You have to draw a line somewhere

Here’s an annoying trumped-up fight:

Although the [Harper] government pledged to crack down on pollution from large industries to reduce annual emissions by 150 million tonnes by 2020, a new Environment Canada document is proposing to exclude facilities that produce less than 10,000 barrels of oil per day. The document, Minimum Thresholds for the Greenhouse Gas Regulations, estimates that these facilities represent about 20 per cent of the emissions from the sector or the equivalent of five million to 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. …

“The (regulations are) saying: ‘We’re really not going to go after the entire oil and gas industry, we’re only going to go after part of them,’ and that’s not (respecting) the government’s promise,” said Nashina Shariff, the associate director of the Toxics Watch Society of Alberta in a phone interview. “Everybody is going to have do their part to fight climate change because it’s a really serious problem and that means all large industries.”

The Harper government’s plan to reduce Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions, such as it is, focuses on heavy industrial emitters. Arguably, it should be broader-based, but the document Environment Minister John Baird released last spring was pretty explicit that it isn’t. Large emitters are known, easily identified and monitored, and can presumably better shoulder the regulatory burden. There’s a reason you need a licence to drive a car but not a bike, and the same principle is at work here.

Criticizing a plan that’s overtly targeted at major emitters for not encompassing small emitters is just a cheap shot.


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