Creative commons: the Toe Stubber
Here is a shocker- all of the automakers building or selling in Canada have asked the Government to look at raising the price of gasoline as a way to cut emissions. They note that it is pretty hard sell cars with greater fuel efficiency to people who don't want them, so just raising the standards won't work unless gas prices make fuel efficient cars more attractive. They quote a 2001 study by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences:
"There is a market inconsistency between pressing automotive manufacturers for improved fuel economy from new vehicles on the one hand, and insisting on low real gasoline prices on the other. Higher real prices for gasoline -- for instance through gasoline taxes -- would create both a demand for fuel-efficient new vehicles and an incentive for owners of existing vehicles to drive them less."
Of course this all may be a red herrring, as the car manufacturers know such increases would be wildly unpopular and unlikely to happen, so now they can say "look, we tried".. or am I too suspicious? ::National Post
According to Nicolas Van Praet in the National Post, the request stated
"While not advocating for an increase in the cost of fuel, this option must be considered as part of the government's comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to effectively reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions at the lowest possible economic cost," says the position paper, prepared jointly by the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada and the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association. The trade groups together represent all the major auto-makers selling and making vehicles in Canada, including General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.