Today’s Toronto Star carries an editorial criticizing Dalton McGuinty for “dragging his feet on global warming with a plan that would be likely to see [the humungous coal-fired generating station at] Nanticoke replaced by a new, clean nuclear generating facility a decade or more from now.”
McGuinty is dragging his feet all right, but not in failing to roll out a climate change policy. He’s dragging his feet in presenting its results to the public. As I have pointed out in previous posts, Ontario’s nuclear renaissance, in which McGuinty has played a major positive role, has wiped out millions of tonnes of emissions.
Well, if you don’t paint your own picture someone else will paint it for you. This is what the Star is now doing. After accusing McGuinty of dragging his feet on global warming, the editorial’s next sentence bizarrely suggests that Nanticoke be converted to natural gas. This in spite of the fact that the price of gas has skyrocketed in recent years, making gas-fired power generation a bad deal for everyone but the gas industry.
Suggestions like these almost make you wonder where Canada’s biggest newspaper gets its information and ideas from. Converting Nanticoke to gas has long been a dream of the gas industry–funded Ontario Clean Air Alliance, an Astro-Turf organization whose founding impetus came when eight of Ontario’s nuclear reactors were laid up in the 1990s, forcing the province to increase electricity generation from its coal-fired generators. (See my July 23 post.) When power sector emissions accordingly doubled, the OCAA, sensing a huge business opportunity for its clients, advocated that the coal plants be replaced by—guess what—natural gas.
But now that four of those nuclear reactors are back in service, offsetting nearly 18 million tonnes of emissions every year, the OCAA sees a threat to its plan. The very last thing it wants is for people to notice how far power sector emissions have plummeted as a result of the return of nuclear.
Is the Star playing along with this? Or does it just not know the numbers?