‘Ontarians have never been this angry’: Poll respondents feel unprotected from power price increases

We will NOT be sientNational Post, Ashley Csanady
Half of Ontario voters feel unprotected from price increases in the electricity system, a new poll shows.

“Ontarians have never been this angry,” declares a presentation of the Innovative Research Group poll, to be revealed Wednesday afternoon at the Ontario Energy Association conference in Toronto. A draft of the presentation was shared with the National Post and the results of the 600-person poll show a growing distrust in the Ontario government’s handling of the energy file, in particular electricity prices.

The poll about provincial politics and energy rates was commissioned by the Ontario Energy Association — an industry group representing everything from gas to electricity companies — for its annual conference.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-9-34-30-amWhen asked if they feel “consumers are well-protected with respect to prices and the reliability and quality of electricity service in Ontario,” 50 per cent of respondents “strongly disagreed” — the highest rate of disatisfaction since the firm started asking the question in 2002. Another 20 per cent “somewhat disagreed” while just 19 per cent said they “somewhat” agreed and six per cent “strongly agreed.” Three per cent had no opinion and another two per cent didn’t know. Read article

Ontario’s new electricity policy: History repeats as farce

wynneThe Globe and Mail

Karl Marx said that history repeats: first as tragedy, then as farce. In Ontario, the history of failed energy policy repeats – first as farce, and then as more farce.

Premier Kathleen Wynne faces an election in a little over a year and a half, and one of the main issues dogging the Liberal government is the price of electricity. Thanks to policy choices that the government itself seems incapable of unwinding, electricity bills have been on an upward tear for a decade. Many voters are furious. And so the Wynne government devoted the heart of its Throne Speech this week to a plan to lower the price of electricity. Not the cost of electricity, however. Just the sticker price.

Taxpayers of Ontario, you will now be paying for more of your electricity through your taxes, or through future taxes funded by deficit financing, and less through your electricity bill. Yes, that’s the new plan. It looks a lot like the old plan.

Nearly six years ago, Ms. Wynne’s predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, was facing an election. He was, like the current premier, spooked by rapidly rising electricity prices. These spiking prices, note well, had been engineered by the Liberal government’s mishandled Green Energy policy. To win back voters, Mr. McGuinty decided to give consumers a break. The tool: the so-called Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which ran from the start of 2011 to the end of 2015.

The Clean Energy Benefit did not have anything to do with clean energy, and its benefits were illusory. All consumer hydro bills were awarded a government rebate worth 10 per cent – so the more electricity a customer used, the more they saved. This “benefit” for Ontario consumers was paid for by Ontario taxpayers. Yes, they’re the same people. Read article

Dutton-Dunwich referendum says “NO” to wind turbines. Provincial government says, “tough luck”, awards contract to wind developer

Proponents are required to show community engagement that includes local meetings. Municipalities may have interpreted the mandatory community “engagement” to require community “support” but that’s not the case; the applicant does have to show it notified people and met with some of them.

WYNNE NEGLECTBy Debora Van Brenk, John Miner, The London Free Press
Dutton-Dunwich was the one Ontario municipality that held a referendum on wind farms. Even though 84 per cent of residents opposed wind turbines, the Elgin County municipality that hugs Lake Erie learned Thursday it will end up with them anyway under a process the government promised would give local sentiments a priority. “We were totally ignored,” Dutton-Dunwich Mayor Cameron McWilliam said. “We live in the province of Toronto, not the province of Ontario.”

A new round of wind farm development announced Thursday awards a contract to Chicago-based Invenergy to build dozens of industrial turbines in Dutton-Dunwich. The municipality was the first in Ontario to hold a vote for residents on the issue and subsequently passed a resolution declaring itself an unwilling host for wind farm development. Another 89 Ontario municipalities also have passed the “not a willing host” resolution.

McWilliam said he was stunned Thursday when Dutton-Dunwich was on the list of new green energy projects. The Ontario government had repeatedly assured McWilliam and other rural leaders that the wishes of local residents would be respected in a new era of public consultation.

