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Dozens of US states follow California lead on LCFS

On April 21, 2009, Natural Resources minister Lisa Raitt wrote Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger regarding the now-passed Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

She wrote, “We are concerned that crude oil derived from Canada’s oil sands may be discriminated against as a high (carbon-intensity) crude oil, while other crude oils with similar upstream emissions are not singled out. This could be perceived as creating an unfair trade barrier between our two countries.”

The Globe and Mail reports today that, “Now other regions are following California’s lead, including 10 Midwestern states that together represent the oil sands’ largest export market.”

Additionally, “Eleven governors of the New England and mid-Atlantic states agreed last week to develop a common low-carbon fuel standard…”

In December, Environment minister Jim Prentice said the federal government’s climate change strategy will call for a national cap-and-trade system under a harmonized structure with the United States.

But Globe and Mail report adds that, “The states are proceeding amid growing doubts about President Barack Obama’s ability to get cap-and-trade legislation through Congress this year.”

“Mr. Obama has urged the Senate to pass legislation – narrowly approved by the House of Representatives – that would impose national caps on emissions and allow for trading of emissions credits to finance the most efficient reduction efforts. But Democratic leadership in Congress is having trouble winning support from the party’s more conservative members, especially senators from states that depend on coal mining or coal-fired electricity.”

“Failure of the cap-and-trade bill would provide greater incentive for states to adopt their own low-carbon regulations, and ultimately for the Obama administration to use the power of the Environmental Protection Agency’s powers to impose emissions regulations such as a low-carbon fuel standard.”

More on Minister Raitt’s comments from April 2009 at www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=392.