Unplug ‘green’ taxes, says Ontario Energy Association

Ontario ratepayer

by Jonathan Jenkins, Toronto Sun

The province should scrap sections in the Green Energy Act that allow the Ontario Energy Board to effectively levy environmentally friendly taxes, an industry lobby group says.

“The Green Energy Act has granted the minister of energy the ability to use the OEB as an instrument to collect new ‘green energy’ taxes. This is an inappropriate use of the OEB’s powers and should be repealed,” according to the Ontario Energy Association, that represents power producers, manufacturers and energy consultants.

“The OEB best serves the public interest as the independent regulator of the province’s electricity and natural gas sectors,” the association says in a report released Wednesday.

The Green Energy Act was passed in 2008 and establishes subsidies for solar, wind and biomass generation projects.

It also limited the ability of local governments to block such developments.

Overall the OEA supports the broad thrust of Ontario’s energy policy, including phasing out coal, renewing nuclear plants, and encouraging green generation.

But consumers are having a hard time understanding their bills and why the cost of electricity is rising so quickly, 10% to 20% last year and an estimated 3.5% annually for the next 20 years, the report says.

Backsliding on the commitment to make local opposition to energy development more difficult is also causing confusion and alarm for investors, it says, pointing in particular to the cancellation of a natural gas plant in Oakville.

“Energy developers and investors need to have confidence in the stability of the political and regulatory environment,” the report says.

“The cancellation of the western GTA gas plant is an example of the kind of decision-making that can deter potential investors.”

And the OEA would like to see the confusing thicket of agencies regulating the industry trimmed back.

“The mandates of the agencies require clarification because they were initially established in a much different context,” it says.

2 thoughts on “Unplug ‘green’ taxes, says Ontario Energy Association

  1. Quixote, we have about six months to decide on another government, and I understand the predicament Ontario will be facing because no matter what takes place in Ontario, we will be left with the fallout of eight years of poor governance. What would you suggest?

    Is it not our position and others like us, to continue to convince the opposition, that wind power is nothing more than a man made cancer.

  2. If we don’t represent ourselves, who will?
    I will stand up for what is right and help
    educate whoever I can, or at least give
    them enough to think about that they can
    do their own homework. We know we can
    not take any government’s word on any-
    thing and that they are very influenced
    by lobbyists and big money.
    I am entitled to have a say in the future
    of our province and our country. If
    enough of us do the same, they cannot
    easily dismiss us all as country hick
    NINBYs.

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