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July 2020

NEW - PEI: Special Committee report provides opportunities for propane

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Earlier this month, the Special Committee on Climate Change filed an interim report in the Prince Edward Island Legislature. The July 2 report included 14 recommendations the committee believes will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Part of the mandate of the Special Committee is to engage the public about their ideas and to work from the premise that Prince Edward Island “should adopt emission reduction measures that are cost effective in order to reduce, as much as possible, the potential burden on Islanders and Island businesses of reducing emissions”.

From the perspective of the CPA, the committee outlined several options that fit within the Propane Advantage.

For example, the committee recommended that, “an Island-wide public transit corridor must be expedited” as part of a Sustainable Transportation Action Plan. Presently, the limited transit that exists is provided by gas and diesel vehicles. This includes Enersave Vans that provide some transportation for government employees in certain parts of the province. The use of propane-powered transit buses would be a cleaner and cost-efficient way to build a transit system. As for the Enersave Vans, they could be easily converted from gas to propane.

As stated in the story above, Great news - Growing auto propane market in Atlantic Canada, propane school bus use is growing in Atlantic Canada. Premier King has indicated that the P.E.I. government is looking at propane school buses. While the committee’s recommendations included aspirational recommendations regarding electric vehicles including school buses, they were expressed in the form of a “pilot project.” In the transportation sector, propane vehicles provide immediate solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while other forms of transportation energy are being studied.

In terms of measuring the carbon intensity of electricity, the federal government is presently designing a Clean Fuel Standard. In order to calculate credits for electricity supplied to electric vehicles, credit creators will be required to use the carbon intensity of the electricity being supplied, therefore, in many cases, the provincial grid life cycle emission factor would be used. Which means, if part of the electricity make-up is from carbon intense fuels such as coal – and must now be accounted for – electric vehicles will be much less “clean” than reported by some advocates. P.E.I. imports almost all its electricity from New Brunswick, which includes about 30 per cent of carbon intense fuels in the production of its electricity.

The committee is also recommending that all installations of oil heating systems in new construction be prohibited. This provides an excellent opportunity for propane. Propane furnaces have low GHGs, are highly efficient and are readily available not just for new construction but also for the conversion of dirty old furnaces in existing commercial buildings and households.

A low-emission propane alternative is readily available and is being installed in many households across the Island. A stronger push from the government is needed to create a greater shift away from traditional fossil fuels. Propane can become an immediate solution to help the province reach its emission targets.

The Special Committee indicated it should complete its mandate and provide a costed implementation plan to reduce emissions by the fall sitting of the legislature. The CPA will be outlining the Propane Advantage as it relates to the Special Committee’s Report and will be presenting it to government officials as they consider the committee’s recommendations.

For more information, contact Government Relations Director for Atlantic Canada and Québec, Jean-Francois Duguay at jeanfrancoisduguay@propane.ca.

 

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