Ontario Liberals to pay back $10,000 in relation to gas plant scandal. Just $999.99-million to go

Dalton GasNational Post, Robyn Urback
Last week, the Ontario Liberal Party said it would reimburse taxpayers for the $10,000 it paid a computer expert to allegedly wipe computer hard drives in the premier’s office. Sorry, the Liberals said. Our bad. Police are in the process of investigating the matter, and so the office of Premier Kathleen Wynne conceded that taxpayers probably shouldn’t get dinged for these seemingly nefarious expenses. And that’s absolutely correct; everyone knows that honest governments should foot the bills for their own alleged cover-ups.

The $10,000 from the government originally went to IT consultant Peter Faist, who is the spouse of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty’s deputy chief of staff. According to police, Faist was hired by David Livingston, McGuinty’s chief of staff, to delete information from approximately 20 government computers relating to the cancellation of two gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville, which cost the province upwards of $1.1-billion. Faist did not have security clearance to access the computers, nor did he have an actual contract for the work from what he told police. That said, according to the Liberals, no one thought Faist was doing anything wrong. Read article

Residents fear turbines will impact gas wells

natural gas crude oilBy Amanda Moore, Niagara this Week
WEST LINCOLN — All Anne Fairfield and Ed Engel want for Christmas is to see the turbines near their rural home ordered down. The West Lincoln couple has filed an appeal to the province’s approval of the HAF Wind Energy Project based on the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms. The couple claims the province’s approval of the project is in direct conflict with their right to enjoy their property.

While they wait for decisions on two Charter appeals currently before the Environmental Tribunal, they watch in fear as work continues on the five turbine project. The couple’s most immediate concerns relate to the installation of distribution lines near a known gas well. “This is where the danger lies,” said Fairfield. “This case has reached a point where the health and safety of a very densely populated rural area of West Lincoln and Hamilton is threatened if no immediate action is taken.” Read article

Ontario’s power policies an example of what not to do

20130707-102307-gGwyn Morgan,  The Globe and Mail

The political firestorm raging in Ontario about the cost of cancelling two natural-gas-fired power plants reminds me of a conversation I had with then-premier Dalton McGuinty in 2005. At the time, I was head of Encana Corp. and we were co-chairing a Public Policy Forum event. As we chatted privately before the dinner, he said: “As a gas producer, you must be happy we’re going to close our coal-fired power plants.” I replied: “Well, it’s not a big deal in the context of our North American gas markets, but you’d better make sure those gas power plants are built before you shut the coal plants.”

Eight years later, Ontario power consumers are stuck paying $585-million for two gas-fired plants that were never built. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mr. McGuinty’s decision to shutter the coal-fired plants was followed in 2010 by his government’s Green Energy and Economy Act, aimed at replacing some of the coal-fired power with highly subsidized wind and solar energy while, supposedly, turning Ontario into the green power capital of North America. Read article

Fedeli on Gas Plant Scandal

Nipissing MPP and PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli outlines the shocking revelations about the Liberal gas plant scandal made at the Justice Committee earlier today in a sit down with CP24’s Stephen LeDrew.

Gas plant cancellations cost $585 million: Ontario Power Authority

moneydowntoiletToronto Sun
TORONTO – Ontarians will pay at least $585 million to not build gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga. Premier Kathleen Wynne wouldn’t apologize for the debacle Tuesday, but said she is frustrated with the process that led to the siting of the plants in unwelcoming communities. “I regret the situation and I have said that I take responsibility to make sure this never happens again,” Wynne said during an appearance before the Ontario Standing Committee on Justice Policy.

The premier said she was unaware of the cost when her government cancelled the Oakville plant in 2010 and the Mississauga plant in 2011, and instead depended on the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to later provide the numbers. Colin Andersen, CEO of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) which negotiated the settlements with the two private gas plant owners, told the committee the price for relocating the Oakville plant will be $310 million, not the $40 million often repeated by Ontario Liberals. Read article

Liberal Gas Plants growing out of control…

MacKay Editorial CartoonsGraeme MacKay

Cancelled Mississauga power plant cost $275 million: Ontario auditor general

Dalton GasRob Ferguson and John Spears. Toronto Star
Ontarians are paying twice for a single power plant, Auditor General Jim McCarter says in a scathing report that found it cost $275 million to scrap a generating station in Mississauga and move it to Sarnia. That’s $85 million, or 45 per cent, more than the $190 million former premier Dalton McGuinty claimed, prompting opposition parties to charge the government “lied” and providing fresh ammunition for a potential spring election.

