Canada needs national enviro standards, finance minister says

I like the idea of a nationwide carbon tax, but with this government, it seems like a cover for pushing lowest-common-denominator rules, as the EPA has with greenhouse-gas emissions in the United States. Reports CTV:

Jim Flaherty said Monday the country needs to work toward a common set of regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Generally speaking, the consensus I would say is that it is desirable in Canada not to have multiple regulators in various areas of the economy,” the minister said.

Flaherty said the auto sector in particular is concerned that multiple regulators would mean different environmental standards on imports in different areas of the country or for vehicles manufactured in Canada.

“All that does is drive up costs to the consumer, ultimately, without any overall benefit. So what we need to do is co-ordinate and co-operate within the federation, within the Canadian economic union to work toward a common set of regulations,” he said.

What Flaherty’s making here, probably not on purpose, is a pretty good argument for taxing gasoline rather than cars. His government, of course, taxes gas-guzzling cars and rebates low-consumption ones, regardless of how they’re actually used.

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