B.C. APPLAUDS MOVE BY PRESIDENT OBAMA ON AUTO EMISSIONS
VICTORIA - Environment Minister Barry Penner is applauding today's announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama's administration that it will reconsider allowing California and other states to set tougher tailpipe emission standards, saying this will help save drivers money in the future, even as it reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
"We have been working with California and other states to give consumers more options when it comes to fuel-efficient vehicles," said Penner. "That's why we sought and obtained intervener status last fall in California's legal dispute with the previous U.S. administration, after California had been blocked from implementing their new tailpipe standards. However, we would much prefer to resolve this matter without resorting to the courts and are heartened by President Obama's willingness to support cleaner vehicle technology."
Last year, B.C. passed legislation enabling the adoption of California greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles. When the legislation is fully implemented in 2016, it is estimated that consumers will save thousands in fuel costs over the life of a new vehicle (based on fuel at $1/litre). These savings will pay back any increases in vehicle costs in less than three years of average driving, helping insulate consumers from future constraints in oil supply.
The transportation sector is responsible for 38 per cent of B.C.'s total greenhouse gas emissions. The new standards will reduce these emissions by about 30 per cent in an average new car in 2016, relative to current models. When fully implemented in 2016, the standards will achieve a reduction of personal vehicle GHG emissions of approximately 600,000 tonnes annually in B.C., supporting the B.C. government's commitment to reduce GHG emissions overall by 33 per cent by 2020.
"The sooner California can move forward with its standards, the sooner B.C. can implement them here and reduce fuel consumption, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions," concluded Penner.
Source: BC Ministry of Environment
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