By Sue McKenzie
A decision by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) signals the dawn of a whole new era in the shift to clean energy sources and away from the fossil gas infrastructure being pushed by Enbridge Gas and the Ontario Conservative government. The OEB turned down an Enbridge gas proposal for the City of Ottawa.
Municipal action was a key factor in the decision. The City of Ottawa intervened with the OEB, saying it won’t be using as much gas anymore due to its Energy Evolution community plan to be powered by clean, renewable energy by 2050. This is true municipal clout!
In Muskoka, Bracebridge Town Council is already a leader in this process. It unanimously called on the Ontario government to phase out gas-fired power plants by 2030 on January 20, 2021, joining 32 other Ontario municipalities in this call.
This does leave me puzzling how the Bracebridge Mayor, now a provincial election candidate for the party promoting natural gas, can explain his apparent flip-flop on this matter.
So, if our Muskoka municipalities implement energy and home heating conservation goals, as well as promote and support conversion to clean energy installations in our homes (eg. lower cost air source heat pumps), can we get the transition to clean energy started here as well?
Maybe we don’t need those new pipelines in Huntsville and Burk’s Falls, which will lock unsuspecting new gas users into expensive GHG-producing furnaces and rising gas costs for many years—while Enbridge waltzes away with the $3.1 million the Ford government has gifted them.
Sue McKenzie, Gravenhurst
- Photo is a screenshot of the January 12, 2021 Bracebridge General Committee meeting where the vote was taken. The vote is at 4:51:59 at this town video link: http://video.isilive.ca/bracebridge/GMT20210112_General-Co_gallery_1280x720.mp4.html Ratified January 20 by Bracebridge Council.
- Other sources:
- The Energy Mix: https://www.theenergymix.com/2022/05/29/exclusive-ontario-regulator-refuses-new-pipeline-tells-enbridge-to-plan-for-lower-gas-demand/?utm_source=The+Energy+Mix&utm_campaign=487926a531-TEM_RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc146fb5ca-487926a531-509986141
- Link to the OEB decision https://www.oeb.ca/node/3272
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