‘The suggestion that the regulations have been softened or weakened is a misperception’

by Aaron Wherry

As the Canadian Press previewed earlier this week, Peter Kent has announced regulations for the coal-fired electricity sector that are weaker than what the Harper government proposed a year ago.

The federal government is proposing new coal plants only be allowed if they can emit less than 375 tonnes of carbon dioxide per gigawatt hour of electricity generated. In the final version, that standard is 420 tonnes. The draft regulations proposed that old coal-fired units would have to meet the targets at 45 years old, which has been moved to 50. The final regulations have been criticized by environmental groups as a major weakening of the initial proposal.

Kent defended the changes, saying the government heard more than 5,000 responses during the consultation, which persuaded him that changes were necessary. ”I think the suggestion that the regulations have been softened or weakened is a misperception,” Kent said. “(The regulations) both significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet 2020 targets and at the same time … make sure we find the balance between responsible regulations and maintaining our still recovering economy.”

More here and here.




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‘The suggestion that the regulations have been softened or weakened is a misperception’

  1. Obama and Gillard are shipping ever and ever larger amounts of thermal coal to Asia. The greenies never complain about their hypocritical “heroes”.

    US thermal coal exports to Asia have increased over 100% in the last two years.

    Yet Canada moving the target for already existing coal-fired generating stations from 45 to 50 years is a disaster.

      • From the explosion of supply from Australia and the United States. Thanks from supporting my argument.

        Supply goes up, prices come down.

        Now there is perhaps a bit of an oversupply because China is slowing down, and Europe is on the verge of contracting. So prices are collapsing further.

        A global economic depression will do wonders for lowering carbon emissions.

        • Well actually, you need to learn something about thermal coal, cuz yer all wet.

    • Who called it a “disaster” exactly?

      I don’t think the noteworthy thing here is even about the policy per se, it’s about the fact that Peter Kent does not apparently understand that 50 is larger than 45, and that 420 is larger than 375.

      Whatever the merits of the changes, saying that someone who thinks 420 is a larger number than 375 is suffering under a “misperception” is, at least, odd. Arguing that the regulations are weaker than originally proposed because that’s the best policy for the nation is a point that can be debated. Arguing that the regulations simply aren’t weaker than originally proposed (and that those who think they are just don’t understand) is an abandonment not only of simple mathematics, but of reality.

  2. If a newish (ie one built within the last 15 years) Canadian coal plant emits 2000 tonnes of CO2 per gigawatt of electricity produced, then changing the regulation for future plants from 375 to 420 tonnes per GW doesn’t strike me as outrageous.

    However, if that newish coal plant emits 450 tonnes per GW, then changing the proposed regulation from 375 to 420 strikes me as a major cave-in.

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