The coal phase out in Alberta has been on everyone's minds as of late, including the government in Ontario.
The Federal government is speeding up the plan to phase out coal powered electricity by 2030. This is all to try to make Canada a leader for green energy.
"Obviously we have to move forward and look ahead for the inevitable, which was going to happen in 2040 anyway. We're just bumping it up 10 years, but the problem, whether or not they continue to operate up until that 2030 date, is a major concern for us and we have not heard from Atco," stated Mayor of Hanna, Chris Warwick.
"I know Atco is a little concerned because they have share holders and they need to make a profit. Obviously if the carbon emissions levy makes them less profitable and they're losing money every year, I can't see where they are going to operate much past the end date of their power purchase arrangement, which is 2022 I believe," Warwick mentioned. "If they do, that gives us enough time to prepare ourselves and be as proactive as we can in replacing that major employer."
The Town of Hanna will be in communication with Atco and hopefully Battle River-Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson.
"We're certainly going to be in communication with Atco and it would be really good to know if they are considering or would look at converting to natural gas," Warwick explained. "There's so many more implications like our water supply coming from there and Atco maintaining the pipeline that comes from the river all the way up to the generating station. If that gets downloaded onto us, that's obviously a pretty major hit."
"(We're) Definitely going to be in touch with our MP and just see if he has any more information and get him to go to bat for us. He not only has us, but he also has the Battle River generating station in his constituency," expressed Warwick.
Mayor Warwick added that November 21, the Hanna task force met to discuss a few things in terms of what will happen next.
"We have a task force that meets on a regular basis and we did meet last night (November 21). We just discussed a few different things like what our next steps are and of course now we have to deal with two governments as well," outlined Warwick. "I think the Federal government did announce that they will be assisting some of the coal effected communities as well. What that's going to look like, we're not really sure. I don't think they've rolled any of that out yet."
"Going forward, we're just going to look at what the best transition will be for us and how can we best prepare."