Back in 2001, Ontario’s Liberal government passed legislation to eliminate the first coal-fired power plant by 2005. Once this was accomplished, a second goal was set to shut down the 4 remaining coal generating stations in the province by 2014. This coal phase-out is the single largest greenhouse gas emission reduction initiative in North America – equivalent to taking almost seven million cars off the road. For more on why it is so important to stop using coal as an energy source now, go to Burycoal.com.
The Ontario Clean Air Alliance recently published a report that points out that Ontario has a significant surplus of coal-free generating capacity now and could finish the coal phase out in 2010, four years ahead of schedule.
Given that Ontario’s coal-free generation capacity now exceeds our peak day demands by more than 18%, we no longer need our dirty coal plants to meet North American reliability standards. Nevertheless, according to the Ontario Power Authority, we need to retain some of our coal capacity on standby reserve until December 31, 2014…
The report concludes that:
By achieving a virtually complete coal phase-out before this summer’s G20 Summit in Toronto, Ontario can protect public heath and provide climate change leadership to Canada, the United States, China and the World.
Ontario has emerged as a North American leader as it moves towards more sustainable ways of generating electricity, particularly after the Green Energy Act was passed last spring. The GEA proposes to double renewable power generation in Ontario by 2015, to create thousands of “green” jobs, and to cut the bureaucracy around new alternative energy initiatives. Let’s hope that the Ontario government keeps up its push towards green energy and away from carbon emissions that endanger the health of its citizens and the planet, and follow the OCAA’s recommendations.
To read the Ontario Clean Air Alliance Report in full, click here.
To read more about the Green Energy Act, click here to go to the Ontario Ministry of the Energy and Infrastructure website. Go to Envirolaw.com for an analysis of it by Ontario environmental lawyer Dianne Saxe.
To send a message to Premier McGuinty encouraging him to continue down the road to sustainability by following the OCAA’s recommendations, you can call him at 613-736-9573 or
send him a fax at 613-736-7374. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To send the same message to Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, email him at: email@example.com. You can reach him by phone at 416-615-2183, or fax him at 416-615-2011. *Correction – my original post cited George Smitherman as the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, but he has resigned and is now running for Mayor of Toronto. Thanks to a reader, Richard, for pointing out this error.*