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June 02, 2004

Feebates in Canada?

The Canadian federal government is going through its process of figuring out how to boost fuel economy, to comply with the nation’s Kyoto obligations. Unfortunately, gas tax increases are out. But gas-guzzler taxes, tax credits for hybrids, and—best of all—a comprehensive system of feebates are still on the table, as the Globe and Mail reports. It's a very encouraging development.

Feebates (fees imposed on the sale of inefficient vehicles that finance rebates on the sales of efficient ones) are among the best ideas around for boosting fuel economy (and the efficiency of appliances and other resource-consuming equipment). (We explained feebates in our 2001 book (see excerpt) and in this op-ed.) Yet so far, feebates been adopted in few places.

BC studied feebates in 2001, before the change to the Liberal government there swept away all previous policy development work. In fact, BC created one of the best policy papers on the subject to date. (It’s no longer available to the public from the BC government, but we’ve got a pdf if you’re interested.) Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney also pledged to implement feebates during his election campaign.

Posted by Alan Durning | Permalink


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Please send me a copy of the BC 2001 study on feebates?


Justin Ram

Posted by: Justin Ram | Sep 23, 2004 2:14:28 AM

One nice thing that BC has done that no US state has had the nerve to follow: reduced road tax on up to 50% biodiesel. Unfortunately, that means those who use B100 still pay as much tax as those who use 50% non-renewable fossil-fuel...

Posted by: Jan Steinman | Dec 17, 2004 11:57:34 PM

As the Globe and Mail story shows, the issue of GHG reductions from vehicles is still very fluid in Ottawa right now.

Political officials will ultimately come down where they perceive the least risk, so with this situation in flux, the Canadian public has a real chance to tilt the balance by chiming in now.

Automakers' doom and gloom job and cost predictions have rarely if ever eventuated. Regulation-driven technological innovation, however, typically creates competitive advantage (see Christian Science Monitor yesterday -- http://search.csmonitor.com/search_content/0224/p15s02-sten.html).

Time to make your voice heard in Ottawa!

Posted by: Ken Colburn | Feb 25, 2005 9:20:00 AM