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In his June 27 column "King Coal no longer," Russell Wangersky recounts the decision by Tuscon Electric Power (TEP), owned by Fortis Inc., to move its electrical generation plants from coal to wind and solar.
Wangersky reads this decision to be a triumph of economics (lower cost electricity) over politics (U.S. President Donald Trump's longstanding rhetorical support four the U.S. coal industry). I read it as an example of medium term (15 years) planning that considers the company's economics, but also the impact of the changes on the company's workforce, the local economy, and the climate.
In many ways, TEP is similar to Newfoundland and Labrador: heavily dependent on fossil fuel. Unlike N.L., TEP has created a plan to reduce that dependency. The plan does not call for an overnight revolution, but establishes mileposts that constitute intermediate goals and the means for testing progress toward the ultimate goal.
It is time for the government of Newfoundland and Labrador to do similar serious planning. We need not only final goals, but also intermediate ones that are capable of testing our progress as we phase out our reliance on the petroleum industry and meet our climate goals.