TORONTO - The governing Liberals are on the warpath over an Opposition election promise to gut the government's green energy plan, warning that it's already sent economic shock waves through Ontario.

A Conservative pledge to scrap a $7-billion agreement with Samsung to manufacture components for renewable energy projects has jeopardized jobs during Ontario's fragile economic recovery, Economic Development Minister Sandra Pupatello said Wednesday.

Tory Leader Tim Hudak is chasing away investment and much-needed jobs -- even in his own riding -- by threatening to shake up Ontario's nascent green energy industry if he wins the Oct. 6 election, she charged.

"I am calling him out on this," Pupatello said. "I am calling on him to change that position because it is having an immediate impact. Not just an impact in the fall -- an immediate impact."

Economic development officers in the Niagara region -- parts of which Hudak represents in the legislature -- who are trying to drum up business have been getting questions about the industry's future from companies who were looking to invest in Ontario, she said.

Those investors aren't from Canada and don't understand that Hudak may simply be "posturing for politics," she said.

"These are very real business decisions that he's scuttling," she said. "And those Niagara folks -- the people that I've met and looked in their eyes -- they want those jobs in their region and he's killing those opportunities for that region."

Hudak fought back, saying he's not the one who's killing business and jobs in the province.

"Skyrocketing hydro bills means that families have less money to spend in the economy, it means businesses can't hire," he said. "You want to know one of the reasons why we lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs under Dalton McGuinty? His hydro policy is putting bills through the roof."

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, who also opposes the Samsung deal, said both the Liberals and Tories have done a lot of damage to the industry.

Critics have long complained that the Samsung agreement -- announced more than a year ago -- was negotiated behind closed doors without opening up the bidding to other companies.

"At the very least, it creates a poor investment climate in the province," said Schreiner. "I know a number of investors who were looking at investing in Ontario and have pulled back now because one of their competitors gets a special deal."

Hudak insists his plan to scrap the Samsung deal and end the feed-in tariff program that pays handsomely for green energy will provide ratepayers some relief from rising hydro rates.

The Liberals have admitted that green energy programs will be responsible for more than half of the expected 46 per cent increase in electricity rates over the next five years.

But Hudak wouldn't offer any guarantees that electricity bills won't go up under a Tory government.

Taxpayers will also be on the hook if the Samsung agreement is cancelled, said Energy Minister Brad Duguid. He couldn't provide an exact figure on what it might cost the province, adding it would likely be settled in court.

The Tories will be punished in the upcoming election if they stick to a "reckless" promise that will kill thousands of green energy jobs in places like Windsor, Tillsonburg, Guelph, Burlington and Toronto, he said.

"I think he's going to pay a price for that next fall, because I think Ontario families want jobs, they want cleaner air, they want a healthier future for our kids, and they want to see us move forward and making Ontario a clean energy powerhouse globally," Duguid added.

Hudak said he plans to honour the provisions of existing contracts under the feed-in tariff program, but that doesn't mean they won't cancel some solar and wind projects.

"If there are some that are not in the interest to proceed with, then we'll look to use the termination clauses of those FIT contracts," he said.

The province has offered contracts under the FIT program to 1,543 projects, which pays 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour for wind power and 44.3 cents to 71.3 cents for solar power.

About 6,000 smaller projects under the province's MicroFIT program are up and running, with producers reaping between 64.2 cents to 80.2 cents per kilowatt hour.

Ontario consumers pay a retail price of five to 10 cents per kilowatt hour.

Under the deal, Samsung must build four new manufacturing plants in Ontario for solar and wind farms as well as green energy projects, with specific targets of 400 megawatts of new wind power and 100 new megawatts of solar power for each of the five phases of the deal.

In return, Ontario guarantees the Korean company space on the province's limited transmission grid, plus premium rates for the electricity it generates.

Samsung is expected to create about 16,000 thousand jobs in Ontario and help the province create a hub of green energy companies and expertise that can export its products around the world.

Most of the jobs will be temporary, but 1,440 permanent manufacturing and related jobs are expected to be created.

But the government has kept many of the details under wraps, saying "commercially sensitive" sections of the deal will be released after Samsung builds new plants in Ontario. Three are expected to be in operation next year.