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Green Energy Act the Solution to Environmental and Economic Crises is theme of Sault Ste. Marie Workshop

Tuesday, February 24th 2009 10:10:47am

Media Release

Green Energy Act the Solution to Environmental and Economic Crises is theme of Sault Ste. Marie Workshop


(Sault Ste. Marie ON., Feb 24, 2009) - Citizens from Sault Ste. Marie  and surrounding areas attended a workshop at the Holiday Inn Waterfront today, organized by ULERN and the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA). A presentation was made outlining what the GEAA has recommended be included in the Green Energy Act. The Act, which Premier Dalton McGuinty announced on February 3, was tabled in the Ontario legislature yesterday.

The theme of the afternoon was quickly established by the opening comments, "A Green Energy Act will bring economic prosperity and new 'green' jobs to Ontario, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and allow individuals, communities and companies to become energy producers and conservers," made by Roberto Garcia, Marketing & Membership Services Manager of OSEA, a founding member of the Green Energy Act Alliance (GEAA).

Up to 75 people attended the workshop including farmers, renewable energy producers, and representatives from both government and public utilities. Overall the proposed Green Energy Act was well received and the questions posed ranged from such broad issue as global warming to specific situation for developing renewable energy.

Renewable energy is the solution to both climate change and the economic crisis but to get enough windmills erected, solar panels installed and biodigesters operating, legislation is needed to make renewable energy a provincial priority.

Garcia went on to say, "The fundamental components we expect to see in Ontario's Green Energy Act flow from similar legislation adopted in Germany. That country is now a world leader able to produce 20,000 MW of new green power, developed in less time than it would take to build a 1,000 MW nuclear plant. Germany is also able to meet tough climate change targets by avoiding the emission of 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere a year, while a quarter of a million new green collar jobs have been created, all for just an extra $5 a month per household.  

The GEAA is recommending guaranteed access to the electricity grid for all producers of sustainable energy, priority purchase of green electricity before coal and nuclear power, fair prices, fixed over the long term for renewables and a strong commitment to continually improve conservation and efficiency.

Across Ontario, farmers, First Nations and communities are eager to contribute to the province's electricity supply by producing clean, renewable energy. However, they are being hindered by outdated regulations that slow the adoption of renewable energy technology, a lack of access to the grid to sell their energy and opposition from lobbyists for the coal and nuclear power industry.

"The GEA will be extremely important legislation.  However, it is the people, and the supporting public and private organizations, behind the effort to change the way we use our resources that will create the regulatory framework and enabling policies that empower people and accommodate business development to realize the potential the GEA can offer.  Now is the time to engage and educate people to the opportunities that are unfolding and to the benefits that can be derived by companies and communities seeking clean and green energy solutions, today and in the future.  It is time to help prepare and position business, and communities, to take action, capture investment opportunities, create new jobs and be part of the sustainable energy and environmental challenge for future generations," said David De Yoe, of ULERN

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For more information, contact:

David DeYoe, PhD., President, Bio-Trend Systems Inc., 705-779-2314 or email bio-trends@sympatico.ca
Roberto Garcia, Marketing & Membership Services Manager, OSEA, 416-801-6921

To request interviews, contact:

Jane Story, Manager Policy and Communications GEAA: 416-977-4441, extension 222

A schedule of all the GEAA workshops in this provincial series can be found at: www.greenenergyact.ca/Storage/23/1476_Handout_v2_revised.pdf

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ULERN
promotes job creation and northern economic development while engaging in partnerships to address environmental and natural resource impacts on human health

OSEA
works to initiate, facilitate and support the work of local sustainable energy organizations through membership services, province wide capacity building and non-partisan policy work. They work to catalyze the efforts of community organizers and raise awareness of the benefits of community power and renewable energy through various communication channels and by offering a variety of workshops and guidebooks on topics.