May 16, 2011

The outcry over Hudak’s FIT announcement

It was nothing if not predictable: following Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s pledge to cancel the $7-billion deal with Samsung for wind and solar manufacturing and installation of facilities (a contract that as yet has never been seen by the public) and to halt the Feed-in Tariff or FiT program which pays exorbitant prices for power to solar and wind generators (power from hydro and nuclear in Ontario cost 6 cents a kWh; FiT pays 13.5 cents for wind and up to 80 cents for solar), the people who stood to benefit the most are now protesting.

They say “thousands” of jobs will be lost.

Not true. As Kevin O’Leary said on the Lang-O’Leary Exchange last week on CBC, “they weren’t real jobs and they should be lost.” Anything built on subsidies, the fund manager explained, is not sustainable. In other words, if the subsidy goes, so goes the business; “real” business, O’Leary said, is built on profitability. That’s not the so-called “green” energy manufacturing business.

Last year, the Ottawa Citizen’s Randall Denley calculated that–if the government’s numbers about job creation were even true–the cost to taxpayers of the jobs created was over $300,000 PER JOB. That is crazy. And not sustainable.

But now, these people, like the band of solar and wind companies in Ottawa, and like the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (in reality a government-funded lobby group) are claiming that we all must fight back and not lose Ontario’s green energy program.

The truth is, the number of jobs being created is a pipe dream, they won’t last, wind and solar can never do what the proponents say it will in terms of power supply, there are other costs in terms of the environment, lost property value etc., and–most important–everything that is being done is paid for by taxpayers and electricity ratepayers.

So, those people who claim YOU need the “green” energy business are really saying, “We want YOUR money.” You’re paying for their profits.

But don’t take our word for it: here’s what Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod said. “Dalton McGuinty is subsidizing these companies at the expense of people who pay for power, at the expense of families paying the bills…. There is nobody in town that thinks paying 80 cents for something that costs five cents is a good deal for taxpayers.”


  1. The flaw in this logic is that the tar sands, coal, natural gas and nuclear are all subsidized by government as well. AND those are fuels that can run out and cause us to incur huge costs to clean up. Wind and solar do not spill nor pollute, and the put power in the hands of the people. THAT’s the real issue here. If people start being self-sufficient and energy becomes renewable, big oil won’t continue to make so much damned money — and how much of that is our taxes? Psh. Green energy all the way.

    Comment by BeaGoodAncestor — August 30, 2011 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

    • Our position is on industrial-scale wind power so we will not comment on solar. You have been misled. Yes, there are subsidies for oil, but what industrial wind power is all about in Ontario is natural gas. Look at the names of the wind power developers: TransAlta, Enbridge, Flower Power and LIght (NextEra), T Boone Pickens’ Mesa…they’re all involved in natural gas. Boone Pickens will freely tell you that, and he has, in radio interviews. NO wind power development anywhere in the world has ever replaced any fossil fuel power generation facility, including coal. Wind is expensive and unreliable and yes, I’m sorry, it DOES pollute: the amount of concrete needed for the bases is staggering, as is the aggregate (gravel) needed for the foundations and access roads, and did you know the construction of a single base require upwards of 60 concrete trucks’ loads of cement? Plus, the foundations are NEVER removed at decommissioning, which as a permanent effect on the land, and sometimes affects the water table. Wind is unreliable so it needs back up from other sources of power (when you see the turbines turning slowly, that’s not because they are generating less power, it’s because they cannot stop turning or they will seize up, so they are USING power). As for wind not spilling, you clearly have no idea what’s inside those things: 650 gallons and more of hydraulic fluids and oil. The material they are made of is non-recyclable. They do catch fire and cause damage to the landscape while poutting with toxic fluids, fiberglass bits, metals and more.
      It would have been nice if you had declared yourself a staffer with the Sierra Club, but we don’t mind, and will take this opprtunity to ask you for your position on the effects of offshore industrial wind power projects on the marine environment, on offshore in Canada’s lakes (which will be back onside if the Ontario Liberals win power again in October), and what of the bird kills at Wolfe Island (recently named one of the most dangerous places in North America for birds sue to the number of kills)..AND what about Ostrander Point where Gilead Power proposes a development that is right in an Important Bird Area. And the Grand Valley project that has applied for exemption to protecting the endangered Bobolink???
      The Sierra Club’s position is very confusing right now.
      Thank you for your comments.

      Comment by northgowerwindturbines — August 30, 2011 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

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