The plant across from Sherway Gardens was well under construction and scrapped less than two weeks before the provincial vote of Oct. 6, 2011, a move Premier Kathleen Wynne admits was “politically motivated” to save Liberal seats. McCarter said compensating the plant’s builder for that decision cost taxpayers “a lot.” New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives quickly piled on.

“Families are stuck with the bills,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath told reporters as the audit noted $190 million will come from taxpayers, with the other $85 million will come from electricity rates. Despite accusing the Liberals of “lying about this from day one,” Horwath said she’ll work with the government on a spring budget as early as next week on her demands for lower auto insurance rates and closing corporate tax loopholes. Read article

Cancelled gas plants will cost Ontario taxpayers $828-million, energy expert says

gas plantNational Post
The cost of cancelling two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga is closer to $828 million, more than three times what the governing Liberals insist taxpayers will bear, an energy expert said Wednesday.

The cost of the Oakville plant — which was cancelled in 2010 — is about $638 million, not $40 million as the Liberals have said, Bruce Sharp told a legislative committee that’s looking into the gas plant cancellations. The mechanical engineer, who says he’s spent 25 years in the energy sector, said relocating the plant will cost $40 million, but there are extra costs, said Sharp, who works for Aegent Energy Advisors. He’s pegged gas delivery and management costs at $313 million and transmission costs at $359 million.

“My view is that there are so many people making money in so many different ways in the sector, that when something goes wrong, no one wants to talk about it,” he told the committee. “When the Oakville settlement details were made public in September, it was clear to me that the additional costs quoted of $40 million was low, so I felt the whole subject deserved some attention.”

Sharp said he agreed that the cost of relocating another plant in Mississauga will cost about $190 million, but that could have been at least $28 million lower because it will cost less money to deliver natural gas to its new site in Sarnia. It’s unfortunate that Ontario is seeing the “negative outcomes” of abandoning power system planning, he said. Read article

Why aren’t heads rolling at Ontario Power Authority?

Dalton GasAdam Radwanski, The Globe and Mail
Watching the chair and the CEO of the Ontario Power Authority squirm in the Queen’s Park media studio on Thursday afternoon, it was hard not to feel a little sorry for them. Jim Hinds and Colin Andersen are not accustomed to being grilled by reporters, and it showed – the former having to apologize at one point after calling a question about political interference “inappropriate,” both looking like they’d rather be anywhere else. Unlike most politicians they didn’t have any flacks on hand to call an end to the proceedings, so this unfortunate spectacle went on for nearly an hour.

But listening to the two men fess up over and over again to the energy-planning agency’s incompetence, it was also difficult to understand why heads are not rolling there. Given the controversy around the costly cancellation of two gas-fired power plants, and the realities of minority government, the OPA had to know that failing to comply with a legislative committee’s demands for all related documents would be disastrous. Yet they failed nonetheless, in rather spectacular fashion. Read article

Tom Adams: FOI Documents Reveal McGuinty’s Gas Plant Oversight

gas plant
Download FOI documents

Tom Adams Energy
Over the course of 2012 from the beginning of January through to October 1, the Ontario’s then Premier McGuinty and his office were supervising one of the key files of his entire period of leadership–the cancelled west GTA gas plants and their relocation.

The issue was hot. Outraged constituents were bombarding him with complaints. The media and opposition were hounding him. His officials were negotiating 20 year contracts with the jilted developers for relocating plants once committed for Mississauga and Oakville. The amount of public money at stake eventually added up to what McGuinty has claimed is $230 million (Gas Busters readers will know how deficient I consider that figure).

In November, I filed a Freedom of Information request to see what the Premier saw and wrote about both the Mississauga and Oakville power plants. My request specified documents from 2012. All of the documents so far on the public record about the gas plant relocation arise from the Estimates Committee motion for disclosure which specified documents from 2010 and 2011.

The resulting disclosure, issued by Cabinet Office on the first day of Kathleen Wynne’s fresh premiership, reveal a total absence of due diligence. Read article

‘Project Vapour’ codename for cancelled Ontario power plants might also refer to the Liberals’ chances at re-election

Andy Radia | Canada Politics
There’s some irony with the internal code name that the Ontario Liberals used for the cancellation of a multi-billion dollar power plant.

