There’s always a catch

When that deal was criticized as ‘blood money’ and after the Tribunal gave it the go-ahead to construct the project, the developer withdrew its offer. It has left the door open for some money to go to the County—but it will set the terms and the amount.

It is that kind of agreement.

The Wellington Times
“Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing,” wailed the old woman.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Yossarian shouted in bewilderment.

catch22Joseph Heller set Catch-22 on a dusty Mediterranean island during World War II, presenting both a tragic and funny window into the bureaucratic absurdity of war. It describes equally well, I think, the madness of the Green Energy Act (GEAin Ontario in 2016.

Consider this. A developer wants to build a large industrial installation in a pastoral rural area. It knows before it is built how much profit it will generate. It has a contract from the province of Ontario to sell every kilowatt of power it generates—whether it is needed or not. (It’s not.) Whether or not the province will have to dispose of these excess kilowatts at its cost. (It will.)

The developer is set. It has no competitors. No market risk. All it needs to do is get its turbines up, plug them in and generate money. Lots of it. With the single-minded determination of a lamprey, it seeks only to latch onto the province and gorge itself for the next 20 years.

But it has to get those turbines up. Read article

24 thoughts on “There’s always a catch

  1. The Kingston area has had great support for renewable energy projects. Now it’s time to pay the piper.

    Renewable energy developers and investors are not in this game fro 20 years. Get the projects done sell out and move on to more projects.

    The local yokels backing this just got taken in.

  2. Has there been anything like this before in this province?
    Have citizens been treated this poorly by any other government?

    Does anyone have a report on how the Judicial Review of the Green Energy Act is going?

  3. FYI

    EcoWatch, April, 6, 2016

    ‘7-Year-Old Files Climate Change Lawsuit with Supreme Court of Pakistan’

    Scroll down:

    Youth legal movement includes Canada.

    Roger Cox, attorney for URGANDA, is a Sr. Fellow at the CIGI, Waterloo, ON. He was lead attorney for the “The Dutch Case” a climate change lawsuit in the Netherlands.

    One of the climate change lawsuits underway but not yet in Canada.

  4. A month or so ago, so many people thought that they’d won, that the White Pines project would not be built. And then, it was all — very simply — taken away — just like that! and now the losses are showing.

    Did the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County appeal the ERT’s [lunacy] on the grounds this project “is expected to result” in serious harm to people living nearby? Has that ship sailed already?

    What do the people of Prince Edward County Field Naturalists think of all this? Are they willing to describe their regrets, if any?

    • “Peter Mansbridge botched his interview with Marie Henein”

      The National host’s sit-down with Jian Ghomeshi’s lawyer wasn’t just a missed journalistic opportunity, it’s a symptom of a deeper rot.

      March 31, 2016 | Leah McLaren | Chatelaine

      ‘[excerpt] Is Marie Henein a traitor to her gender for taking on — and winning — the sexual assault case of Jian Ghomeshi?

      This is a rhetorical question and a silly one at that. […] the fact that women lawyers defend accused rapists is hardly earth-shattering news. And yet this fact seemed to astonish our country’s highest profile news anchor Peter Mansbridge […]

      So surprising was the revelation that Henein — a person with a uterus and real woman-type feelings — might take on a case like Ghomeshi’s, that Mansbridge chose it as the main thrust of his exclusive interview that aired on The National earlier this week. He didn’t just ask the question, he stuck to it as the throughline of his interview and would not be shaken from it, not even when Henein, a woman who does not suffer fools, pointed out that it was ludicrous. She didn’t actually lean forward [and] say “Peter sweetheart, you are embarrassing yourself,” but she might as well have. When Mansbridge began reading out random tweets accusing Henein of betraying her sex she couldn’t suppress a laugh. “To get my reaction?” she asked incredulously.
      Henein is a powerhouse of the highest order, a woman of significant rhetorical and intellectual gifts and a dazzling advocate whose talent for eviscerating her opponents in court has earned her comparisons to Hannibal Lecter. And after all that, the main thing Mansbridge wanted to know, the thing he was burning to ask her, was whether she was bothered by a bunch of people using hashtags?

      I have interviewed Henein myself, for a magazine story I did several years ago on the Bryant case — similar to this one she only agreed to talk once the case had concluded in her favour. I found her to be funny, insightful and surprisingly unguarded. She had the easy candour that comes with unflappable confidence, by which I mean she seemed so effortlessly in control she wasn’t afraid of revealing something she shouldn’t, and thus could speak as freely as she liked.

      But Mansbridge didn’t even give her the chance. He appeared to be so out of Henein’s league intellectually, so incapable or unwilling to discuss the broader issues at stake, that she didn’t even bother to treat his facile line of questioning with the contempt it deserved. “I don’t feel the need to justify myself,” she said simply, flashing her glossy black and yellow manicure (a look known as “the Maleficent”).

