That is the message from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, expressed in a post on BuryCoal.com. They argue that Ontario has enough non-coal electricity generating capacity to put its four remaining coal plants on “standby reserve” between now and their legislated closure in 2014.
It is an initiative worth applauding. In contrast to targets so far off in the future as to be politically irrelevant, this is something that could be done right away. That is important, given the degree to which every year that passes before emissions peak means more drastic cuts will be required around the world afterward.
Another option worth considering is converting Nanticoke, North America’s largest coal-fired power plant, to burn biomass instead. From a health and environmental perspective, that’s not as appealing as shutting it down, but it would definitely be an improvement upon the status quo.