Statement from Lana Goldberg, Ontario Climate Program Manager
Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – We applaud Toronto city council for saying “NO” to new gas-fired electricity in the city. Ontario does not need new gas plants. Instead, we need new renewable power sources, like wind and solar, feeding into our electricity grid. Thank you Councillors Fletcher and Perks for championing this motion.
There are many issues with the province’s plan to procure more gas that will not only impact our environment, but our pocketbooks too. Ontario is taking a costly and reckless approach to the electricity sector that will lead to high electricity rates and stranded assets. Ontario is attempting to procure new gas plants that it knows will have to shut down due to forthcoming federal clean electricity regulations, and it’s setting up ratepayers to take the hit by structuring contracts so that gas plants would get paid even if they are no longer allowed to operate. It’s shameful. Thankfully, Toronto city council isn’t interested in playing along. The city has set a precedent that other municipalities should follow.
Numerous recent studies have shown that Ontario can meet its growing electricity demand with renewable sources, and at a cheaper price. The government’s plan makes no sense when we have cleaner energy options like wind and solar which would also deliver lower electricity rates for residents.
- In October of 2022, the Ontario Energy Ministry instructed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to procure 1,500 megawatts (MW) of new gas generation.
- The IESO’s planned schedule was to offer Expedited Long-Term contracts on May 1st. An announcement is imminent.
- Proponents will have 18 months from the time the contract is offered to secure a municipal resolution in support of their projects. This gives municipalities the power to refuse new gas projects.
- The new gas generation will most likely be secured by expanding existing gas plants rather than the construction of new facilities.
- The Portlands Energy Centre on Toronto’s eastern waterfront is already the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the city and could be expanded.
Find out more about Ontario’s gas problem here: NoMoreGasPlants.ca
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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