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BIODIESEL, ONTARIO? REALLY?

Just last week came news that the province of Ontario is considering a biodiesel mandate, that will see diesel contain a 2% biofuel blend by April 2014, ramping up to 4% in 2015. My first thought on this is, why? Why biodiesel and why at all?...


Just last week came news that the province of Ontario is considering a biodiesel mandate, that will see diesel contain a 2% biofuel blend by April 2014, ramping up to 4% in 2015. My first thought on this is, why? Why biodiesel and why at all? As the Ontario Trucking Association rushed to point out, the impending GHG regulations that OEMs are complying with over the next few years will be more effective at reducing emissions than requiring biodiesel, which will provide limited environmental benefits while likely visiting additional costs upon the industry.

We all know biodiesel doesn’t like cold weather and has been known to gel in frigid temperatures. And adding a biofuel component to diesel incurs some additional costs, which will undoubtedly be passed along to the end user. And for what? What meager emissions reductions will be achieved? There are better ways to address emissions and the Ontario government in its wisdom is oblivious to them or completely disinterested. I’ll give just one example: Trailer tails. It was never my intent to become the de facto endorser of trailer tails, but it seems ridiculous to me that they’re still not allowed in Ontario, when the fuel savings have been proven out by some major US (and even one Canadian) fleets.

Or, as Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, the new global truck boss for Daimler Trucks pointed out during a media roundtable I attended in Orlando, government could provide incentives to remove older, dirtier trucks from the roads. Wolfgang pointed out 60% of the trucks currently on US (and probably, by extension, Canadian) roads are from before the EPA04 regulations came into effect. Why not introduce some creating tax incentives to encourage the replacement of those old trucks, which produce the majority of the harmful pollutants emitted by the industry? There are better ways to effectively lower emissions than by foisting biodiesel on the industry. If only I were king.


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Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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