There have been reports that the government is going to phase out the use of natural gas in both home heating and the electricity system and the Ontario Liberal government is NOT denying it is true.
Environment Minister Glen Murray and Premier Kathleen Wynne and been working on a plan to reduce carbon emissions through green option incentives and new regulations to get people away from using fossil fuels. On the other side of the coin the opposition says this could totally harm homeowners.
Things came to light when The Globe and Mail said it had a confidential cabinet document that outlined the plan in detail. Among the key points in the Globe report are:
- All new homes built after 2030 must be heated without using fossil fuels, such as natural gas.
- A target of 1.7 million electric or hybrid cars on the road by 2024
- Mandating a five per cent cut in carbon emissions from gasoline and diesel
The measures would be funded using the revenues from a cap and trade system for carbon emissions, which is expected to net the government some $1.9 billion annually.
“Over the next couple of weeks you’ll see the entire action plan,” Murray told reporters at the Legislature on Monday. “You’ll have to wait to see the details but no, we’re not banning natural gas or taking it away from people,” he told reporters.
The report says the Liberals plan to spend $7 billion of cap and trade revenues from 2017 to 2021 to push the transition to a lower-carbon life. More than half of that money would go to grants and rebates for retrofitting buildings and to move them from natural-gas heating to such sources as geothermal and electric heat.
The report also says the government would put $1.2 billion towwards helping industries cut emissions and $285 million on incentives to buy electric vehicles.
PC energy critic John Yakabuski accused the Liberals of “inflicting pain” on homeowners. “You’re going to force them to heat electrically in a province with the highest electricity prices on the continent,” he said in question period on Monday.
What do you Think? A necessary move for the government or something we are not ready for yet?
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