In a letter to you published on Jan. 5, Mr. Malcolm Hamilton admitted that he was a “windy”, a fact that he had previously chosen to hide. In that letter, he admitted to a preference for eating “our own dog food.” Having read these opening admissions in his letter, it is clear from his diatribe that he is barking up the wrong tree.
In an article published in the Flesherton Advance on Nov. 20, 2002, Mr. Hamilton is quoted as saying that his company is aiming at the “green energy” premium the federal government is willing to pay . . .” and that was before the McGuinty government in Ontario upped the ante by offering feed-in tariffs to profiteering energy pirates for so-called green energy up to 20 times what it costs for more traditional energy production. The Chinodin partners must be absolutely salivating at their Pavlovian food bowl.
Yet Mr. Hamilton wants us to believe his altruistic motive that he is doing this for his grandchildren. Unfortunately they won’t be able to afford his feigned largesse as anyone can see from the out-of-control increases in their electricity bills with much worse to come.
He claims that the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation has seen no relationship between declining property values and the presence of wind turbines. In fact, that corporation informed one of his partners that they had studied the issue but the study was not publicly available.
Further, a corporation spokesperson stated in respect of the Wolfe Island turbines that they couldn’t establish such an impact since there had been no property sales. And that doesn’t tell them something?
Also, in an article published in your newspaper on June 10, 2010, another of Mr. Hamilton’s partners suggested that, “perhaps developers might also consider indemnifying people against losses, such as a drop in property value, from the introduction of wind turbines.” Mr. Hamilton, why would your partner make this proposal if what you claim is right?
Mr. Hamilton states that wind turbines will not be abandoned. I have absolutely no confidence in such a claim when the Plateau Project proposed for Grey Highlands has flipped ownership at least four times and that even before it is built. This volatile chain of ownership causes major doubts over the responsibility and accountability of the owner, whoever that may be, 20 years from now. Surely recent experience has taught us something about corporate behaviour. But I guess Mr. Hamilton’s grandchildren can worry about that. I do not buy into his self-assured clairvoyance.
Wind turbines are not efficient. In fact, due to the variability of the wind, they produce in Ontario only 30% of their nameplate capacity, requiring more conventional duplicate capacity, such as gas-fired generation, to back them up. Thus we find natural gas producers and pipeline companies so keen on wind turbines. The more we become dependent on wind turbines the more we become dependent on natural gas generation. So the clean energy claim is just a myth and our carbon footprint is hardly affected. Furthermore, we cannot afford this extremely expensive duplication and still remain competitive in attracting and retaining industry.
While on this subject, we are told that all of this is being done to get rid of coal generation as if we are besieged by such plants. In fact there are only four such plants left in Ontario with two of them so small and inconsequential (Thunder Bay and Atikokan) that they hardly produce enough to run our tea kettles. The two that are significant (Nanticoke and Lambton) could, in view of the drastically reduced demand, easily be replaced by bringing all of our existing nuclear facilities on line. Furthermore, in a Ministry of the Environment study done in 2004 addressing the “Contribution of Electricity Generation to Air Quality Emissions in Ontario,” electricity generation was only a bit player in all four of the key smog pollutants measured. And that study included the Lakeview plant in Mississauga (since shut down and imploded due to obsolescence and not a “green” agenda) as well as the Lennox plant (that is not coal but bunker oil and natural gas fired). Transportation and/or industry were by far the main specific causes in all four key pollutants (miscellaneous sources accounted for 42% of volatile organic compounds and 39% of particulate matter).
Thus, shutting down coal-fired electricity generation in Ontario won’t even make a noticeable difference. This is just another case of a government creating a fictional crisis and then pretending to resolve it, all the while at great cost to the taxpayers and of great benefit to the friends of the government.
Finally, Mr. Hamilton challenged Mr. Thompson to suggest an alternative but then answered his own challenge. He stated that, “Ontario has a wonderful resource — hydro-electric power — plus tie-lines to an even more wonderful resource — Hydro Quebec.” These resources not only make extremely expensive and inefficient wind and solar power redundant, but they are available at a fraction of what we are now paying the wind and solar developers who are masquerading as self-appointed global saviours.
I’m not eating it Mr. Hamilton and neither should anyone else. You might enjoy your dog food but I prefer a more digestible and affordable diet.
Lawrence J. Close, Flesherton