They called it “Project Vapour” and ironically it might just vapourize their government.

The Ontario PCs say that they’ve uncovered internal emails, amid 20,000 documents released last Friday, that show that premier Dalton McGuinty’s key advisers used that code name as a means to hide the true cost of nixing plans to build a generating station in Oakville.

According to the Toronto Star, there was even one email from the Ministry of Energy asking government officials to stop emailing about the Mississauga plant closure last Fall.

“There is to be no email traffic on this issue,” said the email.

“This is a campaign announcement not a government announcement.”

The cancellation of the two plants is expected to cost taxpayers upwards of $230 million and has been the subject of a contempt motion in the legislature with the opposition parties contending that the closures were politically motivated. Read article

With a name like ‘Project Vapour’ it’s no wonder the PCs think the Liberals are hiding something

Scott Stinson, National Post
At this point the Ontario Liberals should probably be grateful that the file related to the decision to cancel a gas-fired power plant in Oakville wasn’t code-named Project Deceit or Project Crass Opportunism.

As it was, revelations on Wednesday that government staff in multiple ministries, and the Premier’s Office, referred to the Oakville situation as “Project Vapour” lend credence to the narrative that Liberals were engaged in high-level obfuscation related to the true cost of the power-plant cancellation, and the level of political involvement in them — and that the real motivation for Monday’s surprise prorogation of the provincial legislature was to prevent further examination of the affair.

That’s the theory that opposition politicians were keen to explore on Wednesday. The Hudak PCs held a briefing for reporters at Queen’s Park in which they went over several documents from the 20,000 pages released by the Energy Ministry on Friday that contained references to Project Vapour, including emails between Dalton McGuinty’s former chief of staff and officials at the Justice and Energy ministries.

Victor Fedeli, the PC energy critic, said in an interview that it’s his party’s position that the code name was intended to make the document trail harder to follow. Thus, when the Finance Committee demanded the release of “all documents related to the cancellation of the Oakville and Mississauga power plants,” the Vapour-related stuff didn’t turn up in the initial batch of 36,000 pages released late last month under order from Speaker Dave Levac. Read article

Energy firms guaranteed revenue in sweetheart deals with Ontario

by Karen Howlett, The Globe and Mail
The Ontario government has inked a string of sweetheart deals with private-sector energy companies, promising them guaranteed revenue regardless of how much electricity they produce and sell into the market. The practice began when the governing Liberals came to power in 2003, according to the Ontario Power Authority.

Nineteen natural gas-fired plants have been built in Ontario as part of the McGuinty government’s push to replace coal-fired electricity plants with cleaner sources of power. The plants accounted for about 15 per cent of the province’s electricity output last year.

The power authority, a government agency, routinely signs deals with companies operating these new gas-powered plants, agreeing to pay them fixed prices regardless of how much electricity they produce, according to the documents and interviews with industry sources. In some cases, the companies receive 100 per cent of their revenue for operating the plants at well below half their capacity. The cost is passed on to consumers.

The contracts have been shrouded in secrecy, with both government and company officials citing commercial sensitivity. But the government was forced to disclose reams of documents last week, after the controversy over its decision two years ago to pull the plug on building a plant in Oakville, west of Toronto. Read article

Wizard of Ontario

Grid operators must ride them up and down all day long in this masquerade—serving the illusion that wind and solar are actually contributing meaningful amounts of electricity. Meanwhile the gas plants spit out far more emissions than if they were simply turned on and allowed to run at an even output.

by Rick Conroy, The Wellington Times
It was crass and ugly political theatre. It could not have been more bald. Two days before the leaders’ debate in advance of the last Ontario election, three Liberal MPPs—Laurel Broten, Charles Sousa and Donna Cansfield—stood on a stage, their arms raised in triumph. All three were running in ridings around Mississauga amidst a debate about a gas-fired electricity generating facility rising out of the ground in the Sherway Gardens area. All three were thought to be at risk of losing their seat because of the plant. A year earlier neighbouring MPP Kevin Flynn had persuaded Dalton McGuinty his seat wasn’t safe unless the Premier killed a much larger gas-generating facility in Oakville. The Mississauga MPPs needed a similar favour. No matter the cost. Faced with losing power over his management of the energy file, McGuinty folded his convictions and opened up the taxpayers’ wallet to appease his desperate MPPs. Now the costs are beginning to be tallied.

