BCTA pushes for gov’t help in meeting enviro benchmarks

LANGLEY, B.C. — The B.C. Trucking Association recently went looking for a little help in coping with the province’s carbon tax system.

The association’s 2009 pre-budget submission to the provincial government’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, included a full program to help the trucking industry reduce fuel consumption and corresponding smog and greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the BCTA’s concerns is that unless much of the tax collected from the trucking industry is returned in the form of incentives to invest in new fuel saving technology, nothing will be achieved other than cross-subsidizing other taxpayers.

The industry, according to the BCTA, needs to be provided with the tools to make changes, including financial support, and credible, verified information about possible technology and management solutions.

Some of the initiatives proposed by the BCTA to help the trucking industry adjust include a one-year license fee exemption as an incentive to purchase 2009 or newer trucks, grants or rebates for proven fuel-reducing technologies, no-cost loans guaranteed by the provincial government, and extension of the PST exemption for purchasing environmentally friendly technology.

Overall the BCTA predicts it would need $22 million per year for three years to carry out its full program, which the association calculates is about 34 percent of what the trucking industry would pay in carbon tax during the same period.

The provincial government would like to see major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. By investing a reasonable percentage of the trucking industry’s share of the carbon tax back into the industry, it might begin to see results, noted the BCTA.

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