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

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacuation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report

Trump takes to Twitter calling Robert Mueller “disgraced and discredited”

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

Most Read