February 12, 2007

OPA rolls the dice

How many wrong assumptions does it take to create a disaster in the making?  It appears that the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is working hard — with your dollars — to answer this question. 

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance has just released an analysis of the key assumptions behind the OPA’s coal-and-nuclear power plan.  We find that at every turn the OPA downplays the costs and difficulties of building more nuclear plants while strongly underestimating the potential for alternatives.  Some of the OPA’s problematic assumptions include:

– the public will support new high-voltage transmission lines from the Bruce Nuclear Station to the GTA and down residential streets in East Toronto;
– our nuclear plants will somehow start performing at levels of reliability that they have never approached during the last 25 years; and
– the demand for electricity will suddenly soar.

The OPA’s astounding assumptions combine to create a surreal picture of Ontario’s energy future.  This fun-house mirror projection — while somewhat amusing — is not a good basis for planning to spend $70 billion of public money.

In fact, it is an exact repeat of what our tunnel vision electricity planners did in the 1990s, when their far-fetched assumptions led them to predict a need for numerous new nuclear plants.  Instead, they were caught flat footed when electricity demand did not come anywhere close to their projected levels and they had to cancel conservation and efficiency programs to justify the vastly over budget Darlington Nuclear Station.  We can’t afford to go down this road again, especially with the growing threat of climate change hanging over our collective heads.

Please let our political leaders know that you prefer sensible plans to fanciful projections — plans that emphasize safe and reliable strategies like reducing electricity waste and ramping up clean and reliable energy sources

Our report, Rolling the Dice: A Review of the Ontario Power Authority’s High-Risk Strategy to Meet Our Electricity Needs, is available at www.cleanairalliance.org.

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