The case against the case against conventional energy

Ontario government knew early on that shutting the coal plants would not make a significant improvement in the air quality.  Despite having this information, they stifled the report and claimed otherwise.  

6 thoughts on “The case against the case against conventional energy

  1. Yup…

    Confuse a Liberal -use facts and logic!

    Everything we already knew to be true and factual
    brought together in one place – again.

    I bet you won’t see this on the 6 O’clock news!
    Until such time as reports like this one become
    commonplace in the mass media, the ignorant will
    continue to have their pockets unwittingly picked.

    I for one am past weary of the thievery because of the uninformed.

    Sean Holt.

  2. It is very important for people to realize what Ross McKitrick is saying in this presentation. The following quote is his explanation of the charts, especially the DSS cost benefit analyses of 2003 and 2005.
    ”There was more to my presentation than simply showing that our thermal plants are dwarfed by the presence of the US northeast power industry, although that is an important point for Ontario to understand. The Ontario government received figures years ago showing that closing our 2 plants would have little effect on our air quality, and if the current facilities were replaced with gas-fired plants the changes would be even smaller. So their claim that replacing our thermal power plants with gas or other alternatives will yield large improvements to health is simply not credible. As I explained in my remarks, at the time the report was generated the government forbade its dissemination and was actively making claims contradicted by the study.

    Another reason that the health argument fails is that there has been so much progress to date on pollution control technology (in both countries) that the levels of many common air contaminants on most days in Ontario is approaching zero, even with our existing power generating system. I showed people how they can look up the government’s real time air pollution monitoring data across the province and see for themselves. People are continually told that air pollution levels are rising and pose a health risk. But the reality is our air pollution levels have fallen to very low levels by historical standards. The consulting reports that government agencies have used to claim thousands of people die or get sick from air pollution use statistical models with cherry-picked coefficients that yield reliably high morbidity and mortality rates from our current low air contaminant levels. The simplest way to show they can’t be correct is to feed in pollution levels from the 70s and 60s, and watch as they start predicting more deaths from air pollution than there were deaths from all causes.

    With regard to subsidies, I do not defend or advocate subsidies for fossil energy either. Even if those sectors used to be subsidized, the reality is they are profitable now and don’t need any support to operate. If wind and solar will soon be profitable then let’s wait. But if they only exist because of subsidies, mandates and feed-in tariffs then they are a drain on the economy and cannot be a source of growth. I was addressing the claim that these sectors will create jobs and growth. That cannot be true as long as they are dependent on handouts or artificial pricing. Even taking into account the costs of emission controls and GHG offsets we would not opt for wind and solar at current relative prices.”

    If the McGuinty government had acknowledged the orginal 2003 cost/benefit analysis, how many billions of dollars would have been saved or directed towards scrubbers on the coal plants and a new nuclear reactor? How many manufacturers would have remained in Ontario for the affordable and reliable power supply? How many people would still have their jobs? The consequences of this decision in lives and health ruined, birds killed and property value lost is almost beyond comprehension.

    This issue demands further investigation.

  3. Lynne:

    “If wind and solar will soon be profitable then let’s wait.”

    Even if industrial wind turbines could be profitable without subsidies, they produce such useless, intermittent, disruptive power in addition to a whole host of other problems; there really is no factual argument that can be made for their existence.

    You must understand, they have no redeeming qualities of any kind at any price.

    Sean Holt.

  4. Wind and solar produce such a low quality power they could never be profitable if competing with reliable generation sources. No exceptions. Without regulations giving them first rights to the grid they could not sell their power as wind is an unpredictable, volatile and sporadic source of power. No one knows how much could be available to sell minute to minute. Solar limitations are more to do with how expensive it is. Just check the subsidies it needs. Solar is not very productive and cannot be depended on for any particular day in the future. Europe has the only night time producing solar panels we know of. Oh, right, those were diesel generators being used to put “solar power” on the grid for “solar power prices”. Someone just forgot to turn off the generators at sunset. Really how does one know wind or solar power is really wind or solar power? Just who are we trusting in all of this and why should we?

  5. Sean, I’m not sure that you picked up on the significance of this article. The entire wind and solar program was forced on the province because McGuinty claimed it was necessary to close the coal plants due to the emissions causing illness. However, Ross McKitrick’s presentation indicates that the Liberal government had this 2003 report that did not support that statement.

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