In testimony before a legislature committee in November 2013, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said municipalities wouldn’t be given a veto over projects but it would be “very rare indeed” for any to be approved without municipal backing. “It will be almost impossible for somebody to win one of those bidding processes without an engagement with the municipality,” Chiarelli said. Read article

Dear Mike Crawley (Liberal Wind Pusher for AIM PowerGen, IPC, GDF Suez, and now Northland Power)…

crawley

https://i1.wp.com/www.northlandpower.ca/Assets/Images/EmailLogo/NPi2010_Logo_1inch.jpg?resize=96%2C55From: Mike Crawley
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2016 10:18 AM
Subject: Mike Crawley – Contact information

As some of you may know, I joined Northland Power this past July.   Belatedly, attached and below please find my new contact information.  For those in the power sector, Northland Power (www.northlandpower.ca) is pursuing  wind, solar, pumped storage and thermal generation opportunities in Canada, Europe and Mexico.  We are also open to considering good opportunities in other jurisdictions that meet our investment criteria.

mike1Best regards,
Mike

Mike Crawley | Executive Vice President
Northland Power Inc.
d: 647 288 1066 | m: 416 554 8513


From: Ginny Stewart
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2016 3:05 PM
To: Mike Crawley
Subject: Re: Mike Crawley – Contact information

Hello Mike,

You cannot imagine how surprised I was to hear from you especially in light of the fact that you have not responded to any of my emails or complaints since the Plateau Wind Project went online in early 2012.

I would like to take this fortunate opportunity to bring you up to date on my current situation. I am very much aware that you will say there is little you can do from your new position at Northland Power, but I would like to bring to your attention how your investment opportunities are destroying the lives of people in all the jurisdictions which you target.

You might be interested to know that from April 17, 2012 through April 7, 2015 I filed nearly 70 complaints with the MOECC, copying Plateau Wind Inc. on many of them. I have incident numbers for each and every complaint. It is also my understanding that the obligation of the MOECC and the Owner/Operator of a Wind Generating facility are to report the complaints to each other. In order to keep a record of my complaints and their acknowledgement and because a record of my complaints was not available to me without a freedom of information request but ironically available to Plateau Wind Inc.,  I began to send my complaints electronically; the only acknowledgement of such to me by your company was one email in 2013 that my emails would be responded to through the Ministry of the Environment.

It is very time consuming, frustrating and degrading to continue to call the MOECC on a routine schedule and not receive any acknowledgement or mitigation for the insufferable agony that I, my family and my neighbours are subjected to regularly. I have however kept an ongoing journal with entries beginning February 24, 2012 through to today. At an ERT hearing in June of 2015 my witness statement boasted a 128 page summary of typed health related entries. That journal continues to date with barley a day going by without the affects of my nightly experiences, especially in the winter.

In September 2012 a presentation was made to The Grey/Bruce Medical Officer of Health and the Board of Directors. Fourteen Casualties submitted their experience by supplying a statement of their experiences. We were all looking for relief for symptoms that presented themselves after the commencement of the turbines in our area.

DestroyedHomeI remember how you came to my home on two occasions and tried to reassure me that there would not be a negative impact to my health, my property values, and that I would barely be able to see the turbines from my home. In fact you brought me an industry study on property values near IWTs that claimed that property values would in fact rise. You sent a photographer to photograph the view from our home and then superimpose the turbines so that I would be assured that they would not be invasive. How brilliantly you deceived me. The reality of massive 120 meter machines placed 1,400 meters to 3 kilometers from a home is drastically different from  photographs of benign looking “windmills” peeping over the tops of trees. Since the installation of your project, 7 families have moved away siting the IWTs as the reason. Some just walked away, others suffered a huge financial loss on the sale of their property.

So while you, Mike continue to meet your investment criteria, I hope that you will remember that it is because of the suffering of so many individuals; babies, children, young adults, middle aged people and the elderly that you reap your benefits. Eventually it will no longer benefit the “common good” because the critical mass will become too great.

