To Ontario Energy Minister Smith: It’s time to take climate change seriously and to give the IESO a firm deadline for ending gas power.
A Call-Out from the Ontario Clean Air Coalition a province-wide citizens group advocating for cleaner energy
Posted November 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
With climate change alarms screaming and world leaders meeting in Glasgow in what may be our final chance to take real action to avoid the worst impacts of climate heating, Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith decided to roll over and hit the snooze button on phasing out gas in the Ontario electricity system.
In remarks to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the minister repeated some of most over-the-top assertions from the IESO’s recent report on the feasibility of phasing out gas in defence of not setting any sort of deadline for ending burning fossil fuels to produce electricity in Ontario.
In fact, the Minister said a gas phase-out would “paralyze” efforts to electrify our economy, seeming not to understand that the IESO’s plan to ramp up gas use by 300-500% will hugely undermine the value of efforts to electrify homes, buildings and transportation.
He seems to also be blind to the fast-falling costs of sources like solar and wind energy and waterpower from Quebec, instead talking about “continued use of existing assets,” which we take to mean gas and high-cost nuclear plants while simultaneously saying his priority is to protect ratepayers.
If the Minister is seriously concerned about electrification, why has his government done so little to support electric vehicle purchases and the development of bi-directional charging infrastructure?
Most disappointingly, the minister made no effort to address the call by Ontario’s municipalities to get gas plant emissions back down to 2017 levels ASAP. Instead, he happily left it to the IESO to get around to a gas phase-out some day and maybe put a moratorium on building new gas plants (given that our current gas plants are used at a fraction of their capacity, this would not be much of a commitment even if it were enacted).
The Ford Government has done very little to address climate change and is instead busy promoting new highways and continued use of fossil fuels.
The people of Ontario care about climate change and want action to address climate pollution now – not some time in the future. They, unlike Minister Smith, understand that we can’t snooze through the current crisis and take action later. We need to reduce – not increase – emissions today.
What you can do
Please tell Minister Smith by clicking on [https://www.cleanairalliance.org/smith-ieso/] that it’s time to take climate change seriously and to give the IESO a firm deadline for ending gas use.
Send a message [https://www.cleanairalliance.org/smith-ieso/]
Angela Bischoff, Director
About the Ontario Clean Air Alliance – The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is a coalition of over 90 organizations that represent more than six million Ontarians. We led the successful campaign to phase-out Ontario’s five dirty coal-fired power plants. We are now working to move Ontario towards a 100% renewable electricity future through an integrated combination of energy conservation and efficiency, water power imports from Quebec and cost-effective Made-in-Ontario green energy.
For more information on the Ontario Clean Air Alliance and its citizen advocacy work, click on – http://www.cleanairalliance.org/ .
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