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Ontario government failing transportation fuel mandate

December 9, 2013, Toronto, Ont. - Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller says the Ministry of Energy should lose some of its responsibility for conservation because of its inaction on transportation fuels.


December 9, 2013
By Canadian Biomass

December 9, 2013, Toronto, Ont. – Environmental Commissioner
Gord Miller says the Ministry of Energy should lose some of its responsibility
for conservation because of its inaction on transportation fuels.

The Environmental Commissioner today released Volume Two of
his Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report, Building Momentum: Results. The
report reviews the progress the government has made in increasing energy
efficiency and reducing the use of electricity, oil, propane, natural gas and
transportation fuels in the province. The report also contains the conservation
results for local distribution companies serving communities across the
province.

The Ontario government promised bold action on transportation
fuels in 2007. It signed a Memorandum of Understanding with California to
develop a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), and committed to bringing about a
10% reduction in the carbon intensity of the province's transportation fuels by
2020. Key to meeting this commitment would be the introduction of the LCFS.

An LCFS would require producers to phase in a 10% reduction
by 2020 in the amount of carbon in transportation fuels they sold in Ontario.
This would lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and help to meet the province's
climate change targets. "But six years after the Memorandum of
Understanding was signed" says Miller, "there's been absolutely no
progress on bringing in an LCFS for the province."

The report says that by the end of 2012 California used its
LCFS to replace 6.2% of the total gasoline and diesel fuel it used with
lower-carbon alternatives, such as ethanol, natural gas, biodiesel, and
electricity. "But in Ontario" says Miller, "staff at the
Ministry of Energy has insisted an LCFS is not technically feasible, and
questioned its environmental benefits."

The Commissioner recommends that responsibility for
developing an LCFS be taken away from the Ministry of Energy and transferred to
the Ministry of the Environment.

Gord Miller says this would increase the likelihood of
having an LCFS in Ontario. "The Ministry of the Environment has already
made sure that Ontario's gasoline contains 5% ethanol, and is now working on a
plan to reduce the greenhouse gases produced from diesel fuels sold within the
province. These are building blocks towards meeting the goal of a 10% reduction
in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2020." In his report,
the Commissioner congratulates the Ontario government for meeting its target of
a 20% reduction in the amount of electricity it uses in the buildings it owns.

But Miller says the government cannot show the same sort of
success elsewhere. "I question whether local distribution companies will
be able to meet their 2014 electricity conservation targets and reduce peak
demand by 1,330 megawatts, and overall consumption by 6 billion kilowatt-hours.
And there's been little progress in the conservation of transportation fuels,
which in 2011 accounted for 36% of the energy used by Ontarians, and 34% of the
province's emissions of GHG's."

 


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