OTTAWA, Aug. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Minutes ago, Greenpeace activists boarded
a vessel in Lake Erie carrying 30,000 tonnes of coal to the Nanticoke
The activists painted "NO COAL. NO NUCLEAR. CLEAN ENERGY." on the ship's
hull and some have locked themselves to the loading boom of the coal vessel.
At this time, the Algomarine has changed course away from the generating
station and dropped anchor.
By burning coal to produce energy, the Nanticoke facility is Canada's
largest source of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions and Ontario's
biggest source of smog-causing pollution.
"Greenpeace's goal today is to raise dirty energy as an election issue,"
said Shawn Patrick Stensil, energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. "We are
challenging Ontario's political leaders to commit to clean, modern energy
solutions that can be deployed today to shut down Nanticoke by 2012."
The McGuinty government promised in the last election to phase out coal
power stations by 2007, but these plants are being kept in operation due to
the unreliability of existing nuclear capacity and to allow time for a new
nuclear mega-project to be completed by 2018-2019. This is far outside of the
acknowledged window for meaningful action in the fight to reduce emissions and
prevent dangerous climate change.
According to a study by World Wildlife Fund and Pembina Institute
released earlier this month, Ontario's continued reliance on nuclear power
will delay the phase out of coal power until 2017. The study concludes that
the McGuinty government is misguidedly relying on ageing nuclear stations to
last longer and perform better than they have historically to meet its 2014
Greenpeace says yesterday's announced long-term energy plan by the
Ontario Power Authority confirms that the 2014 phase-out is another broken
promise waiting to happen.
"Nuclear power is a dangerous distraction that won't shut down Nanticoke
for another decade or help Canada meet its Kyoto targets," affirmed Stensil.
"Ontarians are not going to fork over more than $40 billion to nuclear energy
and continued reliance on coal when there is a cleaner, modern option on the
Greenpeace says the choice amount to endorsing global warming for at
least three more years and radioactive waste for a million years, versus a
safe, clean and cheaper electricity system base on aggressive conservation,
renewable energy and local generation. The technology to build a sustainable,
environmentally-friendly energy future is available today; all that is lacking
is political leadership.
Details of this morning's protest:
At approximately 7:35 a.m., four inflatable boats (ribs) departed from
the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise, toward the Algomarine, with the object
of boarding the ship and blocking the 30,000 tonne coal delivery. At
8:05 a.m., Greenpeace radioed the Algomarine, to notify the ship of its
peaceful intentions. The ship was asked to "stand with Greenpeace today and
refuse to deliver your coal shipment."
Greenpeace received no reply from the Algomarine.
At approximately 8:20 a.m., activists began painting the hull of the coal
vessel. Two activists then boarded the ship and locked themselves to the
loading boom. The Coast Guard has at this time refused the Algomarine's
request to board the ship and physically remove the activists.
The Algomarine has changed course away from Nanticoke, and dropped anchor
at approximately 9:00 a.m. The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise is now en route
toward the stand-off.
Note to editors: High resolution photos will be posted to
www.greenpeace.ca/gallery when available.
For further information:
For further information: Jane Story, Greenpeace Communications, (416)
930-9055; Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Greenpeace Energy Campaign, (416) 884-7053