Feds announce new rules to phase out coal, reduce natural gas

Black particles charcoal on a wooden spoon. Trexdigital / Getty Images

OTTAWA – The federal Liberal government says its new regulations to phase out power plants fired by coal and reduce natural gas will cost more than $2.2 billion, but potentially save the country billions more in reduced health care costs.

Government documents posted online today outline the new measures aimed at reducing Canada’s dependence on the pollution-producing plants, and improving their efficiency.

Three-quarters of the $2.2-billion price tag will fall on the shoulders of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which aren’t expected to end their reliance on coal for power until at least 2040.

Federal officials estimate savings of $4.9 billion related to declines in air pollution over the next 12 years.

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The Canadian Electricity Association says in a statement that the new regulations add another layer of red tape for the sector, something that’s sure to affect rates across the country.

The Liberals are also launching a task force to come up with ways to help coal workers that will lose their jobs as a result of the decreasing reliance on coal-fired electricity plants.

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