Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Clean Air Act" - Mostly Hot Air

I haven't had time to read the legislation itself yet, but the Clean Air Act tabled in the House of Commons today strikes me as a declaration to do absolutely nothing:

Highlights of the Conservative government's proposed Clean Air Act: • By 2011, develop new regulations for vehicle fuel consumption.

• By 2025, set national targets for smog and ozone levels.

• By 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 45 and 65 per cent from 2003 levels.

• No mention of the Kyoto Protocol and the emissions targets the government of Canada comitted to in 2002.

The closest goal is 5 years out, and it's just a goal to decide what the goals are. Give me a break. For a government that claims they have "better ideas", it strikes me that this bunch are trying to buy time so that they can figure out how to write policy on topics they have yet to even think about.

In an exceedingly lame attempt to make it look like they are going to do something, we find this:

• Harmonize vehicle emissions standards with those of the United States over the next 12 months.

• Harmonize regulations with those of the U.S. for volatile organic compound emissions in consumer and commercial products over the next year.

• Over the next three years, discuss and set “intensity based” targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rather than total emissions targets, for major emitters.

Jeepers - does this lot think that the world revolves around Washington, D.C.? Are they incapable of coming up with something that isn't pre-approved by BushCo?

I'll try to read the legislation in more detail later on, to see what is lurking in the depths of this thing. (Although I suspect that the environment portfolio just isn't high in the HarperCreep's mind, so whatever's there is apt to be either invented elsewhere, or little more than a time-buying ploy)

It's amazing how the government has done more or less nothing to commit itself to action for some years - no doubt hoping that Canadians will have forgotten by the time that they actually miss their goals.


MAS said...

No, I don't think the environment in high on the Harpercrits mind as it isn't on any Conservative's mind. This bunch are too close to the oil industry for comfort. If this Clean Air Act was to be valuable they would have had something that controlled the expansion of the tar sands, but that would have upset their voting base in Alberta.

North of 49 said...

Jeepers is right. Harmonize with US vehicle emission standards? The Federal ones? Jay-sus. California, now, I could see. But the Federal standards would be a giant step backwards.

Another thing: when they touted their Made in Canada PLAN I naively assumed that, bad as it would undoubtedly be, there was actually a PLAN. Well, shit.

All those years in opposition with nothing to do and they didn't even lay any groundwork? Nine months in power with only a five-point platform to implement and this is the best they could come up with?

This ain't a Made in Canada PLAN, it's a back-of-the-napkin scribble. Seriously, this crowd doesn't seem to be able to hold more than two things in its collective mind simultaneously, and so they end up winging it, slapping together a patched-up job and claiming it's visionary.

Amateur hour.