April 13, 2006

Stick with dirty power, say big polluters

Some of Ontario’s biggest air polluters are calling on the provincial government to walk away from its promise to phase-out the province’s dirty coal-fired power plants.  This week, the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario (AMPCO), called on the government to forget about the coal phase-out and adopt end-of-pipe pollution controls for coal plants instead — while fully admitting that such controls will do nothing to curb the humungous greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants.

Phasing-out Ontario’s dirty coal plants will provide Ontario with 50 to 80% of the total greenhouse gas emission reductions the entire province needs to achieve compliance with its Kyoto Protocol climate change target for 2010.

You might think that a group of companies that includes many of the biggest air polluters in the province — including Inco, Noranda/Falconbridge, Petro Canada, Shell, Imperial Oil and Dofasco — might be more concerned about reducing emissions.  AMPCO members took 14 of the top 20 spots for sulphur dioxide air emissions in Ontario and 10 of the top 20 spots for nitrogen oxide emissions in 2003, according to National Pollutant Release Inventory data.  Many of the other top spots, of course, are held by Ontario’s coal plants.

Nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide emissions cause smog, asthma attacks, heat disease, lung disease, strokes and pre-mature deaths.

AMPCO says it is concerned that the coal phase-out will cause power rates to rise, despite the fact that large power consumers in Ontario were just given a three-year rate cap that will guarantee them below-cost power.  AMPCO’s desire to see its members continue to consume dirty power — power that has tremendous health and productivity costs for citizens and our economy — does not demonstrate much corporate vision or leadership.  That’s something you might want to think about the next time you’re heading to the gas pumps, talking to your investment advisor or see AMPCO members in the news.  (For a full list of members, please visit www.cleanairalliance.org/getin/ampco.html).

Please pass this message on to your friends.

Thank you

Jessica Fracassi
Communications & Membership Manager
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
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