Coal: Dead Man Walking
During the first nine months of 2011, only 2.9% of our total electricity generation was provided by our dirty coal plants. In fact, our coal-fired generation has fallen by 70% this year relative to the same period last year (according to the Independent Electricity System Operator).
While we no longer need our dirty coal plants to keep our lights on, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) continues to operate them to export dirty electricity to the U.S. at a loss. Since January 2009 OPG has received $865 million in subsidy payments from the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (an agency of the Government of Ontario) to compensate it for the operating losses of its coal plants.
While all four major provincial party leaders have agreed that a coal phase-out by 2014 is a “must”, only two – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner – have grasped the fact that we can phase out coal right now!
Sierra Club Ontario believes that coal can and should be phased our right now.
 The coal subsidies from the OEFC to OPG are labelled as revenue pursuant to the “Contingency support agreement” in the OPG Financial Reports.