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Ontario Enviro-Commish Calls For Greater GHG Reductions

Jun 10, 2011 - 8 years ago

By Supply Post

Ontario’s environmental commissioner wants to step up efforts to deal with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but not all the methods he’s proposing sit well with the trucking industry.

Gord Miller’s annual greenhouse gas progress report contained a call for a “road pricing strategy,” something the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) says is a great concern to trucking companies.

Whether road pricing involves a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax, OTA president and CEO David Bradley says, “What it comes down to is a cash grab to pay for more spending on transit or non-starters like high speed rail.”

Bradley says the correlation between increased spending on transit and reduced congestion or emissions is murky at best. “You can’t shift truck freight to transit,” he says. OTA is less critical, however, of other suggestions by Miller, including incentives for the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles, and greater compliance with Ontario’s speed-limiter laws.

“The Ontario government should re-examine financial incentives for highly fuel-efficient gasoline and diesel vehicles,” Miller said yesterday. “While performance based standards, such as federal GHG emission requirements, force the adoption of newer technologies, they provide no incentive for vehicle manufacturers to exceed minimum requirements.”

He noted that programs like the Green Commercial Vehicles program “quietly came to an end” and lists consumer incentives such as tax credits and rebates as things that need to be considered.

He also said Ontario’s speed limiter law “ensures that heavy trucks do not operate at higher — and less fuel efficient — speeds” and indicates that by lowering the current non-compliance rate (which he said stands at 13.6%) further, the GHG benefits can be maximized.

Bradley agrees and says OTA has been working with MTO and other enforcement agencies to improve compliance.

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