road vehicles and engines. The Agenda, an integral part of the federal government’s Clean Air Agenda, was developed through extensive consultations with provincial and territorial governments, environmental and health organizations, and the automobile and fuel sectors.

The Agenda’s regulatory initiatives include the new On­Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations. The Regulations are aligned with the emission standards in the United States for light­duty passenger vehicles, light­duty trucks (such as vans, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles), heavy­duty vehicles (such as heavy trucks and buses), and motorcycles. The stringent new standards are now being phased in, and will reduce allowable emission levels from new on­road vehicles by up to 95 per cent. When fully phased in (in 2009), the Regulations will subject all cars and light­duty trucks to the same set of stringent emission standards.

Previous to the implementation of these standards, a Memorandum of Understanding between Environment Canada and the automobile industry provided that the same low­emission vehicles be sold in Canada and the U.S. in the 2001­2003 model years.

These emission­reduction actions build on existing measures and regulations to reduce vehicles’ smog­forming emissions. Existing federal regulations set emission standards, and require new vehicles to be equipped with on­board diagnostic systems to monitor emissions equipment as well as systems to capture fuel vapour during refuelling. To enable these systems to efficiently recover fuel vapour, a national regulation limits the flow rate at which gasoline and gasoline blends are dispensed through nozzles into vehicles, specifically a maximum of 38 litres per minute.

Effective emission­reduction programs consider fuel, engines and vehicles as integrated systems. Therefore, new regulations to reduce the sulphur content in on­road diesel fuel were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 31, 2002. The new regulations will reduce the sulphur content in on­road diesel fuel to 15 parts per million (ppm) by June 2006. This represents a 97­per­cent reduction in sulphur compared with the current maximum level of 500 ppm, and will enable the introduction of advanced emission­control systems for diesel vehicles, primarily trucks and buses.

Furthermore, the federal government has passed the Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations. Starting in 2005, low­sulphur gasoline—that is, gasoline with an average sulphur level of less than 30 ppm—will be required throughout Canada. As an interim step, gasoline must meet an average sulphur level of not more than 150 ppm during the phase­in period of July 1, 2002 to December 31, 2004. The final target will be one of the world’s most stringent in terms of level and timing, and represents a greater than 90­per­cent reduction from the average levels that were in effect when the Regulations were published. Other regulations control the benzene content of gasoline to less than 1 per cent.

If the environmental impacts of transportation are to be fully addressed, all vehicle users must play a role. Therefore, public education is another important component of the Government’s Clean Air Agenda and climate change process. Specifically, through the One-Tonne Challenge and several other programs, the Government provides information and advice to help consumers make informed choices that reduce their vehicles’ impacts on the environment. For example:

· The Fuel Consumption Guide helps consumers choose the most fuel­efficient vehicle that meets their needs (the Guide is available at http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/vehicles/guide/guid...tView=N&Text=N).

· The EnerGuide Awards recognize and publicize the most fuel­efficient vehicles in their class (http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/vehicles/efficient/ efficient.cfm?PrintView=N&Text=N).

· The Anti­Idling Tool Kit can assist communities to reduce vehicle idling (www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/idling/home.cfm).

· Environment Canada’s “Let’s Drive Green” clinics, held across the country each year, provide Canadians with free vehicle­emissions tests to help them reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants (www.ec.gc.ca/transport/clinics/index_e.htm). The Department has also led the development of Codes of Practice for Vehicle Emission Inspection and Maintenance Programs, which provide for periodic testing of emissions from light­ and heavy­duty vehicles in Canada.

· Environment Canada supports programs that encourage people to scrap older, higher­polluting vehicles in favour of newer, cleaner vehicles, or alternatives like transit, bicycling and walking. The Department supports sustainable transportation policies, and encourages the use of vehicle pooling, telecommuting, bicycling, and other actions to reduce emissions.

