June 7, 2010

McGuinty OKs 17% increase in dirty coal-fired electricity generation

The McGuinty Government has issued a shareholder directive giving Ontario Power Generation permission to increase the output of its dirty coal-fired power plants by 17%, in each year from 2011 to 2014 inclusive, relative to its actual level of coal-fired electricity generation in 2009.

Despite the fact that Ontario can achieve a virtually 100% coal phase-out today by simply ramping up the output of its newer and cleaner natural gas-fired power plants, Premier McGuinty’s actions could lead to up to 1,148 needless deaths and up to 575,000 needless asthma attacks according to his Government’s own statistics.

To add insult to injury, Ontario’s coal-fired power plants are no longer profitable. In 2009 the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (an agency of the Government of Ontario) gave Ontario Power Generation $412 million to subsidize the financial losses of its Nanticoke and Lambton coal-fired power plants.

Premier McGuinty’s decision to permit Ontario Power Generation to increase the output of its dirty coal-fired power plants by 17% is a cynical betrayal of the public trust. To save lives, reduce asthma attacks and to help prevent dangerous climate change, Premier McGuinty should direct Ontario Power Generation to put its coal-fired power plants on standby reserve and only operate them if they are absolutely necessary to keep the lights on.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Cities of Hamilton, Kitchener and Guelph and the Toronto Board of Health are also calling for the Government of Ontario to direct Ontario Power Generation to put its dirty coal plants on standby reserve and only operate them if they are absolutely needed to keep the lights on.

Premier McGuinty’s decision to betray his 2003 election promise to phase-out coal as soon as possible is testimony to the immense political power of Ontario Power Generation and the Power Workers’ Union.

Please contact Premier McGuinty and ask him to phase-out our dirty coal plants now.

We also need your financial support to fight the special interests and reduce asthma attacks. Please click here to donate today.

Thank you.

Angela Bischoff, Outreach Director
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
402-625 Church St, Toronto M4Y 2G1
Phone: 416-926-1907 ext. 246

angela@cleanairalliance.org

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P.S.  Interested in volunteering for the Ontario Clean Air Alliance?  Please contact me at Angela@cleanairalliance.org.