Beware of unintended consequences

Editor of the Reformer:

In response to a recent editorial ("Speaking truth about the coal industry," May 12), I would like to offer my American friends a cautionary tale of what may happen if environmentalists succeed in shutting down your coal-fired power plants.

Ontario was once an industrial powerhouse and the home of thousands upon thousands of well paid, manufacturing jobs. But the province lost at least 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 15 years when companies either went bankrupt or left Ontario.

This happened largely because our electricity prices have increased 318 percent since 2002, now giving us one of the highest rates in North America. A major reason for this staggering rise is that, in the name of "stopping climate change," we shut down all of our inexpensive coal plants, which, in 2002, provided about 25 percent of our electricity.

Things will probably be even worse for the U.S. if Hillary Clinton becomes president and continues President Obama's climate policies. After all, the U.S. gets 37 percent of its power from coal.

Ontarians were too frightened of climate activists to oppose the plan to end coal-fired power generation. As a consequence, we are now dependent on the charity of more wealthy Canadian provinces to survive. Who will bail out the U.S. if you follow our tragic example?


Tom Harris, Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition, May 17