Skip to content

LETTER: 'We cannot afford to burn more gas!'

The proposed expansion of the Thorold South Gas Plant would 'provide little to no value to the City of Thorold or the region'
Stock image

ThoroldToday received the following letter regarding the proposed Thorold South Gas Plant expansion.

Examining the proposed Thorold Gas Plant expansion, I have concluded that the project would provide little to no value to the City of Thorold or the region. However, it would dangerously increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at a time we can least afford it.

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen the climate-related news in Canada and around the world over the past couple of months. Directional changes in the jetstream, warmer than usual ocean temperatures, unusual heat waves, destructive storms, heavy rainfall and flooding, wildfires and air quality warnings. We’ve just experienced the hottest global average temperature on record as well as historically low levels of Antarctic Sea ice. The smartest people in the world have been telling us that the frequency and severity of these events are unequivocally a result of climate change and directly linked to GHGs produced from the extraction, processing, transportation, and burning of fossil fuels, including natural gas. With every fraction of a degree Earth gets hotter, we will experience more and more extreme weather events until sometime soon there will be so much property loss and crop damage that people will struggle to find affordable food and shelter - Who knows how or if today’s society will meet that challenge… It is past time that we listen to scientists and respond accordingly!

The sales pitch for this gas plant expansion project is that it will inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the region and create new jobs, although the reality is that Ontario taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars would mostly flow south of the border to purchase equipment and polluting natural gas. As we all know, there are already plenty of construction jobs available in Ontario - The fact is, this gas plant expansion would unnecessarily remove workers from much-needed housing projects!

Canada, in conjunction with close to 200 countries around the world, is trying to cut GHGs in half by 2030 and will soon introduce Regulations to create a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2035. This project takes us in the exact opposite direction! Ontario’s electricity needs can be met by procuring hydropower from Quebec, reducing gas-fired electricity exports to the U.S, implementing additional energy efficiency programs, allowing local producers of renewable energy to connect to the grid, and of course by establishing more renewable energy and clean energy storage. Wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower provide us everything we need to increase Ontario’s energy security, decrease costs to taxpayers, and attract real investments to the province as companies look to ‘green’ their businesses.

As per the experts, climate change is real, is happening now, and will get a whole lot worse in the coming years if we don’t stop using fossil fuels! We must wind down, not expand, our use of oil and gas while transitioning to proven renewable energy! This proposed gas plant expansion would move us backward while doing little to provide meaningful job opportunities in Thorold. This project does not invest in the Niagara Region, it simply finances climate disaster.

Mark Freeman