Thank you for taking the time to become informed. I’m guessing that the last 4 years have just flown by for you while we suffer a slow agonizing existence.

Sincerely,

Virginia Stewart Love

Today, remember NextEra, and their Nest Terror

There is this thing that Facebook does: reposts a picture or comment from any number of years ago that was on your timeline, sporadically, and calls it a Memory. I believe you are supposed to cherish these posts and sigh with, “Time flies!” or “Isn’t that cute?!”

FBEagleNestThis morning the picture of the severed eagle nest was there and Facebook said: “Esther, we care about you and the memories you share here. We thought you’d like to look back on this post from 3 years ago.” Ahem. Well now. Some people have sweeter memories than others apparently. I should like all the cute little pictures scattered around the gruesome one of the crane and nest – kittens, flowers, children – awww! But I hate to tell ya FB, that so called ‘memory’ still feels like yesterday, and not in a good way.

The night before the eagle nest was cut, my dad was dutifully browsing the “Friday evening approvals” by the Ontario government (you know, when the reporters have all gone home for the weekend and no news story can be made until Monday, when the lead has lost most of its heat), and he saw this permit issued to NextEra Energy to destroy an active bald eagle nest. Really. He called me up. We didn’t believe it. Read and reread it. No… they wouldn’t do that. I mean, even when the government would unthinkably hand you a permit to commit an act like this, you wouldn’t go and cut a rare (only forty-eight nests in SW Ontario), massive nest, that was currently home to two eagles, down… would you?

Oh but then we had to think, “What Would NextEra Do?” Well yes, they would cold bloodedly do this, they had an access road that had be plowed through to three of their proposed wind turbines (yet to be built) – and this road demanded that these trees (including one with the nest) be cut in order for the project to proceed. They like words like ‘proceed’, as in “Proceed as Planned”. They wouldn’t want to disrupt a Plan for a silly little (or big) nest. Continue reading

Fixing a bad law: Green Energy Act

Law-Students-223x1024Wellington Times, Rick Conroy
The Green Energy Act (GEA) is the target of a proposed judicial review to be launched this fall. CCSAGE Naturally Green, a not-for-profit public interest corporation led by its directors Anne Dumbrille, Alison Walker and Garth Manning, believe the GEA is a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation. They argue the GEA tramples rights and freedoms, punishes rural Ontarians, contravenes statutes and conventions the province is bound to uphold, and, at its core, is fundamentally unjust.

One example: Currently, wind developer wpd Canada is appealing a decision, made under the provisions of the GEA, permitting it to build 27 of 29 industrial wind turbines it proposes in South Marysburgh. In making this appeal, the developer is allowed to make a wide range of arguments and present evidence in its favour. It will certainly argue that the decision will impair its ability to make money from the project. It may argue that the heritage value of the nearby properties has been overstated. It is likely to argue many things. Because it can.

Meanwhile, opponents of the project are permitted only to object on the basis that the project will cause serious harm to humans or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment.

The developer is granted unlimited scope to argue in favour of its profit, while residents are restricted to just two near-impossible tests. The province designed the GEA this way.

Alan Whiteley, a lawyer acting for CCSAGE, considers the GEA a fundamental assault on the rights, freedoms and statutes that have been constructed to protect citizens and the environment from this kind of overreach by government. It is something, he argues, we must all resist. Read article

Rural-urban divide blowing in the wind

wynne sarniaPeter Epp, London Free Press
Several factors contributed to Ontario’s rural-urban divide, but perhaps the greatest has been the Ontario Green Energy Act of 2009, which continues to exclusively target rural properties for wind turbines and, to a lesser extent, solar farms.

Since the legislation was rolled out five years ago, parts of rural Ontario have had its landscape altered and changed, probably for decades to come.

