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  1. Categories: Business, Environment, Sustainability

    Jamie Ellerton appointed ONGA spokesperson

    Natural gas is one of the most versatile, reliable, clean and affordable sources of energy available in Ontario. For this reason and more, I’m proud to join the team at the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance (ONGA) as spokesperson.

    Challenges that are top of mind to ONGA members are expanding access to natural gas access to reduce energy bills overall, and ensure the continued success of Ontario’s agriculture sector. And of course, helping confront the challenge of climate change.

    Ontario has millions of existing natural gas distribution customers, ranging from home owners to electricity generation facilities, small businesses, public transportation systems, farms and agri-businesses, a variety of industrial consumers and legions of backyard barbeque enthusiasts. What each of these segments have in common is that they enjoy access to a reliable supply of clean and affordable natural gas. Unfortunately, not all Ontarians enjoy access to natural gas, and this puts some people at a competitive and economic disadvantage.

    I am pleased to join an organization like ONGA that treats the expansion of natural gas distribution service in Ontario for what it is – an important public policy measure. It can increase economic growth, foster agricultural competiveness and reduce energy bills in the winter months, especially when compared to electricity for home-heating. In fact, ONGA has done great work highlighting the benefits of natural gas expansion in Red Lake, Ontario and the need for access for agri-business in Bruce County. As spokesperson for ONGA, I want to keep highlighting the need for increased access to natural gas distribution – it is too important for our economy to ignore.

    For much of the past year, climate change has been front and centre in the news. The government of Ontario has introduced legislation that would, if passed, create a cap-and-trade system and join Ontario with the Western Climate Initiative.

    Everyone at ONGA can agree on one thing: we are long passed the time to debate the merits of taking action to confront climate change and that now is the time to tackle the problem head-on. Having the resolve to confront climate change is one thing, but the approach must be constructive and done in a meaningful way that recognizes Ontario is already a leader in this fight.

    The closure of coal-fired power plants dramatically reduced emissions in Ontario –the largest climate change mitigation measure in North America to date. Just as natural gas played a major role reducing emission from electricity generation, natural gas is similarly positioned to reduce overall emissions in the transportation sector.

    The transportation sector is by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the province today. The opportunity of shifting more of the sector to natural gas would be of tremendous benefit to Ontario’s environment and economy, something decision-makers should examine and an issue I look forward to sharing more about.

    In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to speaking about the role that natural gas can play for Ontarians, for the benefit of our climate and our economy.

    I also want to hear what you have to say. You can reach out to ONGA through this website, on Twitter (@NaturalGas_ON) or you can reach me directly here: @jellerton.

    Jamie Ellerton

     

    Jamie Ellerton

  2. Categories: Business, Environment, Sustainability

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Converts Truck Fleet to Natural Gas

    Evolution rarely happens overnight. And in the case of natural gas as a way to power transport, for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, it’s happening one big truck at a time. As reported by Truck News, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced the complete conversion of its private fleet of 179 trucks to compressed natural gas. This fleet is based near Detroit, Michigan and hauls parts and supplies for Chrysler operations between company plants throughout the Midwest of the United States and Ontario.

    The Ontario Natural Gas Alliance (ONGA) advocates of using clean, reliable and affordable natural gas for transportation and it is encouraging to see business around North America embrace compressed natural gas for their fleets.

    FCA’s conversion represents a major investment of resources and confidence in compressed natural gas technology by Chrysler. The conversion itself took two years and US$40 million to complete, not counting the infrastructure investments needed for fuelling and a maintenance facility.

    But while the capital investment was significant, the returns are similarly sized. The company expects to reduce costs on fuel by 35 per cent compared to diesel and perhaps most importantly, reduce CO2 emissions by more than 16,000 tonnes.

    Truck News reports that company officials will monitor the conversion project in the United States before making such a transition in Ontario. ONGA would encourage Chrysler, and indeed all transportation businesses, to explore the myriad benefits of clean, reliable and affordable natural gas for transportation. Here in Ontario, companies like Groupe Robert have experienced both environmental and cost benefits by availing themselves of natural gas technology.

    Take a moment to see first hand how clean, reliable and affordable natural gas is making a positive impact in Ontario:

  3. Categories: Uncategorized

    Delhi showing climate change leadership by embracing compressed natural gas

    Recently the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance spent some time in Hamilton talking to the leadership and employees of Hamilton Street Railway (HSR), the municipal public transit provider, about its use of compressed natural gas (CNG). As a large urban people mover, HSR gets thousands of riders everyday to school, work and home again, in part with a fleet of vehicles fuelled by clean, reliable and affordable compressed natural gas. HSR has embraced CNG technology as compared to traditional diesel; it greatly reduces emissions, helping keep the air in Hamilton clean.

    Encouragingly, Hamilton is not alone in promoting the use of CNG technology to reduce emissions. In an effort to curb air pollution, the city of Delhi, India, has been ordered by Supreme Court to only allow CNG taxis to operate on Delhi streets and around the National Capital Region. This is part of broader prescient efforts to reduce emissions in the region by curbing the use of diesel vehicles in the region and preventing the registration of new diesel vehicles. Here’s a recent article on the move to CNG taxis in Delhi: http://bit.ly/1Idpa7Q

    The city of Delhi is taking some good advice and enacting practical solutions to the global climate change challenge. Here in Ontario, Professor Daniel Hoornweg of the Ontario University Institute of Technology has highlighted that natural gas can be part of a suite of transportation and transit solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while people, goods and services get where they need to be on time. Dr. Hoornweg’s recent study calls on leaders from all levels of government to support the transition to electric vehicles for personal transportation, CNG for transit and liquefied natural gas for long-haul transportation and trucking.