Toronto Sun Editorial: We pay for McGuinty’s green blunders

Toronto Sun
Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter’s 33-page assessment of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s renewable energy initiatives, released last week as part of his annual report, is an infuriating read. Despite its low-key language, it describes a government that blundered into green energy generation without knowing what it was doing and made hugely expensive mistakes that will cost Ontarians billions of dollars for decades to come.

A government that failed to do the necessary preparation, business planning and internal auditing in order to understand the cost implications of renewable energy in general, and specifically what it was getting into with its massive (and untendered) deal for wind and solar power from Korea’s Samsung corporation.

A government that gutted normal review and regulatory processes in favour of arbitrary decision-making by the energy minister, often without consulting even the cabinet.

McCarter’s findings confirm the 50,000 new jobs over three years McGuinty promised via his 2009 Green Energy Act are a mirage.

He estimates 30,000 will last no more than three years and that given the experience of other jurisdictions world-wide, higher electricity prices and related downsizing caused by green energy initiatives will kill far more jobs than the legislation creates.

Each “green” job will cost the public up to several hundred thousand dollars in subsidies.

McCarter writes while the government originally claimed its renewable energy initiatives would add 1% a year to electricity bills, it now acknowledges an estimated 56% of an annual 7.9% increase in residential hydro bills over the next five years, will be due to spending on green energy.

He notes the Liberals’ “Feed-in Tariff” (FIT) program, offering renewable energy producers huge subsidies for 20 years, will add billions of dollars to the rates consumers pay for electricity, while the government ignored or was slow to implement savings suggested by its own agencies that could have reduced costs.

Because the Liberals are adding renewable energy at a time when Ontario has an energy surplus, McCarter estimates hydro consumers may have to pay renewable energy producers up to $225 million a year not to generate electricity.

In response to McCarter’s findings, the government argues it was determined to move quickly into renewable energy in order to replace Ontario’s reliance on polluting, coal-fired electricity generation (which McGuinty promised in 2003 to eliminate by 2007, now pushed back to 2014).

Beyond McCarter’s findings, the irony is given Ontario’s energy surplus — largely because our economy has been struggling for years — the Liberals could have crafted a coal-emission reduction plan using nuclear and natural gas-fired electricity generation, power it’s going to need anyway to back up wind and solar, since both are produced only intermittently.

The opposition parties — who control a majority of seats in the Legislature — must rein in the McGuinty government’s recklessness on this file.

Before it spends us into the poor house.

6 thoughts on “Toronto Sun Editorial: We pay for McGuinty’s green blunders

    • The UN knows how to use the small and the poor countries to accomplish their global agenda.

  1. The NDP is supporting the Liberals with their green agenda so are complicit in the damaging results! Their pre-election promises are no better than those of the “Fiberals”. On top of the costs piled on the consumers of electricity and the taxpayers of Ontario due to the Liberals fiscal practices, we are now faced with the results, weak as they are purported to be, of the following:
    ” The Durban talks made headway on agreeing the design of Green Climate Fund to channel up to $100-billion a year by 2020 to poorer nations, but achieved little on establishing where the money will come from to fill it.”
    Are we looking at carbon tax to pay for this?

  2. Here are a few more interesting items from Durban:
    The new rules force project developers to put five percent of the carbon credits earned in a reserve, to be awarded to them only after site monitors have proved that no carbon dioxide has leaked from the underground store 20 years after the end of the crediting period.
    One can just imagine a lot of people hired to breath carbon dioxide into the storage units to keep them full!
    Delegates agreed to consider private funding and market-based mechanisms as options to finance the program on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, paving the way for billions of dollars of private investment.
    The carbon market will be alive and well. And Goldman Sachs are rubbing their hands in anticipation!

  3. A ding-a-ling’s work is never done!

    I know I said this before — but not a lot of people believed…

    1) Total emissions from biodiesel are WORSE than emissions from fossil fuels, when considering both Direct and ILUC (Indirect Land Use Changes) Emissions.
    2) Natural gas is WORSE than that “filthy fuel” coal when considering the net warming effects due to leakage rates of methane associated with natural gas and the cooling effects associated with aerosols from burning of coal.
    3) Pure electric vehicles are WORSE than petroleum-burning hybrids, considering overall lifetime cost/benefits.

    So what do you do? Put up more wind turbines eh/ When has a Green Energy Freak ever been wrong?

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