Yet what has contributed mostly to the ongoing rural-urban divide is people who live with wind turbines have had little to say about their development. They are almost all rural residents; those who live within urban centres have yet to be asked to be a neighbour to the towers. Read article

Tom Adams on OFA: Turkeys Voting for Thanksgiving

mccabeTom Adams Energy
Yesterday, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture membership elected Don McCabe as president. Mr. McCabe was one of the architects of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act, the main driver of the rampant price increases now hitting Ontario electricity consumers, including farmers.

In 2011, the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association awarded its Rural Community Power Leader Award to Mr. McCabe. The award recognized McCabe for the role he played in the Ontario Green Energy Act Alliance, the organizing body of the lobbyist campaign behind the creation of the Green Energy Act.

Here is an example of Mr. McCabe endorsing the Green Energy Act.

Here is an example of Mr. McCabe getting an earful from farmers and other rural folks who think McCabe’s advocacy for the Ontario Liberal government’s energy energy policies was a mistake. Read article

Wind power losing Wynne rural friends, opposition says

WynneKissToronto Sun, By Antonella Artuso
THORNTON, ONT. – While Premier Kathleen Wynne insists she represents “one Ontario,” opposition leaders say her stand on wind power has made her few friends outside of urban centres. Wynne acknowledged that not all the people lining the parade route at the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo on Tuesday were cheering for her as the Ontario Liberal float passed by spectators.

But the premier rejected the idea that she’s unwelcome in rural parts of the province after gaining a majority government largely on urban and suburban votes. “I can choose any street in Ontario and there will be people who love us and people who don’t love us,” Wynne said.

Interim PC Leader Jim Wilson accused Wynne of being “disingenuous when she fails to acknowledge that Liberals are at odds with rural residents. “They place their wind turbines in communities where they’re not wanted at prices Ontario families can’t afford,” he said, noting the government will allow eight, 150-metre turbines at Collingwood Airport despite local concerns. Read article

Horwath passes the buck on GEA

NDPPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
[Excerpt] The Friday morning event came on the heels of a meet-and-greet the night before at the Ups ‘N’ Downs pub downtown where she was greeted by anti-wind turbine protestors. A 92-turbine wind project is current under construction in Lambton County, and another 46-turbine project is awaiting provincial environmental approval. Both have led to protests by opponents of wind energy and the province’s Green Energy Act.

“We believe that the Liberals have made a mess of the green energy sector, as well,” Horwath said. “It’s a sad day in Ontario when we have families pitted against each other, when we have neighbours pitted against each other, when we have communities pitted against each other.”

Renewable energy is something most people believe is a good thing but the Liberals decided to shut down community participation, “ignore the voices of local residents and rammed through projects,” Horwath said. “That’s a wrong-headed way of doing things.”

She said the NDP believes there’s no need to call in international companies to get green energy up and running in Ontario. Instead, Horwath said she would encourage municipalities, farm co-ops and First Nations to develop projects that are scaled to their communities and benefit local residents. “It’s very divisive and, frankly, is a failure of the Liberals,” she said. Read article

Grits’ fixation on wind power is a losing game

How dreadful . . . to be caught up in a game and have no idea of the rules. — Caroline Stevermer

ontario-liberal-monopoly-game11Jim Merriam, London Free Press
Two games have taken on new meanings, thanks to opponents of the Ontario government’s fixation with wind power. First is the game of politics and second is the board game Monopoly.

A new game circulating via electronic media is called Ontario Liberal Monopoly. The game highlights the relationship between this power-hungry party and its various power flubs. Instead of jail, there’s an unemployment line for all those thrown out of work by the government’s destruction of the manufacturing sector. There’s also a wind victims’ safe house, presumably a place where all the folks can move after they’ve been driven from their farms by wind turbines that have caused serious health problems.

Permit me an aside. I recently exchanged correspondence with a dear friend who couldn’t understand how I could abandon the “Liberal family,” to which my clan has belonged since Ontario was nothing but unsettled bush. The answer: I could never support a party that condones big business delivering health problems to people and driving them off the land, for no good reason. I doubt most of my ancestors would have supported such reckless disregard for people either. Read article
See board game at Quixotes’ Last Stand

Grey Highlands looking at loophole in Green Energy Act

grey highlandsDon Crosby, The Sun Times
Grey Highlands is hoping to take advantage of a loophole in the Green Energy Act to enact a bylaw that would freeze the issuing of permits controlled by council, slowing down the placing of industrial wind turbines in the municipality.

