Feds offer $655 million loan to Fortis Inc. to export gas-fired electricity to Pennsylvania

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Ontario Clean Air Alliance

Fortis Inc., a $56 billion company which owns 10 electric and gas utilities, is seeking a second handout from Canadian taxpayers to finance its proposed Lake Erie transmission line.

If built, this transmission line will enable gas-fired electricity exports from Ontario to Pennsylvania.

The federal government has offed to provide a $655 million low-interest loan through the Canada Infrastructure Bank to subsidize the construction of the company’s Lake Erie transmission line.

Ontario’s Energy Minister, Greg Rickford has directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to negotiate a contact with Fortis that will require Ontario’s electricity consumers to backstop Fortis if the project is not financially viable, says Angela Bischoff of Ontario Clean Air Alliance, who takes issue with taxpayers subsidizing this $56 billion company.

Fortis Inc. is a St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador-based international electric utility holding company. It operates in Canada, the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Clean Air Alliance expressed concerns that this deal will result in increased greenhouse gas pollution in order to provide cheaper electricity rates for consumers in Pennsylvania.

Minister Rickford has asked for a year end report on the project to determine the greenhouse gas impacts of the proposed Lake Erie transmission line, and suggestions for alternative new transmission lines with Quebec and Manitoba.

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