Martin Regg Cohn, Guelph Mercury
Ontario has a new long-term energy plan. The problem with long-term outlooks is that, in the words of economist John Maynard Keynes, “in the long run we are all dead.” Keynes himself is long dead, but his message endures: Short term cannot be isolated from long term — a reality that will not have escaped Ontario’s exasperated electricity users.
Ratepayers who recoil at the arrival of their hydro bill will pay little heed to the government’s new 20-year planning horizon. The last plan, issued in 2010, lasted barely three years before it was ripped up this week. The 2007 long-term plan had a similarly short shelf life. Perhaps this is planned obsolescence: The three-year life cycles of Liberal energy plans just happen to coincide with election cycles, which is perhaps why this one has the feel of a campaign document that puts the best possible spin on wind turbines and rising rates.
It promises to help finance retrofitting of your home starting next year, in time for a likely spring election. And it promises to make electricity cheaper — which is to say, less expensive than it would otherwise have been as per the now-outdated 2010 plan. Read article