      Mansbridge could have asked her any number of fascinating questions which, despite the 30-day deadline, Henein would have been able answer. He might have pressed her for further comment on critiques of how sexual assault cases are handled in the justice system. Or asked whether she thinks that justice is actually possible without an airing of the truth? And also to what degree the guilt or innocence of her clients matters to her, if at all? How does it feel to provide a rigorous defense — but only to those who can afford it? […]

      Instead, we get Mansbridge. A national treasure so deliriously insulated by his own privilege he let Rob Ford off the hook and then asked our newly elected Prime Minister if riding on a bus to work reminded him of going to summer camp.

      Despite his toothless interview style, Mansbridge is viewed within the CBC as a brilliant talent, the keeper of the public trust and the holiest of holy livestock. He is also a journalist renowned for controlling the parametres of his own image and interviews, particularly high profile ones. The Henein interview wasn’t just a missed journalistic opportunity, it’s a symptom of a deeper rot. In a case that was all about sexism and institutional smugness Mansbridge somehow managed to unwittingly reinforce both. And no one is left laughing, except perhaps Henein with her big brain unchallenged and Maleficent manicure intact.’

  5. University of Ottawa, March 23, 2016
    Faculty of Law – Common Law Section
    Group called Smart Prosperity

    ‘Smart Prosperity: Prof. Stewart Elgie Spearheads Launch of Influential New Cross-Sectoral Green Economy Initiative, joined by the Prime Minister’

    Smart Prosperity Leaders include:

    Dominic Barton, Ecofiscal Canada
    Stewart Elgie
    Phil Fontaine
    Greg Kiessling, Bullfrog Power
    John Lounds, Nature Conservancy Canada
    Ken Neumann, USW
    David Miller, WWF-Canada
    Rick Smith, Broadbent Institute
    Vicly Sharpe
    Ed Whittingham, Pembina Institute, Select article No.2 on the Crawl

    Same people and/or organizations over and over again.

  6. With the recent PANAMA PAPERS exposure , has anyone traced investments made by our MPPs including Wynne linking them to IWT projects.? Just wondering.

    • The SunEdison solar project at Nanticoke could be looked at?

      SunEdison is just about bankrupt so this would have been a bad choice to begin with?

  7. “In fact, only three per cent of Canadians reported paying a bribe in the last year, and mostly on the local level like “land services.”” …

    What rackets!

    “At least one Kincardine Councillor thinks it may be time to put the lid on spending for wind turbine noise studies.

    Laura Haight says the municipality has already done a study on acoustics in an area that will have turbines operating and another study is scheduled now that the turbines are operational.

    Haight says it’s likely there will be more infrasound in the “after” study but it means nothing to the province.

    She says the Ministry of Environment doesn’t consider infrasound in its approval process, so she questions why they should spend money to prove the issue.

    Haight says with the municipality facing myriad capital projects and an infrastructure deficit, she wants to know when the turbine studies will come to an end.

    The issue came up after Central Grey Bruce Wind Concerns Ontario spokesperson, Rachel Thompson, questioned the scientific criteria of a study done for Kincardine recently.
    Meanwhile, Council has given its support to a study [investigation] of health problems being done in Huron County on residents living close to turbines.”
    560 CFOS News, April 11, 2016


    ‘[excerpt] Once a darling of Wall Street and the green Left because of SunEdison’s portfolio of wind and solar projects, the company’s stock is now in free fall. Furthermore, two related companies that were spun off from SunEdison — TerraForm Global and TerraForm Power — also appear to be in financial distress. On March 30, Brian Wuebbels, the CEO of both TerraForm companies, resigned effective immediately. If all that weren’t enough, the company is also under investigation by both the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission about its finances and the disclosures it made to investors.

    Last summer, SunEdison’s shares were selling for more than $30 […] But by Friday afternoon, the company’s shares were trading for about 49 cents apiece, and Bloomberg writer Brian Eckhouse was reporting that the company was “teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.”

    Why is SunEdison on the verge of failure? […] Over a 19-month period it went on a $2.6 billion acquisition binge. It paid too much for the companies it bought and now it can’t pay back its creditors. SunEdison has twice delayed the release of its 2015 annual report and appears to be in technical default on at least $1.4 billion in loans and credit facilities.

    […] But the remarkable thing about SunEdison is how much cash it was able to get from state and federal taxpayers during its low-emissions trip to bankruptcy court.

    Before getting to the subsidies, a quick history. SunEdison was founded in 2003 by solar-energy promoter Jigar Shah, who is no longer an officer or board member at SunEdison. […] During his time at SunEdison, Shah helped the company grow through the implementation of 20-year power-purchase deals that assured investors and buyers of long-term electricity delivery from renewable-energy projects.

