Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists
By Lorrie Goldstein, Senior Associate Editor Toronto Sun
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty recently did something so stupid when it comes to … uh … fighting global warming, it should warn all Canadians to keep an eye on their politicians, lest they do something equally dumb.
McGuinty struck a deal with South Korean industrial giant Samsung Group to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels in Ontario, plus pay inflated prices for 2,500 megawatts of so-called green energy for the next quarter century.
Samsung will invest $7 billion in return for untold billions more to be sucked out of the hides of Ontario electricity consumers and, McGuinty hopes, other, as-yet-unsuspecting, consumers across North America.
How stupid is this deal?
First, McGuinty claims it will make Ontario a North American leader in green energy.
What he hasn’t explained is how giving a South Korean company a sweetheart deal to produce “green” energy, plus premium access to our electrcity grid, makes Ontario — as opposed to South Korea — a leader in anything.
Second, McGuinty claims it will create 16,000 jobs, a quarter permanent, for $1.60 more per year on consumer electricity bills for the next 25 years.
But the public has no way to verify these numbers, which the premier, who will be long gone before his deal is, might as well have pulled out of his derriere.
We do know electricity prices are going up far more than $1.60 per year over the next 25 — for example by 8% on July 1 alone, when McGuinty introduces a harmonized sales tax.
Further, McGuinty’s job-creation claims are meaningless.
These subsidized “green” jobs will only last as long as governments like McGuinty’s force electricity consumers to pay inflated prices for green energy.
McGuinty isn’t creating a single job that can exist without substantial, continuing public subsidy. Rather, he’s launched a 25-year make-work project in which consumers will pay for mostly temporary jobs through inflated electricity prices until the cash runs out. What then?
Third, to sign this deal with a South Korean company is absurd.
South Korea — a direct participant through its 54% stake in Samsung’s partner, Korea Electric Power Corp. — is one of about 160 countries, which, classified as developing nations under the Kyoto accord, are free to keep increasing their emissions until (at least) 2012.
Not only is South Korea an economic beneficiary of carbon dioxide-emitting industries that have been moving to the developing world from the developed one to escape being charged for emitting greenhouse gases, McGuinty is now subsidizing, through inflated electricity prices paid by Ontario consumers, those industries.
As Peter Huber explains in Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists, politicians like McGuinty wrongly think you can reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by building “half a fence” around the developed world, but not the developing one.
Actually, less than half a fence, since Canada is one of only 37 developed nations required under Kyoto to reduce their emissions. Along with many other countries, we aren’t.
Meanwhile, South Korea and 160 other countries don’t even have to slow their emissions and won’t without a successor agreement, which doesn’t exist. (See Copenhagen.)
As Huber notes, “half a fence solves nothing.” It just forces those inside the fence to hand over their wealth to those outside it.
That’s what McGuinty’s done. How stupid is that?