Michelson Joins Lobby Effort To Save Plant

On the eve of the dropping of the writ to start the campaign local Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson has sent a letter to the federal government in Ottawa asking for reconsideration of applying the Carbon Tax on the proposed combined cycle natural gas fired electrical generating station for the city.

The proposed $700 million plant would create hundreds of jobs during its construction and 25 high paying jobs after coming online. The potential cancellation of the project is growing election issue in the city.

Mayor Fraser Tolmie recently made public a letter he had sent to Ottawa as well as announcing plans to lobby for the proposed plant to be grandfathered under the regulations in effect when it was announced and planning began.

Chinook Power Station near Swift Current under construction - SaskPower Photo

Chinook Power Station near Swift Current under construction - SaskPower Photo

In a September 4, 2019 letter to the Hon Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Michelson said he is concerned about the June 28th announcement of new regulations for large emitters and the impact it would have on the proposed Moose Jaw plant.

“The increase in the carbon tax represents a significant cost of over $2 billion in the first 15 years of the operation of the planned natural gas-fired power plant in Moose Jaw – which will increase if the carbon tax is raised beyond $50 in 2022 as your government is proposing,” Michelson wrote.

Michelson writes the proposed Moose Jaw plant is “vitally necessary” in order to reach emissions reductions targets without large increases in electrical rates to SaskPower customers.

SaskPower says natural gas fired generation plants along with wind power is the most affordable solution to meet large emission reduction targets.

“In order to meet substantial reduction targets, the gas plant at Moose Jaw is vitally necessary as the alternatives will increase rates for SaskPower customers, including the many energy-intensive and trade exposed job creators here in Moose Jaw.”

Michelson writes the potential of cancelling the proposed plant is real.

“…when the people of this province are faced with the burdens of these carbon tax increases, investments like the natural gas facility in Moose Jaw become uncertain.”

At their recent nomination meeting Liberal Party of Canada candidate Cecilia Melanson told MJ Independent she was still formulating a policy regarding the proposed Moose Jaw plant but was willing to meet with all parties to discuss the issue.

Climate change was an issue Melanson quoted as a priority in her released biography “by investing in funded projects” to raise awareness and others to take action on climate change.

Read the entire Michelson letter below:

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