The Gambler

by Rick Conroy  Wellington Times

A better man might feel empathy for Dalton McGuinty. Gambling, I’m told, is an addiction. He may not be able to help himself. But here’s the thing—it’s Ontario’s energy future he is putting at risk and it is our money he is wagering. Dalton McGuinty never felt comfortable with the energy file. Not since he blurted out an ill-considered promise to close Ontario’s coal electricity plants, in an election debate in 2003, has he managed to grasp the complexity of the business of electricity or how tightly energy in general is tied to the economic prosperity and well-being of residents of this province.

Most folks leave things they don’t understand alone—they don’t try and turn the house upside down hoping it all comes out right. But that isn’t how McGuinty rolls—at least on this file.

Instead he is placing billions of your tax dollars and your children’s tax dollars on a bet that a mix of unproven wind, solar and other exotic means of electricity generation will one day put a meaningful dent into Ontario’s supply of energy. It is a high-stakes gamble—with about the same odds as winning the lottery.

Nevertheless, McGuinty last week announced his government was offering contracts for 184 renewable energy contracts. By some estimates this converts into an $8 billion investment. This is on top of billions more spent through at least four other outlandishly rich contracts designed to attract investors.

Whom has the province attracted? Well, they include such corporate luminaries as 2225054 Ontario Limited and 6718710 Canada Corporation. Others such as Zep Wind Farm LP signify that these outfits are organized as limited partnerships which means the investors who anted up the money to make the FIT application were able to write off at least part of their investment on their personal taxes. So as a taxpayer you are an enabler of this bit of speculation.

Most of these companies didn’t exist five years ago. Many likely formed just to apply for the FIT contracts. This is the cast of characters to whom McGuinty has decided to hitch Ontario’s energy future.

Like the husband and father who secretly gambles away his family’s savings, McGuinty must create a web of diversions and lies to cover his tracks.

Number one diversion: tell people wind and solar energy is better than coal-generated electricity.

The McGuinty government doesn’t issue a press release on the energy file in which it doesn’t attempt to turn the public’s dislike of coal into support for its misguided green energy schemes.

Energy Minister Brad Duguid last week: “The advantage is we’re not poisoning the lungs of our kids when we use green energy.”

Yes, by all means, we can all go along with not poisoning our children. But the question that needs to follow is: will wind and solar energy help us do that? Will McGuinty’s energy schemes reduce our dependence on coal-fired electricity? Mr. Duguid will dodge the question—but the answer is no.

Worse, he knows the answer is no. All one has to do is look to Europe, which has installed thousands of wind turbines and solar panels over the past two decades. Not one coalfired electricity generating plant has closed due to the introduction of these new generating sources. In fact, European nations are building 50 brand new coal-fired generating plants over the next decade. They are also scaling back wind energy development and the rich incentives required to erect it. Why does McGuinty expect a different outcome in Ontario?

Number one lie: XYZ wind farm will supply electricity for 5,000 homes.

The truth is that all the wind turbines in all the world can’t run a toaster, let alone a home, on their own. It is a lie that is repeated in virtually every news story on wind or solar development. Intermittent energy sources like wind and solar must be paired with a fossil fuel generating plant to produce the steady and reliable stream of electricity your toaster needs to run properly.

The truth is wind energy, combined with a natural gasfired generation plant, might be able to supply electricity that you can use in your home—but you will never know how much was supplied by natural gas and how much came from wind. In most jurisdictions the gas plant runs full-time— burning fossil fuel—the unseen partner in the wind and solar fantasy.

However the cost of building and operating additional natural- gas fired plants needed to back up wind is never calculated in the billions we are spending on green energy. It would be cynical to call natural gas green energy.

Many will suggest it is a worthwhile gamble—that doing something is better than doing nothing. But this is a trap. Doing the wrong thing is worse. Much worse. For we are robbing ourselves of the dollars that should be invested in real energy research and development—not frittered away by making the investors in 2225054 Ontario Limited wealthy.

Worse still, we are propelling massive hikes in energy costs. This will have direct impact on low- and middleincome Ontarians. It will be yet another blow to manufacturers and processors—another reason to move jobs out of the province to low-cost jurisdictions. Smelters, miners, pulp and paper mills and auto manufacturers are all large consumers of electricity. As their margins get squeezed they get closer to putting their raw materials on a ship and processing them elsewhere—taking these jobs with them.

In desperation McGuinty is doubling down and digging our hole deeper. So far this year the province has spent on average a little over 3 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. Last week McGuinty offered to pay 2225054 Ontario and dozens of other such outfits 44.3 cents per kilowatt hour—14 times more than the going rate. Does this sound like a rational man? Perhaps it’s time we intervened.

rick@wellingtontimes.ca

15 thoughts on “The Gambler

  1. Misguided Green Energy Act is redundant…Fake Green Energy Act is redundant…When you are in a hole…STOP DIGGING….Guess that you can’t if you are delusional and addicted…

  2. OUST McGuinty NOW! This person is not thinking straight or he is an egotistical A type personality that will not listen to the facts. He will break Ontario and destroy more lives. We must intervene NOW!!!

    Please do not be afraid to ask him to step down. History will show that this leader is “Mad” and he must be stopped. For us to be complicit is criminal.

  3. i see the green people are rating these comments again. i hope they enjoy our new hydro rates. i am on a fixed income and my old age pension is not going up 30 percent like our electric rate.

