McGuinty’s pricey green dreams

National Post Editorial

For years, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has been pushing “green” energy alternatives. Only now are we learning how expensive the Premier’s green dreams have become.

On Tuesday, the government’s own Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress (TFC) released a study of Mr. McGuinty’s Green Energy Act. It shows that the Ontario Liberals have grossly underestimated the Act’s cost to electricity consumers and overestimated the net number of new jobs created by the hoped-for switch from carbon energy to wind, solar, hydro and biofuel.

While the switch to green energy may produce 50,000 new jobs, the higher energy prices the Act will provoke could kill that many (or more) jobs in existing energy-intensive industries such as manufacturing and agriculture. The TFC also noted an analysis by London Economics International, a global consultancy that estimates the Act’s cost at between $247 and $631 in higher electric bills per household per year.

The Liberals last week moved to offset some of the higher costs by announcing a 10% rebate on hydro bills. But as the TFC report this week points out, that savings will be quickly gobbled up by bills that will rise between 6.7% and 8.0% every year for at least the next five years.

The reason for all these higher costs is the fact that markets for green energy simply do not exist if governments don’t force them into being. If governments, such as Ontario’s, don’t overcharge for carbon energy and use the excess to subsidize alternate energies heavily, green energy makes no economic sense. And no amount of good intention or government wishing can make it otherwise.

9 thoughts on “McGuinty’s pricey green dreams

  1. Does this news surprise anyone at all.
    Just like the Seven dwarfs of big tobacco swearing under oath they didn’t believe nicotine was addictive all the time adding chemicals to speed addiction to tobacco I wonder which dwarf McGuinty is.
    Dopey, Grumpy, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy or Sleepy. Or maybe that more accurately describes his electorate.

  2. Clean air and water are staples of life, as should be the type of energy to be used, to get us to our jobs, as well the energy to be used to keep us warm.

    When we can’t afford the energy to be used to get us to work and to keep us warm, then we have a problem. Keep these two sectors affordable then the economy keeps on functioning.

    It was the costs for higher fuel that brought North America to it’s knees over the last couple of years. The auto industry is so connected to the price of oil, that things got to the point, cars and trucks were fast becoming unaffordable, automotive manufactures where going to have to call it quits because people could not afford to drive what they produced and or bought?

    The governments have not been able to figure this one out as of yet. The next round of recession, added to the problem when it comes, will be even higher costs for fuel, as well, will be the higher costs of electricity, this my friends will bring us to our knees within the next couple of years. The governments will bail out what they can, the North American continent will suffer, however big business will continue to suck us dry.

    The next recession will take years to recover from; Ontario just managed to get by last recession however McGuinty’s government will not allow similar circumstances to take place.

    As with all energy used, the consumer absorbs all manufacturing costs, what type of living do we have to look forward to before the government realizes what BIG BUSINESS is doing?

  3. I have a real problem with the TFC analysis in coming out strongly and then backpedaling. This editorial builds on the TFC report and comes out on the strongest points in the area of economics. However, can someone explain the meaning of, ‘If governments such as Ontario’s don’t overcharge for carbon energy to subsidize alternate energies …”

    My question is: What carbon energies? This seems like an oxymoron, since industry is leaving Ontario. Who will be left to pay the carbon tax? Will the carbon tax be charged on the gas and coal fired plants needed to power energy requirements when the wind does not blow? Thus the carbon tax charged to one energy supplier will support the other energy supplier?

    Or, will the government hire a host of inspectors to monitor the carbon emission from each household and exhaled breath of each person to measure these carbon emissions in order to tax same and subsidies renewable energies?

    Truly we are on the path of the yellow brick road into absurdity.

    Why can’t even editorial writers just stick to the facts: Wind enery makes no economic sense and cannot be retionalized.

  4. Yesterday’s green energy plans announced by the Ontario government were about reassuring wind & solar investors that indeed the government intends to move foreward with these planned projects. Otherwise investors will begin to see Ontario as a shaky place to invest in.

    If the green energy investment situation in Ontario looks shaky then investors will pull their money out and wind & solar projects will be dead.

  5. Actually, in point of irrefutable scientific fact, industrial green energy makes no sense
    AT ALL, economic or otherwise.

    I had the misfortune of hearing, Ontario’s NDP leader Andrea Horwath on the radio this morning waxing on about how “dirty” nuclear energy is and how science doesn’t know what to do with all that spent fuel.

    Uh. Andrea, science has known what to do about it since 1946, and this was proven beyond shadow of ANY doubt reasonable or otherwise, by a CANADIAN physicist , Dr. Charles Till between 1984 and 1995! Just Google his name!

    Which gets me back to point number 1…

    Energy density…

    Per unit volume, uranium contains 1 million times more energy then coal if used in Fast Breeder Reactors. The spent nuclear fuel the ignorant like Andrea love to hate, can still supply almost 100 TIMES MORE ENERGY then has already been extracted from it. Biofuels on the other hand, wood and agricultural wastes, that Ontario is foolishly using to replace coal at some if not all of her coal plants, contains about 30% the energy density of coal. As for wind and solar, the comparative energy densities of these technologies is so low it is asinine to even consider them as industrial energy sources.

    In view of what is factual, the embrace by the ignorant of industrial green energy is tantamount to criminal!

    What is even MORE criminal is the waste of resources and possible harm to this planet from the absolutely unnecessary production of fiendishly toxic and radioactive spent nuclear fuel!

    There actually IS a right way to generate inexhaustible oodles of pollution free electricity and science has known how to do this now for almost as long as I have been alive!

    I’m 48.

    Hopefully, before fate or circumstance extinguishes my candle, intelligence will prevail.

    However, past experience and current events do not provide much hope…


  6. Andrea Horwath should not be allowed to speak publicly on anything related to Energy Policy or it’s future. She is one of the signators of Bill 150, The Green Energy Act that is rapidly DESTROYING our very way of life in Ontario.

    How DARE she even open her mouth!

  7. Well said Quixote. She has no real plan and cares not about anyone who has had their health affected by her actions.

  8. Well said David!

    I may not agree with what you say but I WILL fight to the death for your right to say it!

    If even our speech cannot be free, what value does human life hold?

    I’m sure I’m paraphrasing somebody, I have no idea who.

    Nevertheless, these are opinions I share.


  9. Speaking freely was exactly what Duguid did during an “interview” with Sudbury CBC’s Markus Schwabe the day AFTER the TFC report came out. Wouldn’t you think that there was a great opportunity to question the Energy Minister’s Liberal use of numbers?

    Not an awkward moment, not an incisive comment on the propaganda being delivered!

    The state broadcaster has a lot to answer for here. Complete ignorance of the subject is just not acceptable.

    Completely ignoring the plight of the rural population is blatant discrimination.

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