Chief administrative officer Dan Best stressed the proposed bylaw doesn’t purport to stop industrial wind turbines, but delay them until it can be determined whether they cause health problems.

The bylaw has the support of Grey Highlands Renewable Energy Working Group, a grassroots organization that has been challenging wind energy projects in the municipality. Read article

Durham: Environmental Review Tribunal hearing only concerned about concrete bases of three turbines

democracy liberty freedomDon Crosby, The Sun Times
DURHAM – Frustration ran high during Tuesday’s preliminary hearing by the Environmental Review Tribunal into an appeal of the Ministry of Environment’s approval of the East Durham wind project. “We matter. We have the right to speak. Why are you bulldozing through . . .” said Glenelg Township resident Orah Randall in an impassioned plea to Robert Wright, vice-chair of the ERT, who conducted Tuesday’s hearing.

She urged Wright to exercise his discretion and give people who were turned down by the Ministry of the Environment status at the upcoming ERT hearing, set to begin next month. Randall was visibly frustrated that members of the community were being refused standing at the hearing because what they wanted to say didn’t fit into the narrow scope of the appeal launched by Leonard Van Den Bosch on Jan. 29, just days after the MOE approved the 23-megawatt East Durham wind project near Priceville.

In his appeal, Van Den Bosch claims that toxic chemicals contained in the concrete bases of three turbines next to his property will leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater that feeds the nearby Saugeen River. He’s asking for mitigating measures to protect the environment and the health of people who take their drinking water from the river. Read article

Wrong to assume

New environmentalismWellington Times, Rick Conroy
The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are wrong. Ontario Nature. Nature Canada. Both wrong. Dr. Robert McMurtry is wrong. The South Shore Conservancy is wrong. So too is the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. Alvar, bird, butterfly, turtle and bat experts are all wrong. The municipality of Prince Edward is wrong. As are the majority of County residents who believed Crown Land at Ostrander Point should be preserved—rather than industrialized for the profit of one corporation.

And now we have learned that Ontario’s own Environmental Review Tribunal is wrong. A Toronto court has said so. This ought to keep Premier Kathleen Wynne up at night.

The Tribunal’s Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs spent more than 40 days hearing evidence, challenging testimony and witnesses and weighing competing claims. They began their task in a snowstorm in February; and delivered their decision on a hot July day last summer. Wright and Gibbs visited Ostrander Point. They walked around. They saw, with their own eyes, what was at stake. Read article

Ontario PC’s re-affirm commitment to scrap Green Energy Act

(Queen’s Park)- Ontario PC MPPs Lisa MacLeod (Nepean-Carleton) and Lisa Thompson (Huron Bruce) offered the following statement on the PC Plan to scrap the Green Energy Act:

“Ontario PC Party under Tim Hudak maintains its commitment to scrap the Green Energy Act.

“That means we would remove subsidies on wind and solar, we would restore locally based decision making and we would implement a moratorium on developments until health and environmental impacts are assessed.   Continue reading

This is what the Green Energy Act invasion looks like in Ontario

South Kent Wind Samsung Pattern Chatham Kent

One solar panel can’t connect to grid, but over 100 wind turbines can…

CTV News
It was a $100,000 investment in a greener future, but four-years after Rita Van Geffen invested her retirement savings into a ground mount solar panel, she’s only now seeing a return and not the kind she was looking for.

In April 2010, Van Geffen invested in a solar panel, which has yet to be connected to the grid. “It’s doing absolutely nothing. I can’t get it connected,” she says. “I believed in green energy and I thought it was a good return on my money.” Read article

CTV solar

Thanks Kathleen, I’m Breathing Easier Now

mcwynnetyChris Cooke, First Monday
So, here is how this works. The huge scrubber worth about a billion dollars towers over the idled Lambton Generating Station. Nothing is coming out of it because the generating station took its last coal in September and premier Kathleen Wynne would like me to believe that I can now breathe easier.

