Coal takes another step toward the exit

Ontario Clean Air Alliance: Angela Bischoff - Sept 3, 2009

Energy Minister George Smitherman today announced that 2 of the 8 coal units at the Nanticoke Generating Station and 2 of the 4 units at the Lambton coal plant will be permanently shut down by October 2010. Minister Smitherman also said that he hopes the Atikokan coal plant will be converted to biomass by 2012.

This announcement represents concrete progress toward meeting the government’s commitment to reduce coal use by another third before the next provincial election in October 2011. It also puts the province in a good position to finish the coal phase out, as promised, no later than 2014.

However, given the large increases in both clean renewable power and cleaner natural gas generation that the province has obtained since 2003, and the potential for the Green Energy Act to make even more clean supply available, we continue to urge the government to achieve a full phase out of coal – the single largest industrial contributor to climate change in Ontario – sooner rather than later. We believe the government can – and should – eliminate all coal-fired electricity generation before the October 2011 provincial election because every tonne of greenhouse gas eliminated now is much more valuable than a tonne saved five years from now. Action on climate change can’t wait.