QUESNEL: Banning natural gas heating in Manitoba just a dumb idea

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Joseph Quesnel Gas discounts won't go into effect this month as natural gas prices remained low, says Alberta Energy. Gas discounts won’t go into effect this month as natural gas prices remained low, says Alberta Energy. Photo to file /Postal media

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Manitoba should not allow an IPCC report to frighten our political leaders into alarming behavior.

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Recently, some of Winnipeg’s chatter courses did just that, promoting the absurd idea that the Pallister government should change the zoning rules to prohibit home, office tower, and industrial builders from installing gas-fired stoves and water heaters in their buildings.

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Your thinking, of course, leans on the old line that Manitoba has so much wind, sunshine, and of course, hydropower that it all works.

However, these people seem to have forgotten that the same topic was discussed back in March of this year in the city of Winnipeg.

At that time, two city councils suggested that a restriction on the natural gas infrastructure in the city be examined. At the time, they called for a schedule to cease further expansion of the natural gas infrastructure within the city of Winnipeg to be considered as soon as possible, a schedule for cessation of the use of natural gas in newly built areas of the city that already have natural gas infrastructure, as well as a plan and a Schedule for the city to exclude the use of natural gas in all tenders related to the construction of new municipal buildings.

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The proposal was to limit natural gas through a much more aggressive use of geothermal energy. Although the proposal made the day for some environmental groups, the Manitoba Hydro people immediately threw cold water on the scene. It was quite inconvenient and made no sense to her.

“Manitoba Hydro does not currently have the generation capacity to support a mass switch from natural gas to electricity for heating,” said Hydro spokesman Bruce Owen. We need to roughly double our current generation capacity, build extensive new transmission infrastructure and upgrade our existing distribution infrastructure significantly . “

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And that’s just the city of Winnipeg. Think of the impracticality of including the entire province. For a very cold province like ours, it’s also important to point out that given current electricity and natural gas prices, heating with natural gas is by far the cheapest option for low-income and high-income earners.

Experimenting with other heating options is an expensive endeavor for most families, especially when cheaper and more abundant energy is already available in other forms. The UK government recently pulled back from a recent proposal to ban natural gas boilers after finding that the proposal was too costly for most homeowners, even with government subsidies.

Banning cheap energy to make way for trendy environmental protection is an activity for busy left-wing politicians. Given that most governments have chosen to hop on the rather shaky train of climate change, they need to find better ways to reduce our carbon footprint that don’t hurt families, especially in a cold climate like ours.

Finally, it is widely recognized by credible conservationists that natural gas is the ideal transition fuel for those seeking less carbon-intensive sources. It is also a way for Canada to reduce emissions internationally through our exports. Natural gas is cheap, effective and low-polluting energy – it is the wave of the future.

Manitoba environmentalists need to move away from this costly and dangerous idea and look for realistic alternatives in order to meet our environmental goals.

– Joseph Quesnel is a senior research fellow at the Frontier Center for Public Policy. www.fcpp.org

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