OPG doubles down on climate damaging gas-fired generation

Pickering nuclear units among the most expensive, least reliable ...

Pickering nuclear units among the most expensive, least reliable in the world

Ontario Power Generation — 100% owned by the Government of Ontario — has just spent billions of dollars buying climate destabilizing gas plants from a giant fossil energy company. This move demonstrates not just lack of insight into our climate crisis, it also is a risky financial bet as the world transitions away from fossil fuels.

OPG has signed a cheque for $2.8 billion to buy three polluting gas plants. At a time when the Ontario government has cancelled more than 750 contracts for renewable energy projects, ordered windmills torn down, and refused the offer of low cost renewable power from Quebec, its major utility is doubling down on a fossil technology that has to go if we are to meet our climate commitments.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) projects that under the Ford government’s electricity plan, emissions from gas-fired power plants will rise by more than 400%. This is essentially throwing away one-third of the climate pollution reductions Ontario achieved by phasing out coal-fired power.

There are far better ways to help our climate, lower costs for electricity consumers and keep our lights on, starting with maximizing our energy efficiency efforts, making a deal with Quebec for low-cost water power and developing cost-effective renewable energy projects right here in Ontario.

These actions will not only allow Ontario to phase out polluting gas-fired power, they will also create a strong foundation for a green economic recovery from our current crisis. Instead of enriching fossil fuel companies, Ontario should be embracing the opportunity to develop a 100% renewable electricity system.

We recently looked at this better approach in a Zoom webinar you can watch, or view the powerpoint slides here. We have also spelled out how Ontario can phase out its gas plants in a new report.

If you think we have better ways to spend $2.8 billion than buying polluting gas plants, send a letter to Doug Ford and the leaders of the opposition parties here: OntarioClimateAction.ca.

Thank you for making the time. Please share this message:

Angela Bischoff, Director, Ontario Clean Air Alliance

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