Given a second chance to get things right, it looks like the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is still doing everything it can to flub the test.

Last fall, Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith asked the IESO to take another look at the feasibility of phasing out the use of fossil gas for electricity generation in Ontario after it became apparent that the agency’s first effort was misleading and deeply flawed.

But the IESO has only heard part of the minister’s message. In the IESO’s proposed assumptions for its upcoming report, we once again see a huge bias toward ramping up the output of gas plants, instead of phasing them out, as well as many head-scratching omissions and distortions.

We’ve outlined where the IESO is going wrong – again – in our new report, including the assumptions that gas plant climate pollution will remain largely untouched by carbon pricing, undisclosed estimates for the cost of importing more power from Quebec, arbitrary caps on the amount of power that we could import, refusal to consider banning gas-power exports to the U.S., plus a refusal to consider paying a fair price for energy efficiency investments.

These assumptions are important to nip in the bud because they will lead to the same kind of erroneous conclusions the IESO arrived at in its first report, which made ridiculous claims about blackouts and soaring rates.

Minister Smith needs to make sure the IESO does not waste its second chance – he needs to make it clear to the agency that an unbiased, technically sound least-cost plan is needed on this critical climate action. It’s not like the government has a lot of other initiatives underway that are going to deliver large emission reductions, so getting this right is going to matter a lot when it comes to meeting even Ontario’s weak climate targets.

Please click here to read our report: More IESO Trickery About Phasing-Out Gas Power.

What you can do

Please send Minister Smith a message telling him you expect the government to develop a clear and workable least-cost plan for achieving a gas-fired power phase-out by 2030.

Send your message here

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