The Ontario government will admit today it will not meet its promise to close all four remaining coal-burning electricity-generating plants by the end of 2007, allowing the mammoth Nanticoke plant to continue to operate past that date.
Energy Minister Dwight Duncan has scheduled a news conference in Toronto today to announce "a major clean-air initiative" and sources in the energy industry say he will provide a timetable for closing coal plants in Thunder Bay, Atikokan and Lambton, near Sarnia. He will also detail the future of these sites and whether they can contribute electricity to Ontario's grid with another fuel.
However, these same sources say Mr. Duncan will simply outline the options for Nanticoke and that he will admit the plant will not be completely shut down by Dec. 31, 2007. Premier Dalton McGuinty's government, which has already been criticized over falling short of commitments over taxes and the deficit, promised during the 2003 election to close all coal-fired plants by the end of 2007. The Nanticoke plant is the largest single source of air pollution in the province.