Our perspectives on the role, risks and potential of energy
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Yesterday I attended a government briefing on the release of Ontario's long-term energy plan. I walked away pleased that the government was staying the course on developing a green and reliable electricity system that Ontarians can be proud of. This government has been criticized for recent increases to electricity bills, and it would have been easy to back down from their plans and instead move forward with a cheaper, dirtier plan — but they did not, and for this they should be commended.
I have often marveled at how seriously Japan takes emergency preparedness, without which the casualty rate from the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami would have been far, far greater.
Yet as we watch the drama unfold, we would be reckless not to consider the implications of Japan's nuclear crisis for our own energy system. Canadian energy planners and politicians, particularly those in Ontario who are pushing for a nuclear renaissance, must draw lessons from the Fukushima nuclear crisis. In short: we should be planning to phase out nuclear power, not aid its rebirth.
When Canada's federal government published an update to its regulatory approach for heavy industry this month, environmentalists hoped that this much-criticized proposal had been strengthened. Instead, it offered a mixed bag that probably served to weaken an already feeble approach.
Saskatchewan can cut its greenhouse gas pollution while creating nearly 50,000 net new jobs in the next decade, says a recent Pembina Institute/David Suzuki Foundation report. The provincial economy would grow by two per cent annually while meeting the federal government's current emissions target, producing a GDP 22 per cent higher in 2020 than in 2010. As well, Saskatchewan would gain more jobs while meeting that target than it would under business-as-usual.
The $100 million made off with by unscrupulous Ontario lottery retailers pales in comparison to the jackpot hit by Bruce Power when it signed a deal to rebuild nuclear reactors at the Bruce Nuclear Station.