Frank Nightingale (Federal Norfolk/Haldimand Green candidate) anti-nuke & defends coal-fired plant

SIMCOE REFORMER: Daniel Pearce - February 29, 2008

Federal Green Party candidate Frank Nightingale has come out in favour of keeping the coal-fired generating plant in Nanticoke, pegged by many environmentalists as one of North America's worst polluters.

In an address to the Norfolk chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women, Nightingale said the plant's image has been exaggerated because of its "mammoth" size.

"It is one of the world's largest coal-fired plants," he said. "But on a per megawatt basis, it is actually one of the lowest emitters of all large conventional coal plants and actually ranks 65th in emissions."

However, Nightingale also suggested the plant could be fueled by crops grown in area fields and spoke out against turning it into a nuclear station, an idea that has been floated publicly.

Nuclear energy, he said, is not as clean, safe, and cost-efficient as it has been promoted. Nuclear costs up to 12 cents per kilowatt hour. That's three times the cost of Nanticoke," he told a group gathered in a meeting room at Hambleton Hall yesterday afternoon. Technological advances could make nuclear "an option" one day, he said, "but we have not seen them yet."

His address also included his vision of Haldimand-Norfolk developing a "green economy" in which manufacturers associated with renewable energy locate here and empty tobacco fields are filled with crops burned in Nanticoke's furnaces. "This approach could be the base for Haldimand-Norfolk to be developed as a centre for a new green economy," he said.

What's needed to make the change, he said, is "the political will . . . It's all politics right now. The economics are there.

"The way to get a green economy is to elect a Green candidate here."

In an interview, Nightingale noted that if Nanticoke was closed, the area would be hurt with the loss of 600 jobs and the property taxes the plant pays. The Ontario government has said it will close all the province's coal-fired plants by 2014 in an effort to clean up the environment.

c 2008 Simcoe Reformer

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