Earlier this summer Finance Minister Dwight Duncan admitted that moving the Mississauga plant to Lambton near Sarnia would cost taxpayers at least $190 million. This week beleaguered Energy Minister Chris Bentley said his government would relocate the cancelled Oakville gas-fired generating plant to Lennox Generating Station at Bath—just across the bay from Cressy. The cost of the move: $40 million.

The total price tag for protecting those four Greater Toronto seats: $230 million. Not only do rural Ontarians get to shoulder a goodly share of this fiasco—they also get the gas plants and their emissions the GTA refused to take. Read article

Ontario Liberals blow $40-million on nothing; call it ‘a very good deal’

Matt Gurney, National Post
On Monday, the Ontario Liberal Party finally released documents relating to the last-minute cancellation of a proposed gas-fired power plant in the town of Oakville, west of Toronto. The Oakville plant was one of two scrapped by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal ahead of last fall’s provincial election (the other being in Mississauga) once it became clear that the Liberals would lose both those seats otherwise. In the end, the seats stayed in the Liberal column. But at what cost?

That question, at least, can now be answered. The Liberals admitted months ago that the total costs of cancelling construction of the Mississauga plant (which had already commenced) was $190-million, that the taxpayers were on the hook for. But until Monday, they had absolutely refused to disclose the cost of cancelling the Oakville plant, a refusal the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly recently ruled constituted a prima facie breach of privilege, thus opening the way to finding the Energy Minister, Chris Bentley, in contempt (those proceedings are underway now). The final tab for the cancellation of the Oakville plant? An additional $40-million.

That’s less than $190-million, which isn’t surprising. The Mississauga plant was partially built, and that means money was spent on labour and materials. It needs to be dismantled and the site cleared up. But what cannot be explained is how Mr. Bentley, in announcing that Ontario must spend $40-million to not build a power plant in Oakville, got what he bizarrely called “a very good deal for taxpayers.” Read article

The Ontario Liberals’ energy strategy is just embarrassing

by Scott Stinson, National Post
An Ontario government lawyer warned officials at the Ministry of Energy that the political decision to cancel a planned Oakville power plant and promises to negotiate compensation with the developer amounted to an “unmitigated disaster,” according to a huge raft of documents finally released by the Liberals on Monday.

But though the lawyer was referring to the inherent problems in breaking a contract and then trying to make good after the fact, he could just as easily have been talking about the political damage it would ultimately cause the McGuinty government. Or, frankly, its energy-management plan as a whole. There are disasters all around. Read article

“…those who have something to hide are afraid of public scrutiny”

September 25, 2012 Ontario Legislative Assembly Hansard
Jim Wilson:
You’d have to be not of sound mind to not know that when we ask for all of the documents—and who made the decision was the Liberal Party of Ontario—we need to see the communications between the Liberal Party of Ontario and the government of Ontario.

The media has been reporting that the cancellation of the Oakville plant is $40 million. That’s laughable, and the government should be ashamed that they hung that figure out there and it stayed out there about 24 hours. Now they’re all catching on that you’re going to pay TransCanada pipelines $210 million for their turbines, and you have this absolutely bizarre story that anyone in their right mind wouldn’t believe that because power from the plant that’s now going to be moved to eastern Ontario will be slightly less in cost than it was from Oakville, by $2,000 a month—it’s $17,000 per megawatt hour versus $15,000 and change, but you’re paying TransCanada $210 million, which you forgot to tell the public yesterday, for their turbines, and you say, “Well, we’ll get that back because the cost is lower.” If I take $2,000 a month and I divide that into $210 million, I come up to well over 800 years as the payback period for that kind of money, so your argument is ridiculous. The minister went out yesterday—“Payback will be in 10 years.” It’s over 800 years. Continue reading

Ontario’s electricity system a mess

By Christina Blizzard, QMI Agency
ORONTO — Skimming through the documents released by Ontario Energy Minister Chris Bentley on the gas plant cancellations, you get a glimpse of the chaos our electricity generation system is in.

One e-mail exchange between Michael Killeavy, director of contract management at Ontario Power Authority (OPA), and Susan Kennedy, another OPA director, discussed how much it would cost to cancel the two plants and whether they could sweeten the pot by giving TransCanada, the company building the Oakville plant, another contract.

