Hydro One’s move to buy US Avista includes dirty coal

Jose Etcheverry, Markham-Stouffville candidate and expert on environment and climate change issued the following statement today on Hydro One’s move to buy Avista, which has shares in a coal-fired generating plant:

“This move shows a privatized Hydro One won’t act in the public’s best interest, as Liberals were warned. Hydro One’s first move as a private company puts profits ahead of people’s health by buying a company that is a shareholder in coal-fired generation. Ontario has banned coal to protect air quality.

Liberals and Ontario taxpayers lost control of this former public utility even before selling a majority of Hydro One shares. And Ontarians still pay the highest electricity rates‎.

And the bad news doesn’t stop there. This purchase undermines the Liberals’ stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

The Ontario Energy Ministry seems to suggest that the air pollution from the Avista coal plant is no problem, as long as the coal is being burned in Montana. Keep in mind: Montana borders British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and air doesn’t respect national boundaries. In addition to the health impacts in western Canada, Ontario should be worried about the financial liability of acquiring coal plants.

This is a bad move for Ontario and for our planet. Hydro One should be investing in renewables, conservation and energy efficiency – that will help us reduce our rising energy bills and also our GHG emissions.”