The Canadian federal government is going through its process of figuring out how to boost fuel economy, to comply with the nation’s Kyoto obligations. Unfortunately, gas tax increases are out. But gas-guzzler taxes, tax credits for hybrids, and-best of all-a comprehensive system of feebates are still on the table, as the Globe and Mail reports. It’s a very encouraging development.
Feebates (fees imposed on the sale of inefficient vehicles that finance rebates on the sales of efficient ones) are among the best ideas around for boosting fuel economy (and the efficiency of appliances and other resource-consuming equipment). (We explained feebates in our 2001 book (see excerpt) and in this op-ed.) Yet so far, feebates been adopted in few places.
BC studied feebates in 2001, before the change to the Liberal government there swept away all previous policy development work. In fact, BC created one of the best policy papers on the subject to date. (It’s no longer available to the public from the BC government, but we’ve got a pdf if you’re interested.) Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney also pledged to implement feebates during his election campaign.