It’s a Sunday and I’m northbound between Wallaceburg and Sarnia. In the distance the billion – dollar scrubber can barely be seen. The crap coming out of Detroit Edison’s Belle River power plants at Marysville, Michigan is obliterating it. They don’t have scrubbers and by the emissions on this Sunday I question whether they are even using low sulphur coal. I can assure the premier I’m not breathing easier.

A few kilomtres away in Wyoming my printing presses are running but I’m paying a king’s ransom to power them. The total is $20,000.00 per month more than my competitors in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. I’m doing business in nanny state Ontario, home of tree huggers and green energy and a premier so far removed from reality that it is impossible to comprehend. At home my wife is bracing for the power bill. Neither of us is breathing easier. Read article

Green Energy “Disaster” Stumbling Block to Expansion

Mayor of Sarnia bradleyFirst Monday
Sarnia mayor Mike Bradley says the province’s Green Energy Policy has been a “disaster” that is jeopardizing Chemical Valley expansion and has left taxpayers with a billion dollar asset that’s mothballed. Bradley told the Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterl and the cost of power is a major discussion that could determine whether NOVA Chemicals launches a multi billion expansion in Sarnia. “The Province appears to be strapped by the Green Energy Act and isn’t moving on the issue.”

He lambasted energy minister Bob Chiarelli who compares energy costs in Ontario with places like Tennessee. “But we aren’t competing with Tennessee, we are competing with Louisiana and Texas which have similar energy requirements and are significantly more competitive.” Bradley says he understands the issues behind coal to produce power but believes it is unreasonable for the Province to shut Lambton Generating Station. “There is a billion dollar asset sitting there and the energy minister won’t consider alternatives.” Read article

More to learn about green energy

South Kent Wind Samsung Pattern Chatham Kent McKinlay Rd 1Sarnia Observer, Peter Epp
In the early days of Ontario’s foray into wind and solar energy projects – well before the Ontario Liberals’ Green Energy Policy, which was enshrined within legislation in 2009 – countries such as Denmark and Germany were trotted out as towering examples of what could be ac, for example, massive wind turbines lined the sea coast. In Germany, wind turbine generation was eagerly embraced, and solar energy was so heavily encouraged that in many German communities the roofs of Lutheran churches were fitted with panels.

There was a determination in Denmark and Germany to reduce those countries’ dependence on fossil fuels, and to shift the generation of electricity to the communities and to the citizens. Generous subsidies provided an incentive – and there existed the promise of a manufacturing boom; the solar panels and the turbines would have to be designed and built, and they may as well be built in Denmark and Germany. Read article

Ontario sketches out 540MW Requests For Proposals in 2015

opa_logoRenews
Ontario expects to issue a request for proposals for 540MW of renewable energy in early 2015 with winners announced in July of that year. It plans to procure 300MW of wind, 140MW solar, 50MW bioenergy and 50MW of hydro-electric capacity.

The Ontario Power Authority will continue stakeholder consultation over the next few months as it designs a new competitive bid process to replace the feed-in tariff program for projects larger than 500kW.

Developers will be required to pre-qualify in order to submit bids, the OPA said yesterday in an update on the Large Renewables Procurement (LRP). It aims to post a draft request for qualifications in March 2014 for stakeholder review. The final RFQ is to run from June to September 2014.

The agency expects to release an RFP in January 2015 with bids due in May of that year. Eligible projects must use existing transmission and the procurement is limited to areas that have sufficient connection availability, said the OPA. Read article

Hydro barons mad with power

1297503452759_ORIGINALToronto Sun
TORONTO – Better get this column written before the power goes out and we retreat to our caves and candles. That’s where we’re headed, if the dimbulbs running Ontario’s electrical grid aren’t unplugged. Now, I think they’re even laughing at us.

