Ontario on Track to Eliminate Coal-Fired Generation: Will U.S. Follow Its Example?

U.S. states and generators will doubtless be following Ontario’s progress as it comes closer to being the first jurisdiction in North America to eliminate coal as a source of electricity.

Today, the province marked the end of burning coal at the Lambton Generating Station. This leaves Nanticoke Generating Station as the last operating coal-fired facility in Southern Ontario, which is slated to stop burning coal at the end of 2013.

Since 2003, Ontario has cut its use of coal by nearly 90 per cent. By the end of 2013, Ontario will have shut down 17 of 19 coal-fired units and all of them will be shut down by the end of 2014.

We noted recently concerns expressed by the US coal industry that the cost of complying with  Clean Air Act standards to cut carbon pollution from new power plants, proposed by the EPA, will render new coal-fired generation plants uneconomic. (see our post Climate Change: Obama follows through with tough new regulations for coal-fired generation)

Ontario’s move away from coal has not been free from controversy. Today’s announcement comes in the wake of the Auditor General’s assessment that  the Liberal government’s  closure of two gas-fired plants in the run up to the last provincial election, will cost the taxpayer more than $675 million. (see our post Ontario Government Decision To Move Gas Plant May Cost More Than $675 Million: Auditor General)

Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli said of today’s announcement: ” Ontario is committed to building a clean, modern reliable electricity system to replace dirty coal-fired generation. Getting off coal is the single largest climate change initiative being undertaken in North America, equivalent to taking up to seven million cars off the road. This initiative will leave a healthier environment, cleaner air for our children and grandchildren.”

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1 Response to Ontario on Track to Eliminate Coal-Fired Generation: Will U.S. Follow Its Example?

  1. Pingback: Ontario introduces Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act | Environmental Law Bites

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