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Editorial Comment: Environmental efforts should not be an exclusive club

Let's say you have a fleet of trucks and you only maintain one of those trucks. But the truck is maintained to the utmost highest standards.


Let’s say you have a fleet of trucks and you only maintain one of those trucks. But the truck is maintained to the utmost highest standards.

Mechanically and esthetically this will be the nicest truck anyone has ever seen.

Meanwhile, the rest of the trucks in the fleet will get little to no attention.

In both the mechanical and appearance departments, the trucks will start to fall apart. From rust spots to rumbling engines, these will eventually be the worst trucks driving on the road; and no self-respected trucker would be caught behind the wheel of one of these machines.

It’s probably not the smartest way to maintain a fleet and I suspect most fleet owners, if not all, have a system in place to ensure the upkeep of all their vehicles. Not just a select few. A system and order clearly outlined for all the trucks to follow will ensure the entire fleet of trucks benefits from good upkeep.

In a similar fashion, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and its members have decided to save the environment and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – in the West.

The WCI is comprised of eight provinces and states in the western region of North America. Back in February, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, created the WCI with a long-term commitment to significantly reduce regional GHG emissions.

Since its inception, B.C., Manitoba and Utah have joined the WCI, committing to its goals; while a handful of other provinces and states have joined on as observers, ’cause there’s nothing more exciting than watching emissions reduce.

The overall intention of the WCI club – to reduce GHG emissions to 15% below 2005 levels by 2020 – is a noble cause.

But reducing GHG emissions in western North America still leaves everyone else in the world with the whole Global Warming issue.

The commitment to the WCI goals is a positive effort and is right along with most environmental marketing campaigns about every little bit helping, every individual can make a difference, doing your part and the effort having to start somewhere.

But with everyone trying to make a difference, instead of the environmental battle starting somewhere, it’s starting everywhere.

Between the newly formed WCI, Kyoto, Al Gore’s documentary, US Environmental Protection Agency regulations and California’s strict environmental laws, a myriad of new rules and regulations are stretching into the industry from a variety of directions.

At a recent Council of Federation meeting in New Brunswick, the leaders of 12 of 13 provinces and territories agreed to work toward the objective of implementing California tailpipe emissions standards.

The problem with the atmosphere and cleaning it up is it is not exclusive to certain land regions. Neither a California solution, or Western solution, or Canadian solution, will do the problem as a whole any good; and reaching a North American – or even global – solution will be easier reached if everyone gets involved and in a singular forum.

The trucking industry has enough headaches with regional weight, load, speed and overall truck restrictions; adding regional environmental rules should not be added to that list.

– Steven Macleod can be reached by phone at (403) 275-3160 or by e-mail at stmacleod@shaw.ca.


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