When I watched Toronto Hydro’s new 12 Days of Christmas video on YouTube I assumed it was a Yuletide jest. It tells us to save energy by making ornaments from old incandescent bulbs and pine cones. It suggests we dine on such fare as “no bake” energy bars, “no cook” cheeseballs or chocolate coconut balls, “low cook” cheese dip and “no cook, low cook” fudge.” Excellent plan. We’ll keep our electrical bill down by eating nothing but raw food. I look forward to the “no cook” chicken. Perhaps it will be easier to digest in the dark.

Here’s my version of 12 Days, which was composed — by torchlight, presumably — some 300 years ago in deepest, darkest England. Altogether, now, folks, sing along…

On the 12th day of Christmas, the dimbulbs gave to us…
12 idled windmills,
11 workers snoozing
10 summer brownouts

Read article

Petition: Dismantle the Green Energy Act

sign-the-petitionCanadian Taxpayers Federation
Dear Premier,

Ontario families are struggling to pay their energy bills, while the provincial government doubles down on subsidizing failed green energy programs.

We, the undersigned, call on the government of Ontario to dismantle the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 and stop letting green ideology guide our energy polices in Ontario at the expense of ratepayers.
SIGN HERE

Any opportunity is coveted

Nextera Eagle NesterrorSarnia Observer
Those opposed to two wind turbine projects in Lambton County believe their ability to adequately respond to the projects’ posting on the Ontario Environmental Registry is hampered because of the holiday season. Suncor Energy wants to build 46 wind turbines in Plympton-Wyoming. The public has until Jan. 19 to respond with comments to the Registry. Meanwhile, NextEra Canada’s is proposing a 92-turbine wind projects for Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. It’s also been posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry, and public comments are being accepted until Jan. 3.

But at least the time period they’re being allowed is more than what was permitted by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources almost a year ago when an eagle’s nest was removed to allow for the Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre in Haldimand County. In what had to be a deeply ironic moment for the MNR, the ministry approved the nest’s removal on New Year’s Eve – without allowing a syllable of public comment – and posted notice of the nest’s removal only a day before the deed was done on Jan. 5. Talk about a rush job.

The incident illustrated a few of the inconsistencies found with Ontario’s Green Energy Plan. For example, who would have thought that a nest for eagles – home to what is arguably one of the strongest natural symbols for a clean and green environment – would be so quickly and quietly tossed for the sake of a wind farm, itself ostensibly being developed to save the environment? Read article

Energy lessons from Liberals absolute insult

ChiarelliJim Merriam, Toronto Sun
I’d hate to have Bob Chiarelli’s nerve in a tooth. Chiarelli is Ontario’s energy minister. This week he pretty much told residents of the province to quit their whining and figure out ways to reduce their own electricity use and therefore their power bills. Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with each of us trying to cut costs through energy conservation.

But it is totally unfair that we have to wear mitts and a toque to watch Duck Dynasty while at least two of Chiarelli’s compatriots enjoy all the spoils of being members of the legislature at our expense.

Remember, the Liberals bought wins in a handful of ridings in the last election with $1.1 billion of our money by moving power plants out of Oakville and Mississauga where the residents didn’t care for them.

The minister essentially thumbed his nose at any concerns we might have about that and at consumers in general when he announced a new program called “Empowering Consumers Through Energy Literacy.” The subhead: “Province launches new interactive resource.” Read article

The human cost of the Green Energy Act

criminal-justice-system-1372884734-8899Toronto Sun, Garth Manning
In 2009, the Ontario government, seeking to appear green, expropriated our property rights and democratic freedoms with its Green Energy Act (GEA). The GEA removed the power of municipal politicians to represent their constituents in green energy matters and imposed 550 meters as a regulated setback in an attempt to protect rural citizens from industrial wind developments.

Many governments also fell in line with the worldwide movement to appear green, led by wind energy developers. But not all governments had the good fortune of hearing firsthand from people already adversely impacted elsewhere by wind turbines near their homes, as was the case for Ontario. And yet the Ontario government proceeded.

