MEDIA RELEASE FIT Protest
Please join us as we gather from all over Ontario for the 2nd annual FIT FORUM PROTEST
- Fed up with skyrocketing hydro bills?
- Sick of Ontario government scandals wasting our money?
- We’ve had enough of the wind turbine scam! Join us!
Why we’re marching on April 3
We’ll be in Toronto protest the Feed In Tariff (FIT) Forum going at the Toronto Conference Centre. It’s a convention that includes many wind turbine companies designed to lobby the government to build more wind turbines, pay higher rates for the electricity they produce and influence government energy policy for the benefit of foreign multinationals who now own Ontario’s wind turbines.
We’re coming from all over Ontario to tell Premier Wynne we’ve had enough of THE BIG GREEN LIE which is making our electricity prices skyrocket. We now pay more for hydro than all but two other places in North America!
High electricity prices are harmful to everyone—householders, businesses and manufacturers. They mean job losses and unemployment. Energy poverty affects families and children, seniors and students– everyone who is trying to make ends meet.
Government subsidies to wind energy producers are bankrupting our economy
Government support for wind turbines and Ontario Power Authority (OPA) handling of 20 year FIT contract prices for wind generation (double conventional electricity price) has resulted in a rapid increase in Ontario electricity prices to consumers.
- Electricity bills are rising 15% a year to pay for unrealistically generous payments to wind turbine operators.
- They will keep rising to pay for new hydro lines to bring the wind energy to the cities, new gas plants needed to back up wind energy, and eventually payments to keep the turbines from producing anything at all!
Why wind turbines are a huge scam
The Auditor General’s Annual Report 2011 says: we pay twice for wind energy. Once to the wind energy producers and once again to build and run inefficient fossil-fuelled back up 24/7 in case the wind drops.
But that’s only the beginning. The government-negotiated 20 year contracts guarantee payment whether we can use the electricity they produce or not. Unfortunately much of the wind is available at times when demand is low. Since there is no technology to store this volume of electricity, we have to sell it off to consumers outside Ontario (U.S.A.) at less than it cost us. A lose/lose situation for consumers and a win/win arrangement for the multinationals. Even worse: there are times when we have to pay other provinces and the USA to take the energy off our hands in order to maintain grid stability!
The IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) says we’ll soon be paying the wind companies $200 million a year to put the brakes on the turbines to keep the grid from crashing.
How wind energy produces more CO2
The government claims we need the wind turbines to shut down polluting coal. But wind energy can’t replace coal-fired electricity because it is unpredictable. That’s why they need gas-fired generation as back up. More wind turbines will require more gas plants. More gas plants, running inefficiently on standby mean more CO2 emissions. And when there’s too much wind, we are now shutting down emission free hydro and nuclear. This means we are paying three times for the wind produced electricity. Why would an Energy Minister make such a policy unless cronies had to be paid off?
Isn’t wind power “green”?
Despite the questionable CO2 savings, the government and the proponents claim there is a minimal environmental foot print for wind energy. But scientists are worried about the negative cumulative effect the turbines are already having on wildlife habitats, endangered species and migratory birds and bats.
Biologists warn that collision mortality rates for avian species are much higher than is being reported. They are also concerned about the Ministry of Natural Resources new policy to allow developers to “destroy the habitat of endangered species” such as the Meadowlark, the Bobolink, the Whip-poor-will and the Blanding’s Turtle—all species at risk. Using the language of Alice in Wonderland, the Ministry claims that destroying their habitat will be of “overall benefit to the species” because developers will reserve a few narrow strips of fields nearby in the hope that the birds might move. However, the new locations are usually inadequate and unsuitable. Once construction at a wind turbine site begins, all but the most common wildlife disappears. (Think of the weeks of pile driving, concrete trucks, miles of new access roads, and burying of underground cables). In fact, the latest MNR proposal for the Ostrander Point Alvar wind development will allow widespread removal of bushes and spraying with herbicides—on a very rare habitat containing at least three endangered plants!
Not long ago, the MNR even allowed an American developer to remove the nest of a pair of Bald Eagles, despite advice to the contrary from biologists and area naturalists. Many eagles and hawks are actually being cut in half – or left with a smashed wing, to stumble around for days before dying.
Do wind turbines harm people?
The adverse human health effect of living near a wind turbine has been denied by government and developers. They quote a study by the Chief Medical Officer of Health that says there is no direct link to the health problems many people near the turbines are suffering. That report was pronounced flawed by international medical professionals because it cherry picked its research and didn’t interview the people who are suffering.
Now the Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health, using more recent research, has found that that in all 18 of the observed peer reviewed studies of people living around industrial wind turbines, health issues of varying levels occurred in every situation. In 3 of the studies, they noted a dose response i.e. the closer to a turbine the greater the negative health occurrence.
Symptoms can be debilitating. Most widely experienced is the inability to sleep owing to continuous, inaudible low-frequency “pounding” generated by pressure waves from the turbines. People living nearby them describe a constant vibrating or pulsing sensation felt throughout their bodies but particularly in the head and chest when the turbines are operating. The only way to escape it is by leaving their home. Newly published research from the University of Surrey in England indicates that sleep deprivation radically alters more than 700 genes in the body responsible for repairing tissues and cells. When vital repair work during sleep fails, the body is left open to autoimmune disease or metabolic and stress disorders, the study says.
Government and developers have even denied there were any complaints but a Freedom of Information request has now revealed that In 2009, an MOE Provincial Officer reported that “Noise emissions from . . . wind turbines . . . are producing large numbers of complaints (dating back to March, 2006) and that “MOE Provincial Officers have attended at several of the complainant’s residences and have confirmed that . . . the noise emissions are in fact causing material discomfort to the residents in and around their homes” and that “an adverse effect is occurring and therefore a contravention of S.14 (1) EPA (Environmental Protection Act) is occurring”. He called for the turbines to be shut down overnight. However, his report was kept secret and ignored.
- We’re tired of the incompetence,
- the lack of respect, the dishonest replies to our questions,
- the cover-ups, the cronyism, the duplicity, the e-Health scandal, the Ornge scandal, the gas plant scandal and lies about its cost, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) scandal, delisting coverage of health care services, the HST on our hydro and fuel bills, the G20 summit scandal, the unacceptable legislation hidden in omnibus budget bills, the arrogance of ministers in ignoring correspondence from citizens– and all the rest!
Our message to Premier Wynne and Minister Chiarelli:
There is no rational basis for adding more wind generators to the Ontario electrical system: they will threaten grid stability, make electricity unaffordable, increase CO2 emissions and increase the harm already being done to citizens, communities, significant wildlife habitats and the Ontario economy.
For information on buses, speakers, interviews etc. please contact Lorrie at firstname.lastname@example.org