“I like $0 to $1.4 billion myself,” says Killeavy, who then asks Kennedy if she has any idea of the legal fees.

“I’d guess north of $200,000 (possibly pushing $500,000) — figuring some novel analysis and two OMB hearings, plus all the other stuff they’ve probably had to look at,” she says.

In the end, Bentley told us Monday it will cost $40 million to move the Oakville plant that was scrapped in 2010 to Lennox, an Ontario Power Generation facility near Napanee.

And legal fees — who knows?

Thumbing through these e-mails, what’s shocking is the amount of political interference that occurred.

Politicians kept sticking their oars into decisions — up to the premier’s office.

This was frustrating to OPA officials because their organization was created precisely to keep power decisions at arm’s length from the political process. Read article

Statement From Ontario Minister Of Energy

Not all energy production facilities or citizens are treated equally.

Today, Chris Bentley, Minister of Energy, issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached between the Ontario Power Authority and TransCanada Energy to relocate the proposed 900-megawatt natural gas plant originally planned for Oakville to lands at Ontario Power Generation’s Lennox Generating Station site near Bath, in eastern Ontario’s Lennox and Addington County.

I would like to thank the OPA, TransCanada and Ontario Power Generation for the work they have done over the past several months to reach this agreement.

The new site will take advantage of existing transmission lines and other infrastructure, as well as the expertise of local workers. The construction of the plant is expected to provide up to 600 construction jobs and approximately 25 permanent jobs.

The total costs that cannot be repurposed at the new site are approximately $40 million. This includes all payments made in relation to the original site, including the cost of engineering design and permits.

The gas turbines originally slated for use at the Oakville plant will be repurposed and used at the Lennox facility. The OPA will purchase the turbines. TransCanada will receive less for the electricity the plant produces than originally agreed upon to offset the cost of the turbine purchase.

The decision not to move forward with the plant at the original Oakville site was made after hearing overwhelming concerns from local residents and local elected officials. We heard concerns from families and we responded. read more


Liberals’ power plant decision will help opposition, say MPPs

Rob Ferguson, The Star
The $180 million decision by Premier Dalton McGuinty to scrap a power plant is a gift to Liberal rivals in the looming byelection in Kitchener—Waterloo, opposition MPPs say. “People have heard about this story, it makes them very angry,” New Democrat energy critic Peter Tabuns said Friday, three days after Energy Minister Chris Bentley revealed the hefty price tag for the cancellation that came 11 days before the Oct. 6 election.

“I think it has the potential to be significant across the province talking about the quality of this government, its ethics, its morals.” Facing stiff community opposition in a tight campaign and fearing the loss of four seats near the plant just northwest of Sherway Gardens mall — including Mississauga South MPP and cabinet minister Charles Sousa — the Liberals promised on Sept. 24 to end construction at the plant site.

“They’ve admitted it was a political move,” Progressive Conservative MPP Laurie Scott said of testimony from Bentley at a legislative committee, where he acknowledged the decision came from the Liberal campaign. Bentley said the $180 million to compensate a power company for the change in plans will come from taxpayers or electricity ratepayers, or both, as the plant moves to the Sarnia area. Read article

The high cost of political opportunism

Hamilton Spectator – letters
The Dalton McGuinty Liberals are paying the price for expediency. Up until the election campaign nine months ago, they were doggedly determined to replace dirty coal energy with relatively clean natural gas at a gas generation plant in Mississauga. But when the Liberal brain trust began to worry that four Liberal seats in the area might be in jeopardy due to local opposition, they panicked, right up to the premier himself, and cancelled the project. At a cost of $180 million.

But the plant would be dead no matter which party was in power — both the NDP and the Conservatives opposed it. What’s disturbing here isn’t so much that the Liberals were wrong about backing out of the plant, although we would argue supporting it would have been more in keeping with their green energy vision.

