ClimateGate news

Monday, April 23, 2007

Clean Air Act gasping for breath

The opposition parties have introduced so many amendments to the Clean Air Act that it's no longer recognizable or acceptable to the Conservative government. Looks like this political battle is coming down to crunch time:

Environment Minister John Baird denies telling environmentalists that the proposed clean air act is dead but all indications are that the legislation would be difficult to revive in the current Parliament.

A clean air act was a major Conservative election promise. It aimed to cut smog and greenhouse gas emissions, but contained no reference to the targets of the Kyoto Protocol.

The three opposition parties united to force those targets into the bill, renamed the Clean Air and Climate Change Act. (...)

"Certainly we are not happy with some of the changes the Liberal party made to the legislation, but we have not yet made real decision," said Baird. "We'll make our announcement about the regulation of industry, and then we'll see."
Mr. Baird could very well withdraw the bill and still bring in many of the changes he wants via existing regulations. And he could blame the opposition for thwarting the Clean Air Act.

The opposition parties, particularly the Liberals, have no qualms about using this key piece of environmental legislation for their own political purposes. Their goal is obvious - to try to force the minority Conservative government into implementing Kyoto, knowing full well that the costs will be devastating to the economy. That's why the Liberals and their current leaderTM did absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gases while they were in power for the nine years after they signed onto Kyoto.

And that's why the Conservatives want to follow a different path on climate change. A fully implemented Kyoto would be completely ineffective in combatting global warming, but highly effective at killing jobs and economic activity while raising energy prices to levels never before seen.

The Clean Air Act isn't dead yet, but it is gasping for breath. It's just politics as usual for the opposition. But should this little game reach a stalemate, who could blame PM Harper for seeking a majority?

That's the risky gamble the opposition is taking. They may just hand Stephen Harper the reason he needs to go to the electorate.

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