Unlike the costly Ontario process of appealing a wind project, Alberta has a different approach. There, appeals to Environmental Review Tribunals are substantially subsidized by the developer. By order of the Alberta Utilities Commission, developers pay a portion of appellant costs in advance, according to need. In stark contrast, in Ontario, where turbines are much closer to rural neighbourhoods, each local or regional group must raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover all legal costs for each appeal and to challenge not only the wind company but also the Ontario environment ministry. Read article

Constituents calling MPP for hydro help

400_cp24_hydro_meters_100927Sarnia Observer
Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Rick Nicholls is after the provincial government to lower energy bills for families and businesses. The MPP said he’s receiving numerous calls from constituents, including two business owners who say their rising energy bills could force them out of business or out of the province.

“One business owner showed me his bills,’’ said Nicholls. “Despite conserving energy, he’s paying 45% more per kilowatt hour than he was two years ago.’’ Nicholls said another local business owner in the manufacturing sector just saw his global adjustment rate double from September to October, which caused his bill to increase by thousands of dollars.

Nicholls said government officials are telling him they plan to release a long-term energy plan within several weeks. “A promise to unveil a plan in a few months is little comfort for my constituents with a winter and higher energy bills on the way,’’ said Nicholls. “This comes years after the Liberals told my constituents that installing hundreds of wind turbines would lower their bills. Read article

Green energy not playing the role it was meant to

green-energyLucknow Sentinel
Is this what “green energy” is supposed to look like? This is a question I keep asking myself, and would like to pose to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli. As a writer of an environment-themed column I should be pleased to see the fruits of the provincial government’s Ontario Green Energy Act sprouting up all over our municipality.

Instead, as yet another wind farm project has been approved for the area, I find myself dismayed. I am also heartsick for the residents who have fought so hard to oppose these developments and who will be impacted the most by their presence. While I realize wind turbines utilize an unlimited resource and produce energy that does not create pollution (at least the operational turbine itself) I have never been convinced they are the Holy Grail of clean energy. There are too many cons, such as unstudied health risks, environmental impacts and effects on energy costs.

But some of the biggest concerns I have with the “green energy” the provincial government has been installing in Ontario are the unquantifiable costs. What I think Queen’s Park has been ignoring is the impact this program is having on Ontarians’ lives. Read article

When it comes to wind turbines, are the Provincial Ministries on the same page?

wynne2Northumberland Today
Three local Alnwick/Haldimand residents, Gwyer Moore, Betty Ivory and Jeremy Williams, all representatives of the Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills (APNH), were encouraged during a September 4th meeting when Infrastructure Minister Glen Murray communicated his strong desire to increase local community involvement in the approval of industrial energy projects. But are his colleagues in Energy and the Environment on the same page?

Since the Green Energy Act was implemented in 2009, communities and local governments have been denied any role – with many protesting that situation vociferously. Responding to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s comment that industrial wind turbines would not be forced upon “unwilling hosts,” the local governments of 71 Ontario communities have declared themselves as such. Premier Wynne’s government also said that it would change the approval process for large renewable energy projects to increase community input. Accordingly, at their meeting with Minister Murray, the APNH representatives were anxious to learn about these new rules. Read article

Ontario electricity prices to rise next month

Electricity-bills-problem_1229London Community News
TORONTO – Ontario homeowners and small businesses can expect to see their electricity costs rise next month. The Ontario Energy Board says new electricity prices to take effect Nov. 1 will add three per cent — about $4 — to the average monthly household bill.

Time-of-use customers will pay 7.2 cents a kilowatt hours for off-peak, 10.9 cents for mid-peak and 12.9 cents for on-peak usage. The OEB says the increase is based on estimates for the coming year that include more generation from renewable sources along with a higher price for natural gas.

It says another significant factor in the price change is to account for variations between previous estimates and actual costs. The OEB says most Ontario households use about two-thirds of their power during off-peak hours.