November 27, 2006

End stalling on coal phase out

The cost of phasing out coal by 2009 is small change, especially compared to the cost of adding largely ineffective pollution controls to existing coal plants.  That’s the finding of a new Ontario Clean Air Alliance report that analyzed the projections used by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to justify postponing the coal phase out until 2014 or later.

For just 34 to 53 cents a month, the average residential customer can see a complete coal phase out, cleaner air and a real reduction in the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2009.  That amount represents residents’ share of the total cost of converting the Nanticoke and Thunder Bay coal-fired generating stations to cleaner burning natural gas in order to provide the province with a clean source of back-up power.

The OPA, by contrast, wants to see this role continue to be filled by dirty coal plants right up until 2014 at least. They acknowledge that the coal plants would need to be outfitted with pollution controls under their plan, but don’t mention that these would cost $1.2 billion more than the Nanticoke and Thunder Bay conversions.  Meanwhile, the other dirty secret of such controls is that they will do nothing to reduce these coal plants’ enormous greenhouse gas emissions.

Even more alarmingly, the OPA is actually planning to export 90% of the power still being produced by coal plants in 2010 under its planning scenario. The OPA is planning on having coal plants produce 15 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2010 and wants to export 14 billion kilowatt hours that year – equivalent to half of all the electricity used by Toronto Hydro customers.  So Ontario gets more pollution, while our American neighbours get dirty power.

It’s time to say “enough is enough.”  Send Premier Dalton McGuinty a strong message that further stalling on the coal phase out is unacceptable by sending the Premier his lump of coal back.  Sign up on our website now at www.cleanairalliance.org/senditback and get your friends and family to “Send it Back” too.

The OCAA’s report, An End to Dirty Power: A real plan to achieve a true coal phase out can be downloaded from the OCAA website at www.cleanairalliance.org.  The companion report, Phasing Out Coal: 2006 Progress Report contains additional details on the status and availability of replacement power sources.

Please pass this message on to your friends.

Thank you

Jessica Fracassi
Communications & Membership Manager
402-625 Church St, Toronto M4Y 2G1
Phone: 416-926-1907 ext. 245
Fax: 416-926-1601
Email: info@cleanair.web.ca
Website: www.cleanairalliance.org