Emissions rules face softening for rate goal

A possible slackening of environmental regulations to save NovaScotians cash on their power bills is being met with sharp criticismfrom the opposition.

A possible slackening of environmental regulations to save Nova Scotians cash on their power bills is being met with sharp criticism from the opposition.

Premier Darrell Dexter said on Tuesday the government will consider loosening regulations on mercury emissions as one option to reduce a potential Nova Scotia Power rate hike.

“What we want to do ultimately is make sure that we are achieving the goals that we set out,” he said.

“If we can do that in a more efficient way from a ratepayer’s perspective then of course we want to be able to consider how that gets done.”

Dexter’s comments came a week after Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks said everything is on the table to soften the burden on ratepayers.

But Liberal energy critic Andrew Younger said mercury emissions count for only a portion of the rate increase.

Younger accused the government yesterday of deliberately misleading the public, calling the emissions standards debate a “red herring.”

“Why not focus the public discussion on what is the long-term solution to all these rate increases, instead of talking about the short-term political gains,” said Younger.

“Which they probably will never (reduce regulations) anyway.”

 
 
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