  4. The limited partnership companies are a sure sign the risks are too high for a parent company. When things go wrong, and they know they will, the limited partnership company will be sucked dry and left to blow in the wind. Imagine the junk left littering the land and waters, nothing different than an abandoned grain elevator or old warehouse only visible for miles, when companies take the money and run. The turbines are not expected to last the 20 years, in fact little money can be made with power production alone as maitenance costs are high and get higher with turbine age. Once a turbine stops making money that is it. Salvage a few parts to keep the others going a bit longer. The turbine ghosts that exist in other parts of the world is just small picture of our future if we don’t show we are better than that.

  5. We don’t “ASK” McGuinty to step down now………we “DEMAND” his resignation and on top of that we must call for a Public Inquiry to investigate what and who has influenced this man and his cabinet to put this Green Energy plan into motion!

    When we use the old “adage: There’s something rotten in Denmark”, well I would suggest that rot has “weaseled” it’s way into Queen’s Park!

  6. I agree…

    Why hasn’t there been a non-confidence motion or something to that effect? Are our ministers that scared of his BULLY tactics?

    You’d be better off using all that farm land to grow trees to eat away at CO2 emissions.

  7. OK Quixote, NEW SIGN:

    SAVE ONTARIO NOW!

    NON GREEN – NON CONFIDENCE

    PREMIER DALTON McGUINTY

    STEP DOWN NOW

    THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO

    DEMAND

    A PUBLIC INQUIRY

    $

    FOLLOW THE GREEN

    $

  8. @ Mike Colussi: they’re called trolls and they’re being paid for the job, trying to “beat us back into submission”:

    “The mainstream media, once tasked with the job of investigating government corruption and keeping elitists in line, has now become nothing more than a PR firm for corrupt officials and their Globalist handlers.

    Because the MSM’s bag of tricks has been so exhausted over such a long period of time, many bitter and enraged consumers of information are now turning to alternative news sources, most of which exist on the collective commons we call the internet. At first, it appears, the government and elitists ignored the web as a kind of novelty, or just another mechanism they could exploit in spreading disinformation. As we all now well know, they dropped the ball, and the internet has become the most powerful tool for truth history has ever seen.

    That being said, they are now expending incredible resources in order to catch up to their mistake, utilizing every trick in their arsenal to beat web users back into submission. While the anonymity of the internet allows for a certain immunity against many of Saul Alinsky’s manipulative tactics, it also allows governments to attack those trying to spread the truth covertly. In the world of web news, we call these people “disinfo trolls.” Trolls are now being openly employed by governments in countries like the U.S.”

    For further information on this topic: http://truthmovement.com/index.php?s=energy

  9. “Trolls” is a rather mild word for these disgusting anti-social misfits!

    I would rather describe them as a “Virus” in the human condition and must be vilified by all honest and hard working people!

    They have no place in OUR society and are the biggest threat to our future generations of children……….they are greed merchants and purveyors of hatred, innuendo and should be categorized as “bottom feeding lepers” that need a one way ticket to Copenhagen so they can hang around with their “like minded morally bankrupt Lizards”………….now I’m going to wash up!

  10. I am ignoring the thumb up and thumbs down.. It has become a silly game..

    This Wellington Times article is something I am going to save..
    Very important.. Wonderful thing to read..

  11. AAW: A great link that anyone who wants to keep industrial wind turbines off the landscape should review. Recognizing some of the tools used by industrial wind companies with their anti-rural policies provides an understanding to what they are doing over and over again. The wind industry is attempting to create a great illusion that cannot be sustained, therefore the great rush to get in and out. The shallow and greedy political parties are providing support and ignoring the real impacts to the people of Ontario. Worldwide the approach of a wind company getting into a community is consistent. Too consistent.

  12. Jackie: The silly game is part of the game. Don’t stop voting. Illusion of support creates an advantage no matter how small it may seem. It doesn’t mean to put a lot of effort, just don’t stop voting as long as the thumbs are available. The thumbs down should be considered a big win as somone is wasting their efforts in an attempt to distract. This site is an amazing site staying true to truth. The site has the advantage of support. That is not an illusion.

  13. Jackie – I am in complete accord with you – Rick Conroy’s Wellington Times editorial is brilliant and something that I will, also save.

    Zen – you are also right-on! There is a game going on. The more the opposition is diverted into playing their thumbs down game, the more it bolsters their opponents. I like to see how much time and effort is spent on this as I strongly believe that this is an indicator of our strength!!!

  14. This is a great site… and or blog..

    Very important to me.. I wonder if the thumbs downers want to post and are not approved.. but then we would have an argument that would confuse and divert..

    Information is what is needed.. especially for those that are isolated..
    The Wellington Times is the only paper in the County that has an opinion.. The Bellville paper loves green IMO.
    The other County papers are not worth the read except for letters to the editor..

  15. The Picton Gazette seems to be fairly balanced in their reporting but the editorial content of the Wellington Times is certainly considerably superior to that of any other local PEC newspaper.

    Rick Conroy is a thoughtful and talented editor who speaks for a large percentage of his community – very much the model of a fine, small-town newspaperman.

    The Gazette is pretty typical of average small town newspapers – simple and acceptable reporting of the local goings-on.

    I cannot imagine what ties the County Weekly News has to the Industrial Wind Developers in this area. Hopefully it was something special with Skypower….

    The CWN is a rag, the demise of which would be unlamented, by most. After all, this is the newspaper (hand in hand with the Belleville Intelligencer) that pushed an irresponsible agenda of pitting long-term residents of Prince Edward County against more recent settlers (using the IWT issue as a catalyst). It was a typical Wind Industry tactic of divide and conquer.

    This continued for a period of some months until the good nature and intelligence of people (on both sides of the issue) won out.

    In response to this inciteful behaviour, a number of local businesses delivered a well-deserved spanking to the CWN by immediately pulling their advertising.

    It is alright for starting the fire.

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