April 20, 2011

Ontario’s Green Energy Act: Case for Repeal

It’s all here: the phoney economic forecasts, the effect on property values, the McGuinty government’s betrayal of democracy in this province. Take 14 minutes, and listen.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act: Case for Repeal.

November 25, 2010

Opinions, opinions

Ever since the Ontario government announced its 10 percent “discount” on electricity bills (which within minutes was denounced as trying to buy taxpayers’ confidence back with their own money, while putting the province deeper into debt) and then the announcement of the Long-Term Energy Plan (they claim it’s new, but really, the former Plan was highjacked by former Energy Minister George Smitherman and so we haven’t even had a plan for quite some time), opinions have been overflowing in the media.

Here are a few that grabbed our attention.

“The Ontario government’s clever Clean Energy Benefit–a 10% rebate on the rapidly escalating power bills of Ontario voters–is a win-win-win proposition. A win for the Liberal government, which needs to blunt a consumer revolt before next year’s election. A wind for the power companies it ownes, which now have a go-ahead to continue to escalate their rates. And a win for renewable energy supplers and their environmental group allies, who had feared the Ontario government would curb the lavish solar and wind contracts that have been clobbering consumers.

… [it’s] also a lose-lose-lose proposition. Two losers are the opposition NDP ad Conservatives, who had called for the Liberals to reverse their position ad exempt power sales from the HST. Had the Liberals reversed the HST explicitly, they would have seemed weak and desperate, giving their political opponents a club to beat them with while forever losing a large source of tax revenue. Instead, the Liberals bested their opponents by calling their HST bid, which was worth 8%, and raising it to 10% under a different name. The political opponents cam across as pikers and the Liberals are heroes for the day.

..under the Ontario scheme, all consumers become losers. Rates, by the government’s own accounting, will be climbing another 46% over the next five years, and then rates will jolt up another 10% as the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit expires. By then, the new power system may also have expired. It took Ontario Hydro, running as a government-owned non-profit 90 years to go bankrupt. Hydro’s government-owned for-profit successors will be far quicker at reaching bankruptcy.”

–Lawrence Solomon, executive director, Energy Probe, in The Financial Post

“Dwight Duncan, now Ontario’s Finance Minister. told the legislature in 2004″ ‘It would be irresponsible for the province and taxpayers to contine to subsidize electricity consumption, because it jeopardizes our ability to invest in health care and education. This is simply not sustainable, nor is it acceptable. The people of this province deserve better.’ He committed to ‘take politics out’ of electricity pricing.

Where is the Dwight Duncan of 2004?… Today, with the deficit at $18.7 billion, he engineers techniques to split the bill for the McGuinty government’s careless, profiligate electricity policies between the staggering power rate increases today and the enuring pain for tomorrow’s taxpayers. … On glimmer of truthfulness in the Economic Statement is the admission that renewable power generation is the main driver for rate increases. ”

–Tom Adams, The Financial Post, November 23, 2010

And so we don’t think this is all new, here is a repeat of what Professor Michael Trebilcock of the University of Toronto wrote in The Financial Post March 6, 2010:

“The potential contributions of renewable energy to the creation of jobs in the province require a heavy dose of skepticism. While the government has claimed that it plans to create 50,000 new green jobs in the province over the coming years, the additional burdens on industrial, commercial, and household consumers from higher electricity costs associated with renewable energy will kill existing jobs. Recent studies in Denmark and Germany find that very few net new jobs have been created as a result of renewable energy policies. In the case of Denmark, they have cost between US$90,000 to US$140,000 per job per year in public subsidies, and in the case of Germany, up to US$240,000 per job per year. According to a column by Randall Denley in the Ottawa Citizen of Jan. 24, 2010, the new manufacturing jobs entailed in the massive Samsung renewable project recently announced by the Ontario government will cost $300,000 each in public subsidies.

“In an SNL Financial news wire report of Oct. 23, 2009, the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources was reported as stating that the agency had temporarily stopped accepting applications for proposed wind energy projects because it had already received 500 such applications and needed to make sure that it had appropriate processes in place before taking any more. Obviously, the massive public subsidies being offered have provoked a corporate feeding frenzy.

“But corporate enthusiasm for subsidized wind power should not be confused with the longer-term public interest.

” In terms of cost, CO2 and jobs, wind power attracts a failing grade. It gets worse, with poor marks for localized impacts on flora and fauna, for potentially adverse health effects on local residents from persistent exposure to low intensity turbine noise, for potentially adverse impacts on local property values and for an environmental review process which the Ontario Environmental Commissioner describes as ‘broken.’ All render renewable energy policy, at least as currently conceived by the Ontario government, one of the least compelling options in the challenging economic environment in which the province finds itself now. ”

And these commentators are just talking about the power supply and its politicization; there is no mention of the effects of the Ontario government’s drive toward wind and solar on property values, the environment, or, in the case of industrial wind turbine projects, the effect of the noise and infrasound on human health.

With the Green Energy Act in place, all people can do is gather and protest, which is what they are doing throughout Ontario, with increasing frequency.

October 1, 2010

Experts on TVO: green energy act a concern

To watch the entire podcast of last night’s show “So Green we’re in the red” go to

There were three people who made sense: Tom Adams of Tom Adams Energy (and ex of Energy Probe), Economics professor at U of T Don Dewess, and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Tom Clipshaw. On the not so informed or maybe politcally influenced side, the CEO of Toronto Hydro Joyce Maclean (who actually had the temerity to mention that total failure, the wind turbine at Exhibition Place) and Ontario’s so-called Environment Commissioner Gordon Miller.

Key quotes:

Dewess–“government’s don’t create jobs, they just move them around”

Adams– some jobs are being created in the green energy sector but they could disappear as fast as they appeared.

All in all some good comments but no mention of the economic effect of widespread property value decline, or the effect on tourism of the proliferation of ugly industrial wind turbine projects (they’re NOT pretty and no one will be having picnics underneath them), or the potential effects on other aspects of the economy such as the commercial fisheries in Ontario’s Great Lakes.

For more news daily, go to and for the North Gower Wind Action Group blog

June 4, 2010

Tom Adams: “Carpetbaggers”!!!

Read this interesting opinion piece at Tom Adam’s blog. Adams of course was formerly of Energy Probe.

Blog at