What rankles is more why they did it. It was naked political strategy, unadorned, undenied. It had nothing to do with sound energy policy. It had nothing to do with giving careful consideration to the concerns of critics and making a decision based on the best evidence. It was all about saving seats. And since all four area Liberals were elected by large margins, it appears to have worked. But the bigger picture isn’t pretty.
Howard Elliott

Gas plant fiasco

Ontario faces $300M suit for cancelling gas plant

CTV News
TORONTO— The financing company behind the cancelled gas-fired electrical plant in Mississauga is suing the Ontario government for $300 million for breach of contract.  EIG Management, a Washington, D.C.-based investment company, is seeking an additional $10 million in damages in its suit against the Ontario Power Authority and the province.  EIG alleges it wasn’t given any advance notice the project was being cancelled until Premier Dalton McGuinty made the announcement in the middle of last fall’s election campaign.  Read article

Sierra Club accepted $25 Million from the Natural Gas Industry

by Bryan Walsh, TIME
Mainstream environmental groups have struggled to find the right line on shale natural gas and the hydraulic fracturing or fracking process. Gas has a much smaller carbon footprint than coal—according to most scientists—and produces far fewer air pollutants. That was enough for many major green groups to give support to gas as a “bridge fuel” to a cleaner energy future—the next best domestic alternative to coal as an electricity source while alternatives like wind and solar scaled up. But for grassroots members of those groups—especially in parts of the country where fracking was already underway—the risk of local pollution wasn’t worth the national and global climate benefits of greater gas consumption, especially as media and scientific attention on the potential threats to water supplies grew.  Read article

Despite vow to move Mississauga power plant, construction goes on

ctvtoronto.ca  WATCH VIDEO
Construction is still underway at a gas-fired Mississauga power plant the Ontario Liberals promised to move during the recent provincial election.  The Liberals made the promise on Sept. 24. But nearly three weeks after the Oct. 6 election, CTV News’ helicopter captured images of massive generators being moved to the site, located in the provincial riding of Mississauga South. Police vehicles were paid to escort the trucks, and hydro crews were hired to move overhead wires.  Read article

Dalton McGuinty stumbles over questions about Mississauga Power Plant

Fake Greens, Big Oil, and suffering Ontario: will the hicks mobilize?

by Steve Aplin Canadian Energy Issues

Excerpt: The “greens” are actively colluding in expanding the market for natural gas in Ontario. They make a big deal out of complaining about the skyrocketing greenhouse gas emissions from the Alberta oil sands. The number one source of oil sands GHGs is natural gas, which is used in steaming bitumen out of sand as well as in manufacturing the hydrogen that lightens the heavy crude. But the very same phony Greens who pretend to oppose oil sands GHGS fully support using the very same GHG-emitting substance in Ontario.

The Green-Gas cabal has done an amazing job of persuading the current Ontario government that they are a significant political constituency whose policy demands must be heeded. But this cabal is not a significant constituency. It is simply a group of rich and well connected people blessed with huge PR funds and expertise. The Green Act is their crowning achievement: it is the product of a determined, well-funded multi-year PR campaign. Through the FIT rates enshrined in the Green Act, they have gotten the government to force us rate-payers to pay for their PR campaign. They have fooled the province of Ontario like we are a bunch of hicks.  Read article here

Mississauga power plant permit has residents steaming

by San Grewal, Toronto Star

 Some Mississauga residents are furious to hear a building permit has been issued to construct a gas-fired power plant in an environmentally sensitive area.  The 280-megawatt plant is to be built at the Toronto-Mississauga line on a site that backs onto Etobicoke Creek, just west of the Sherway Gardens mall. Continue reading

Building wind turbines won’t eliminate fracking

“Our goals should not be blind opposition to progress but rather opposition to blind progress.” – John Muir

by Susan Overmyer, Cape Breton Post

I was talking with a friend in New Brunswick who is challenging both hydrofracking for natural gas and industrial wind power plants.  We were discussing the frustrating divide amongst groups that should be working together for effective change and the belief among many that wind turbines are the solution to prevent fracking. Her response, after working for years on the fracking-versus-wind issue, was very insightful. Continue reading

Coal replaced with natural gas

Toronto Star     

Gideon Foreman, of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, says that Tim Hudak’s “proposal to kill green energy will be a disaster” since “it will mean returning to coal and the thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths that coal causes in Ontario each year.” Since the coal-fired plants are being replaced by natural gas-fired plants, and not by solar or wind, “killing” green energy has no bearing on whether the coal plants run or not. Is killing green energy the same as killing the feed-in tariff program, which is what Hudak proposes? The illness/deaths attributed to the small amount of coal-fired generation in Ontario are not based on fact and have been repudiated by independent analysts. Ontario presently generates more than 75 per cent of its electricity from nuclear and hydro that has no emissions.

Donald Jones, Mississauga