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QUÉBEC WELCOMES THE NEW PROPOSAL FOR REGULATING THE PRODUCTION OF ELECTRICITY IN THE UNITED STATES
June 3, 2014 – The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, Pierre Arcand, today welcomes the U.S. Federal Government regulatory proposal to lower American greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants by 30% below the 2005 levels by 2030. This initiative, known as the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule, calls upon each U.S. state to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
“With this new regulatory proposal, the Obama administration sends a very positive signal in favour of strong action to fight climate change, something which is particularly important as we approach the 2015 negotiation of an international climate agreement. The proposal shows that the world’s first economy has the capacity to act responsibly in the face of the threat of climate change to our health, security, economy and quality of life, as well as our children’s," stated Minister Heurtel.
Under this initiative, each state will have sufficient flexibility to set up its own initiatives to reach its own greenhouse gas reduction goal. Potential strategies include investments in energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and setting up cap-and-trade emission rights systems. The Clean Power Plan also allows for cooperation between states.
With its clean and renewable energy, Québec is well-placed to support the efforts of the states of New England and New York who could wish to review their electricity supply portfolios and acquire more hydroelectricity, hereby reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
“Long-term contracts with U.S. states for the supply of clean, reliable electricity, which emits little greenhouse gas, is one solution that will allow the U.S. to reach their objectives. The Government of Québec and Hydro-Québec are working actively to demonstrate the environmental and economic merits of our hydroelectricity. It is of prime importance that the plans that are to be proposed by these states can count on Québec electricity and that this energy be considered by the United States Federal Government as valid a solution as energy efficiency or local renewable energy produced,” stressed Minister Pierre Arcand.
“This flexible approach is in line with Québec’s own measures, which include a carbon market linked to California’s. Many years ago, Québec took the position that carbon pricing was the way to go for us to reach our goals and develop our society sustainably. I am thrilled to see that the proposal made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opens the door to the development of carbon market tools on the United States territory. Moreover, any state interested in joining the Québec-California market will find an ally in Québec. We can bridge a healthy environment and a healthy economy. Besides providing us with a global competitive advantage, the fight against climate change allows us to innovate and create jobs,” concluded Minister David Heurtel.
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