In addition, Environment Canada is investigating advanced, cleaner and more efficient vehicle and engine technologies as potential replacements for conventional gasoline and diesel engines. Examples of these technologies include fuel cells, hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric systems. We also support the development and use of alternatives to conventional fuels, such as renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. The advancement of alternative fuels is key to reducing not only air pollutant emissions from vehicles, but also their GHG emissions. Accordingly, in August 2003, the federal government announced a $154­million investment in GHG­reduction measures for Canada’s transportation sector (as part of a $1­billion investment to help implement the Climate Change Plan for Canada), and these measures include the following:

· $100 million to assist in the construction of new plants that will greatly increase Canada’s ethanol production capacity (ethanol/gasoline blends have lower GHG emissions). This is an important step toward the Climate Change Plan for Canada target of having at least 35 per cent of our national gasoline supply contain 10 per cent ethanol, by 2010.

· $32.3 million to advance fuel­efficiency technologies and practices in commercial transportation.

· $12 million to encourage broader use of biodiesel (which is a cleaner­burning alternative to conventional diesel), through support for research, industrial­scale biodiesel pilot plants, and demonstrations of biodiesel’s effectiveness. The Climate Change Plan for Canada proposes a target of 500 million litres of biodiesel production by 2010.

· $10 million to reduce the cost of natural gas vehicles in urban fleets, such as taxis and delivery trucks (natural gas also has lower GHG emissions).

To further reduce vehicle GHGs, the Government of Canada is working with automotive manufacturers toward a 25­per­cent improvement in new vehicle fuel efficiency by 2010. This will be complemented by a $5.5­million Marketing Efficient Vehicles Initiative, part of the aforementioned $154­million investment, that will make sure Canadians have the information they need to make the best environmental choice when buying a new vehicle. Additionally, the Climate Change Plan for Canada proposes measures to reduce GHG emissions during transport of goods, through intermodal freight (i.e. involving two or more modes, such as truck and rail), increased use of low­emission vehicles and modes, and freight efficiency improvements.
 

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I then replied that he didn't answer my specific question. I asked him to specify if it was a Prius or Insight, or something else...
Let's wait another 3 weeks.
 

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On May 12th, I received this:

Thank you for your follow­up e­mail of April 7, concerning the model of hybrid vehicle that I drive.

At present, I use a Toyota Prius as my official car. You may be interested to know that I am delighted with the environmental benefits and performance of this highly fuel­efficient automobile.

At the same time, it is important to note that the usage of a particular vehicle model by any Member of Parliament, such as me, does not represent any endorsement by that individual, their department, or the Government of Canada of the model being used or its manufacturer.

Let me also take this opportunity to invite your participation in the Government of Canada’s One­Tonne Challenge, through which we are asking Canadians to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. On average, through various activities, each Canadian generates about five tonnes of GHG emissions each year. Together, these account for more than a quarter of Canada’s total emissions. Through the One­Tonne Challenge, officially launched on March 26, the Government is asking Canadians to reduce their emissions by one tonne or about 20 per cent. This is based on cost­effective actions that Canadians can take at home, at work, and on the road. For details on what you can do, please visit the One­Tonne Challenge Web site, at www.climatechange.gc.ca/onetonne.

I appreciate your continued interest in environmentally beneficial vehicles.

Yours sincerely,

David Anderson, P.C., M.P.
 

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Well, I'm pleased to see that MY MP is driving a vehicle that employed SO many Canadians in it's manufacturing process. Thanks David, for the great leadership. If you're so worried about the environment, why haven't you insisted on sewage treatment for Victoria (your own riding), and why do you insist on crippling this country with the Kyoto accord? I hope you will let us have electric vehicles when you ban the internal combustion engine altogether; then you can ban BC Hydro from building Hydroelectric dams to power them, and make us all walk.

As for the Prius, I presume that is a government vehicle, that we all paid for. I will find out what he drives when he's in Victoria ( I think he visited here once or twice) and report back what sort of SUV he drives.

How can you tell a Liberal is lying? his lips are moving.
 
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