What went wrong with Ontario’s energy policy?

Download: What Went Wrong with Ontario’s Energy Policy?

Excerpt: 

By referring to the economic experience of those European countries that have vigorously promoted wind energy over the last two decades, this report demonstrates that the decisions of the Ontario Government did not take into consideration the actual reality of introducing large scale industrial wind energy onto the grid. In fact, the government’s enthusiastic claim to embrace cheap, “clean”, environmentally benign electricity at the same time as diminishing CO2 emissions appears to have ignored much of the information that was available to them, leaving an energy policy based on little more than a leap of faith.

The question remains as to the origin of this piece of prodigious insanity, in which all rules of logic and principles of economics were turned upside down.

 Was it the result of undue influence from aggressive industry lobbyists who have taken pains to overlook critical practical considerations associated with grid stability and real cost?

 Was it a failure of provincial decision makers to exercise due diligence by investigating all the relevant studies pertinent to the issue before encouraging large scale developments?

 Was it the result of a domineering and overly-zealous minister who had no previous experience with the complexities of electricity generation (and who has since quit before completing his term)?

 Was it the consequence of unprecedented pressure of a small group of government and industry-funded “environmentalist” NGOs who had no trouble winning the inexperienced minister over to their agenda?

Or is there something more sinister involved such as the inappropriate influence of multinational corporations in government decision making?

The answers to these questions will have to come from the provincial Auditor General and from a public inquiry. What is amply evident at this point however, is that neither the Premier, nor his Ministers of Energy and Infrastructure, Environment, or Natural Resources carried out meaningful consultations with the electorate. Nor did they appear to listen to, comprehend, fully investigate, and accommodate the concerns of the hundreds of people who responded to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry process, who participated in good faith in the “workshops” held by various ministries, or who presented (or tried to present) information to the Standing Committee on Government Affairs when it was reviewing the Green Energy Act. Many allegations of failure of process are already being investigated by the provincial Ombudsman.

 We leave the last word to Professor Trebilcock:

 “Before mortgaging its long-term future by awarding hundreds more 20-year fixed-price contracts to wind developers, the province of Ontario urgently needs an independent, objective, expert investigation, . . .  by the Auditor-General, of the prospective economic, environmental and employment effects of wind power and other renewable energy policies in the province”.

“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” 

11 thoughts on “What went wrong with Ontario’s energy policy?

  1. This report should be printed out and carried to every meeting from here on so that Windies and Politicians can’t get away with any more BS statements that are actually very insulting to an educated person!

    YES, Ontarians were educated in a school and should not be treated like third world “peasants”.

    Time for answers McGuinty and all!……….”The Truth will Out You!”

  2. I have sent this on to everyone I know. Even my Lawyer and MP of Simcoe North, Mr. Bruce Stanton. I agree that this paper should be handed out at every meeting and stuffed in every mailbox in your area. Every Editor of every small town newspaper and of course I trust that Lorrie has sent it to Mr. GOLDHAWK! fightback@740am

    You know, Staples will copy these out for you by the hundred and even have their printing machine staple them together at the same time for 1 cent per copy extra!

    Please bring copies to Queen’s Park to hand out to anyone with a temperature of 98.6

    I will even volunteer to drop a few hundred from the balcony to the floor of the legislative assembly.

    Don’t bail me out of jail, we need the press. And I need a rest !

  3. Great work. Progress is being made at different angles. Industrial wind turbines have no place in Ontario.

  4. I appreciate this website. I see that “windconcernsontario.wordpress.com” is presenting a valuable counter thesis to Ontario government policy.
    You are not doing this as an academic exercise, obviously. Would I be correct if I understood your group to be a type of lobby group?

  5. I know and love so many of the areas you represent such as Chatham-Kent, Essex, Lanark, Ottawa, Oxford, Renfrew, Simcoe, Wellington and so on.

    Please tell me how in the world did all these wind farm and wind turbine projects – along with their intended sites – come into being. In other words when, how and why?

    I will examine the windconcernsontario site as well.
    Thank you.

  6. Judith,

    In response to your second post. It started about 4-5 years ago. The wind companies clandestinely went around to farmers in the rural areas of Ontario and, after a brief sales pitch, many signed up for “option” agreements. Many without consulting their lawyers. To see what a mess that created read the “Leases” tab.

    The public was totally unaware this was happening because the farmers were told to keep everything confidential.

    When the generous Standard Offer Contract was offered by the McGuinty government (with no guidelines or regulations in place) suddenly all these wind projects were announced and we found out just how much land had been leased. Skypower alone leased 6 milliion acres in Canada….

    http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/skypower-to-sell-off-land-rights-to-6-million-acres-of-land-in-canada/

    So….then people started to speak out and complain. These turbines were being sited as close as 250 m from people’s homes. People were being forced to move out from their homes. In Melancthon 6 families were bought out by the wind companies. Every single request for environmental assessment was denied. It became apparent, the MOE and MNR were approving anything and everything with only biased, flimsy “reviews” done by the developer for rationale.

    So…more people started complaining. McGuinty decided to lay down the hammer and shut the public and municipalities up by shoving through the “Green Energy Act” which strips away power from local government and take away all avenues for appeal.

    Now, they are truly out of control. Huge offshore projects planned in the Great Lakes and almost every rural community being invaded by developers. These subsidies are so generous that it seems to have brought out the sleaziest of the sleazy in fly-by-night “green” companies.

    And…so here we are.

  7. Ok. Thank you so much for taking the time to apprise me of the situation. I recognize the pattern. It is deplorable and certainly not democratic.

    I will do some more homework around the issues and see what I can do to contribute to your work or rather our work.

    My daughter and her husband live in Ottawa and I can come to Ontario at any time I need to.

    Thank you once again. Bye the way I am studying E-journalism (I think I mentioned this in another context namely my student blog site).

    The skills will come in handy.
    Judith

  8. Welcome aboard Judith, we need good people to keep spreading the truth. So many people have been “GREENWASHED”

    The government uses our taxes to hire P R people to keep the Greenwashing going..

    Many people have had to walk away from their homes. Many people are trying to hang on but are suffering headaches and months and months of sleeplessness. Kids crying all night with ear aches and dogs howling from Infrasound.

    Some farmers have lost their cattle to stray voltage that makes them very sick then they die!

    Together we can help stop this madness.

  9. The hardest part to realize is in the midst of the destroyed agricultural land, wrecked viewscapes, lost homes, health problems, lost wildlife habitat and lost wildlife associated with industrial wind turbines and their complex dependency on existing electricity is that no electricity gains are nor will be realized within Ontario. The insult to top it off is we will pay more for the electricity we would have gotten if industrial wind turbines did not exist. The green title is an illusion.

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