Three Central Lambton mayors say if the province doesn’t need energy from a methane gas project, it shouldn’t be putting up more wind turbines.
Warwick Township has been working for three years with Waste Management on a large-scale energy project at the Twin Creeks Landfill. It would capture methane – one of the main ozone depleting gases – to produce electricity, like the energy plant at the Petrolia landfill.
The Warwick project can’t move ahead without a contract from the Ontario Power Authority to purchase the electricity produced there.
But when Warwick Mayor and Lambton County Warden Todd Case went to Queen’s Park to advocate for the project earlier this month, he was told the province doesn’t need any more energy production.
That angered Case and sparked the question ‘then why is the province putting up more industrial wind turbines?’
It’s a question Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott would like answered. His municipality has been actively working to keep the projects out of his community. “If there is anything that is environmentally friendly it’s converting methane gas from the landfill,” he says. “That’s far more environment friendly than windmills.”
Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper agrees. “We have all the energy we need? If we don’t need anymore, why stick all these things up?”
That’s exactly the question the three mayors plan to ask Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli. They’re asking for an immediate meeting with him and have enlisted the help of Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey to secure it.
Marriott says isn’t sure the minister will agree to meet. “I’d say it’s a 50-50 chance,” he says “just because of us linking it to wind turbines. The province just seems to avoid all conversations associated with wind turbines.”
And Napper says the province has used the same argument before to turn down other regional energy projects. “When they shut down the (Lambton Generating Station) power plant, they weren’t going to convert it to natural gas because there was no need for the energy,” says Napper.
“We want to go down to talk to them and find out where they’re coming from; if we are going through all this stuff (conflict with wind energy projects) when it is not needed…Why do we continue building turbines when they won’t allow us to use our methane?”