EDMONTON, AB (March, 26 2013): To strengthen Alberta’s environmental record, the PC government needs to implement a strategy to reduce pollutants emitted from burning coal and achieve measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, Wildrose Environment Critic Joe Anglin said.
A new report released today suggests that there are over 700 hospital visits to Alberta’s emergency departments and 80 hospital admissions due to short-term exposure to air pollution from coal plants in Alberta annually. Anglin says Alberta is late to the party when it comes to creating meaningful reforms on reducing emissions generated from coal-fired electricity, as other provinces across the country have already taken significant action. “Every Albertan has a stake in the quality of the air we breathe and we need to ensure that emissions and harmful pollutants do not infringe on the right of every Albertan to breathe clean air,” Anglin said. “This means implementing a meaningful strategy that works to reduce pollutants. We should look at increasing the use of combined cycle gasification of coal (clean coal), natural gas, and hydro-electricity generation.” Anglin said that the increased use of combined cycle gasification, natural gas and hydro-electricity generation are also measurably more efficient in reducing greenhouse gases and pollutants, like mercury, lead and other particulate matter, than the government’s current strategy of spending billions on carbon capture and storage. “Spending billions on carbon capture and storage is a nightmare for taxpayers and does little to improve the quality of the air we breathe,” Anglin said. “It’s time to put in place a real strategy and plan to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants.” Wildrose advocates for an Environmental strategy that guarantees clean land, clean air and clean water that protects Alberta’s environment and ensures economic prosperity.