    […] According to Subsidy Tracker, SunEdison has garnered some $650 million in federal grants and tax credits. […]

    The biggest federal handouts — two of them totaling $200 million — were made in 2010 and 2011 to a subsidiary of SunEdison, First Wind, for the Milford Wind project in Utah. In addition to the federal subsidies, SunEdison got $30 million in subsidies from various state authorities, including $21 million from governmental entities in New York. On top of that, SunEdison also received $846 million in federal loans, loan guarantees, tax-exempt federal bonds, and federal insurance. The total government support for SunEdison comes out to $1.5 billion.

    That’s a figure worth considering, given that on Friday, the market capitalization of SunEdison — that is, the value of all of its outstanding stock — was about $176 million.”

    “SunEdison’s Subsidy-Fueled Collapse”
    National Review | Robert Bryce | 4 April 2016

    • “Grey Bruce medical officer has “an incomplete understanding” of health”
      Symptoms of a deeper rot

      ‘[excerpt] “People who are having health effects now I cannot say that (turbines) caused it. There’s no way I can do that. I may suspect it does but until you’ve got scientific studies you can’t actually prove it, says Doctor Lynn.’



      World Health Organization def’n of “health”:
      “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

      Ontario Health Protection & Promotion Act def’n of “health hazard”:
      ““health hazard” means,
      (a) a condition of a premises,
      (b) a substance, thing, plant or animal other than man, or
      (c) a solid, liquid, gas or combination of any of them,
      that has or that is likely to have an adverse effect on the health of any person”

  8. Proving Guilt or Innocence


    ‘[excerpt] The Flint water crisis became a criminal case Wednesday when two state regulators and a city employee were charged with official misconduct, evidence-tampering and other offences over the lead contamination that alarmed the country and brought cries of racism. […]

    For nearly 18 months, the poor, mostly black city of 100,000 used the Flint River for tap water as a way to save money — a decision made by a state-appointed emergency manager — while a new pipeline was under construction. But the water wasn’t treated to control corrosion. The result: Lead was released from aging pipes and fixtures as water flowed into homes and businesses.

    Gov. Rick Snyder didn’t acknowledge the problem until last fall, when tests revealed high levels of lead in children, in whom the heavy metal can cause low IQs and behavioural problems.

    ‘Someone has to pay’

    Michael Prysby, a former district engineer with the state Department of Environmental Quality, and Stephen Busch, a supervisor in the department’s drinking water office, were charged with misconduct, conspiracy, tampering with test results and misdemeanour violations of clean-water law. The felonies carry maximum penalties of four to five years in prison. […]

    “It’s a good first step, but it’s a small step,” Flint resident Melissa Mays said of the criminal charges. “These are lower-level people, and I want to know who was instructing them to do what they did. I think it’s important that we can see some form of accountability being laid out, but at the end of the day we still can’t drink or bathe in our water safely.”

    “Flint water crisis: Criminal charges laid against 2 state, 1 local official”
    The Associated Press | Apr 20, 2016


    ‘[excerpt] To Gary Fohr, though, the bottom line is that Ontario’s Green Energy Act favours wind proponents and places undue burden on neighbours and municipalities to prove the turbines are harmful.

    “In other industries, it is the opposite. The (medicinal) drug industry has to prove their product is safe. The auto industry has to prove their product is safe. In this instance, where is the proof that turbines are safe?” asked Fohr, leading the appeal for Grey Highlands Wind Concerns group. […]

    The province can halt a turbine project if there’s proof of harm to people or wildlife. […]

    But lawyer Andrea Huckins, representing the province, said sending this back to the director of environmental approvals — whose decision could then be appealable to the ERT, which then might lead to another appeal to the director or to the courts — would amount to an absurd “circular process.”

    “Turbine opponents say onus should be on industry to prove safety”
    The London Free Press – Debora Van Brenk – April 20, 2016

    • Re: Flint

      These are the kinds of things that happen when communities lose their tax base. Flint devastated by loss of auto industry.

      Windsor has highest unemployment rate. Only one auto company left.

      Detroit a ghost town.

      If and when industries are chased out of other places in Ontario by bad government policies and environmentalists there will be more ghost towns.

      Maybe then Golden Horseshoe residents won’t be so smug and think this can’t happen to me.

    • U.S. House of Representatives, Aug.10, 2012

      “A Dismissal of Safety, Choice, and Cost: The Obama Administration’s New Auto Regulations’. A 46 page report which goes back to 2008/09.

      Scroll down to p.6, Aspen Discussions Oct.2008:

      Took place at the Aspen Institute, Washington , D.C.

      Auto makers
      The National Resources Defense Council
      Sierra Club, U.S.
      Union of concerned Scientists

      Also on p.6, Mary Nicholas, (CARB) California Air Resources Board.

      Mary Nicholas has played a role in the Ontario – Quebec-California
      cap-and-trade signed last year/2015.

      More online regarding May Nicholas and Gov. Brown of California.

      U.S. House Auto report delves into to what happened beginning with the auto industry financial crisis of 2009 and on.

      CAFE standards for auto makers are set in the U.S. and not in Canada.

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