LGS claim is softened
Submitted by OCAA on Tue, 06/12/2007 - 23:30.
LGS claim is softened; Local PC candidate says party would keep plant open, but no commitment made by John Tory's office
The office of Ontario Opposition leader John Tory is downplaying claims made by a local candidate that a provincial Conservative government would keep Lambton Generating Station open indefinitely.
A press release sent out by local Conservative candidate Bob Bailey said Tory promised new scrubbers at both the Nanticoke and Lambton coal-fired stations in order to keep both plants in operation.
"I look forward to campaigning on these initiatives and many others in our platform as I meet the voters of Sarnia-Lambton," Bailey wrote in the release.
The current Liberal government originally planned to shut down LGS by this year. Sarnia-Lambton MPP Caroline Di Cocco said the government has since extended the time frame to 2014 to allow sufficient alternative sources of energy to be created.
Two of four units have already been outfitted with scrubbers to reduce emissions, and the cost to outfit the two remaining units at LGS with scrubbers is estimated at upwards of $500 million.
In learning of Bailey's release, Carol Chudy, a co-chairperson of the Clean, Affordable Energy Alliance, which has been lobbying to keep LGS open with tougher emission controls, said she was pleased the Conservatives have been so responsive to the coal issue.
"Renewable just aren't coming online fast enough. They're not reliable in terms of intermittent power and they're costly," she said.
However, a spokesperson from Tory's office said the newly-released Conservative platform calls on scrubber technology to be installed at the Nanticoke plant, but not necessarily at LGS.
Nanticoke would be the first priority because it is the bigger and dirtier of the two plants, said Brendan Howe, press secretary for Tory's office.
"We would consider the question of scrubbers on other stations, including Lambton, in the context of the province's entire energy needs and whether it makes economic sense to do so," he said.
In other words, if LGS is needed for an extended period of time, a John Tory government would look into installing the technology to reduce its emissions, he said.
But if enough alternative energy is brought online, the Conservatives would look at closing the plant, much the same as the current Liberal government has promised to do.
Di Cocco said while scrubbers reduce emissions, plenty of pollutants and particulate matter that cause smog is still sent into the air.
When contacted about his press release, Bailey acknowledged the Conservative party has so far only committed to cleaning up Nanticoke station.
"I should have been more specific. When I'm the member, if I'm elected, I'll advocate for the installation of scrubbers on the remaining two units at Lambton," he said, adding that saving the 400 jobs at Lambton is an important objective for him.
"If we're going to clean them up (in Nanticoke) then let's clean up these two units we have at LGS."
Find out what impact the surging loonie is having on Port Huron businesses.