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The Alberta Public Utilities Commission is holding hearings into Capital Power’s application to be freed of its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its Genesee coal-fired electrical generation plant.

When Capital Power’s Genesee Power plant was approved in 1999, the company agreed to offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its proposed plant by 50 per cent, to the level of a comparable gas plant. Now that the coal plant has been built, Capital Power wants to be released from that commitment.

If Capital Power’s application is accepted by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), the company would cease to offset the equivalent of 1.34 Megatonnes (MT) of GHGs annually. That’s the equivalent of putting 245,000 cars on the road each year. By  2050, this would amount to 56 extra MT of GHGs, from Genesee alone.

Approving the change would send a message that promises made by corporations to the public to secure public support for new industrial developments can be broken after the developments are built. And why would you believe future promises of “Clean Coal” and carbon capture/ storage, if past promises can be so easily broken?

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