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Published: Tuesday 06 August, 2013

sale on bags sale on bags fired power plant in Alberta gets final OK

EDMONTON A controversial coalfired power plant in Alberta has received final approval without a requirement to lower its greenhouse gas emissions.

Others in the province operate under such restrictions and federal rules on power plant emissions are imminent.

There are regulations in place regarding greenhouse gas emissions, Jim Law, spokesman for the Alberta Utilities Commission, said sale on bags Thursday. We dont go beyond whats in place and whats required today.

Calgarybased Maxim Power TSX:MXG received the goahead after the close of trading on Wednesday for a $1.7billion expansion of its plant near Grande Cache.

The expansion will increase power output by 500 megawatts and use a nearby coal mine as fuel. But the plant will also produce about three million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year roughly twice the carbon dioxide of an equivalent naturalgasfired plant.

Environmental groups had already complained that the commission ignored important evidence when it gave conditional approval earlier this month. They said they had been denied the opportunity to testify before the quasijudicial board.

They also suggested Maxim had requested an early interim approval in an attempt to have the expansion grandfathered when federal regulations come into effect limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Chris SeversonBaker of The Pembina Institute said the commissions sale on bags decision undermines federal policy, especially as Ottawa prepares to enact the new emissions rules within the coming weeks.

This is a direct challenge of how the coal regulations are introduced, he said.

The institute had filed a request to appeal the interim approval. SeversonBaker said the environmental thinktank is now mulling its legal options, but is likely to ask leave to appeal the final approval.

We would appeal the final decision, but the manner in which the interim decision was granted would be part of the basis of our appeal of the final decision.

SeversonBaker said Albertas last two coalfired plants were approved after they promised carbon offsets that would bring their emissions footprint in line with that of other natural g sale on bags asfired plants. He said the commission upheld those commitments in hearings last fall.

Allowing Maxim to build a coalfired plant without any emissions requirements gives it an advantage over its competitors, SeversonBaker suggested.

Law said restrictions on the other plants are the result of promises the companies made during their regulatory hearings. He said Pembina wasnt given legal standing to address the Grande Cache application because it couldnt prove it was directly affected by the proposal.

Greenpeace pointed out Thursday that the companys donations to Albertas governing Tories grew from $850 in 2007 to $4,250 in 2008, the year Maxims application was filed.

Returns filed with chief electoral officer say those contributions were matched in 2009. They were increased to $9,250 in 2010 together with another $1,000 to the constituency association of Energy Minister Ron Liepert. sale on bags