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A version of the following letter to the editor appeared in the Globe and Mail, August 30, 2006

Regulating the car

Ottawa -- Jeffrey Simpson is absolutely correct in calling for regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions from cars (Where's The Camaro Muscle In Fighting Climate Change? -- Aug. 25) and GM's David W. Paterson proves it in his letter (Defending the Camaro -- Aug. 29).

He says burning a cord of wood produces more pollution than 10 cars over their lifetime. Yet Canadian and U.S. regulations, opposed by General Motors, require car makers to build low-emission vehicles. The E85 Impalas are being built only because of a loophole in U.S. regulations that allows General Motors to pretend E85-vehicle drivers can actually buy 85-per-cent ethanol fuel. It is available only at a handful of stations in North America because there are no "regulations" requiring E85 be sold.

Regulation has been responsible for every advance in vehicle safety, pollution and efficiency since the 1950s. Any government serious about reducing pollution must regulate the 1.5 million cars sold annually in Canada.

John Bennett, senior policy advisor, Sierra Club of Canada, Ottawa.


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