Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s office say they’re watching the U.S. developments closely. (Canadian Press)

Feds say fuel emission standards need to become stronger

This comes as the U.S. considers introducing new rules that could ease standards south of the border

As Donald Trump’s administration moves towards easing U.S. fuel emission standards for vehicles, the Liberal government says Canada’s standards need to become “stronger,” and it will conduct its own assessment after the American review.

Reports emerged this week indicating Trump is set to introduce new rules for auto emissions.

The current rules were adopted jointly by former prime minister Stephen Harper and former U.S. president Barack Obama in 2014 with the aim of increasing fuel efficiency for vehicles sold between 2022 and 2025 and reducing greenhouse gas from cars and light trucks.

Trump is also expected to challenge California on its ability to independently set regulatory standards.

In Canada, officials in Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s office say they’re watching the U.S. developments closely, but they add that Canada’s standards need to become stronger over time, because transportation accounts for nearly one-quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas pollution.

McKenna and California Gov. Jerry Brown have discussed “our shared goal to fight climate change and promote clean transportation,” said Caroline Theriault, a spokeswoman for the minister.

Christopher Sands, a senior research professor and director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, called the situation a “fascinating” case because it’s an example of U.S.-Canada regulatory co-operation that saw Obama decide on increasing standards and Harper agreeing. But now that co-operation is under threat.

Harper had argued it didn’t make sense for the Canadian economy to get ahead of the U.S. economy on environment policy because Canada would bear additional costs, making it less competitive.

Even if the U.S. eyes changes to emission standards, it doesn’t necessarily affect Canada’s rules, Sands said, but Canada will have to consider a similar move because the auto industry would prefer not to operate under two sets of regulations.

Dan Woynillowicz, policy director for the advocacy group Clean Energy Canada, said the auto sector on both sides of the border will be in for a fairly long period of uncertainty.

“Canada has an important role right now to signal its intent to stick to the current standards.”

Woynillowicz said it may mean fewer vehicle choices for Canadian consumers, but with globalization of the auto industry there should not be a genuine shortage.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Dry weather leads to historic low water levels in local rivers

The prolonged cold, coupled with the lack of precipitation, has contributed to the situation

Bella Coola businesses still eligible for Wildfire Business Transition Training Program

Small businesses are eligible to apply for reimbursement of training expenses up to $10,000

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

Bella Coola expected to be hottest spot in B.C. today

Temperatures are predicted to rise to 18 C

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Most Read