Ontario will not go as far as California to limit emissions from cars and trucks that contribute to climate change, the province's premier said Tuesday.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will sign an agreement Wednesday that includes low-carbon fuel standards for vehicles, but McGuinty said Canada's most populous province will stop short of California's tough tailpipe emission standards. The standards could hurt the province's auto industry, he said.
McGuinty said it does not make sense for individual provinces to set their own vehicle emission limits. He advocated a national standard or one for all of North America.
Schwarzenegger supports a 2002 California law that requires automakers to cut emissions by 25 percent from cars and light trucks and 18 percent from sport utility vehicles starting with the 2009 model year. The auto industry is fighting the law in federal court.
California officials estimate this would lead to an 18 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles in the state by 2020. At least 11 other states are ready to follow California's lead, but the law cannot take effect unless California obtains a federal waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency. Schwarzenegger has said he will sue the agency if it fails to act by Oct. 25.
Schwarzenegger has been signing agreements with other state and foreign governments to address global warming. He will sign agreements this week with Ontario and British Columbia during a three-day visit to Canada that begins Tuesday. He will stop in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.
He also will promote California products and tourism with the state's second-largest trading partner.
The landmark global warming law Schwarzenegger signed last year requires industries, such as utilities, oil and gas refineries and cement manufacturers, to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Democrats have complained that Schwarzenegger's memorandums of understanding with other governments are more show than substance, and that his administration instead should focus its energies on hammering out the regulations needed to put California's law into place.
They also say Schwarzenegger may be using the agreements to shift the focus from regulation to the emission trading systems that are favored by businesses.
McGuinty greeted Schwarzenegger Tuesday at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
He held a news conference about the Special Olympics shortly after arriving. He then visited a liquor store to promote California wines and a Toronto supermarket to push the state's produce, which is found in many Canadian grocery stores.
Schwarzenegger also will sign a deal with Ontario on Wednesday to promote more stem cell research, something opposed by many of the governor's Republican colleagues - including the Bush administration - because embryos are destroyed in the process.
He will also meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Wednesday before travelling to British Columbia to meet with Premier Gordon Campbell
McGuinty said Canada's largest province and America's most populous state have a lot in common, so it makes sense for them to explore new areas of cooperation.
But the premier said the one area he and Schwarzenegger will never see eye-to-eye on is this year's National Hockey League final, which pits his hometown Ottawa Senators against the Anaheim Ducks.
Schwarzenegger dropped the ceremonial first puck before Anaheim's Game 1 victory in California on Monday night.
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