Reaction to federal coal regulations announcement
In response to the federal coal regulations announced this morning by Minister Kent, Climate Action Network Canada would first and foremost request clarification as to whether the Maxim coal plant will be subject to these new regulations*. These regulations also do not go far enough fast enough to move Canada away from burning coal, one of the worst offenders when it comes to greenhouse gas pollution. Given what we know about climate change, Canada should not be building any new coal-fired power plants, and we should be rapidly phasing out the existing ones.
For comment and reaction to the announcement of the federal coal regulations please contact:
John Bennett, Sierra Club Canada, 613.291.6888
Steven Guilbeault, Equiterre, 514. 378.0232
Dale Marshall, David Suzuki Foundation, 613.302.9913
Brennan Vogel, Ecology Action Centre, 902.442.0199
Hannah McKinnon, Climate Action Network Canada, 613.276.7791
Matthew Carol, Leadnow.ca, 289.244.9930
*On August 10th, Maxim Power Corp. received final approval from Alberta’s utilities regulator to build a coal-fired power plant that would start operating just prior to federal regulations on coal-fired electricity coming into effect. When the plans for regulations were first announced, then-Environment Minister Jim Prentice committed to “guard against any rush to build non-compliant coal plants” before the federal regulations take effect in 2015.
Maxim Power explicitly asked for, and obtained, an accelerated approval from Alberta’s utilities regulator in order to ensure that its proposed plant could avoid being subject to the regulations. In documents filed with the Alberta Utilities Commission, Maxim’s lawyers explained that they met with Environment Minister Peter Kent to understand how their plant could be “accommodated” by the federal regulatory proposal.
Coal is the worst offender when it comes to greenhouse gas pollution, and Canada needs to be taking serious steps towards phasing out coal in the short term. Provinces such as Ontario have shown leadership in an accelerated coal phase-out by 2015. The current proposal of the federal government would have Canada burning coal for over 45 more years.
In the past week thousands of Canadians have written to Minister Kent individually and as sign on organizations to an open letter demanding he live up to the government’s commitment and ensure Maxim plays by the rules.
In The News (August 19, 2011):
Environment Minister to unveil coal-power emissions regulations
The Globe and Mail
Canada moves ahead with new coal-fired power rules
Canada's Environment Minister Announces Important Step Towards Reducing Electricity Sector Emissions
Environment Canada Media Release