Friday, December 21, 2007

Failure of U.S. government to control vehicle emissions matched by Canada at all levels of government

The Environmenal Protection Agency in the U.S. just ruled against vehicle emissions controls: as recorded in this news article.

In Canada we are also dissapointed with all levels of government when it comes to controlling vehilce emissions:

The Federal failure to regulate vehicle emissions

The biggest failure is at the federal level. By expanding the tar sands, the government is supplying oil to millions of American vehicles, not to mention generating massive GHGs on the tar sands site (the size of Florida). The Harper government's Clean Air Act or Bill C-30 was slammed by environmentalists and even moderates Al Gore and David Suzuki as a "fraud." As a result Harper allowed it to be modified by the opposition parties, but then failed to endorse it. Here the Sierra Club addresses the fact that it provides no accountability on vehicle emissions standards:

The Sierra Club slammed the vehicle emissions plan as too little too late. "The proposed federal regulations presented today by the Harper government line up with the outdated and weak standards of the Bush Administration, not the stringent standards of the state of California," the group said in a news release. "No targets means no accountability," said John Bennett of the Sierra Club. "This announcement is nothing more than a recipe for delay. Adopting the Bush administrations standards will not lower emissions from vehicles." On the sensitive issue of targets for large industrial emitters, the government is moving cautiously, with a three-phase consultation process in coming years. Source:

The province failure

The province is doing better in many areas, but is weak on vehicle emissions: Provincial government (Ontario) fails to follow California's lead on emissions. McGuinty gave $6 billion to the auto makers to make hybrids, but is that really the answer? The car culture is reinforced by this, included unsustainable urban sprawl, energy wasted on vehilce production and money that could be better spent on renewables. See these critiques of car culture: Car Criticism; Suzuki's critique of car culture; and ecoSanity's car culture march with Streets Are for People.

Caption: close-up of Streets Are For People petition car at Queen's Park

The municipal failure

The municipal government (Toronto) fails to impose road tolls to reduce traffic, despite relatively ambitious move towards "adaptation" to climate change through its Clean Air and Climate Change Act. Mayor Miller says provincial and federal investment in public transporation needed: "The [City's] report also talks about bringing in road tolls to increase transit usage, but there was no vote on specific toll proposals." Source: To. Star They also ingnored a well thought out proposal to reduce traffic by 25% in the City of Toronto as well as the Take the Tooker platform.

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