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Alberta NDP’s plan to phase out coal could triple power bills: Coal Association

WATCH ABOVE: Facing the prospect of vanishing by 2030, Alberta's coal industry is warning of dire economic consequences if it's allowed to be shut down. Tom Vernon reports.

A big part of the Alberta NDP’s plan to combat climate change is an accelerated phase out of coal-fired electricity. However, there’s been a lot of push back to the plan. Many say it hurts Alberta industry and consumers.

Thursday, the Coal Association of Canada launched a campaign to protect what it says are Albertans’ best interests.

Currently, about half the power generated in Alberta comes from coal. Other sources like natural gas and renewables also contribute.

READ MORE: Alberta hires energy executive as point person for plan to transition off coal 

The NDP announced in November that coal would be phased out completely by 2030.

The Coal Association of Canada says that is just going to hurt consumers.

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It says power bills could triple by as early as 2021.

READ MORE: Alberta electricity rates to rise sharply because of climate plan study 

It launched an Act for the Future campaign to speak to Albertans about what it feels the implications of the government’s plan could be. It believes what is at stake is Alberta’s competitiveness.

“Whether you’re in oil and gas, forestry, agriculture, tourism, we need good, affordable, dependable power to be successful,” Coal Association of Canada president Robin Campbell said. “It’s one of the things we have in this province that allows us to compete globally and we’re about to lose that.”

The NDP says phasing out coal is necessary not only to reduce green house gases but also to improve air quality.

Campbell says all those concerns could be addressed through investing in clean coal technologies without jeopardizing base-load power.

With files from Tom Vernon, Global News