Tories Plan to Eliminate Green (Greed) Energy Act

Ontario Tories will scrap selling unused power to Quebec, U.S. states, says party’s finance critic

 Jul 05, 2017 by Kevin Werner 

Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli

Ontario Tory MPP Vic Fedeli (left) was the keynote speaker for the Hamilton chapter of the Macdonald-Cartier breakfast event in June at the Mountain’s Marquis Gardens. – By Kevin Werner, HCN

The Ontario Progressive Conservatives are proposing to end the longtime strategy of various governments of selling excess power to Quebec.

Vic Fedeli, the MPP for Nipissing and the party’s finance critic, said in a recent interview the party will look to “stop shopping power” to Quebec and a number of U.S. states, in an effort to create jobs in the province.

“We can use that power here in Ontario,” said Fedeli after addressing about 25 people at a breakfast meeting of the Hamilton chapter of the Macdonald-Cartier Club at Marquis Gardens last month.

“If there is a way for us to use that power at night to create some employment and use that power up to cover your hydro bills (and) allow businesses to put on a third shift,” the party should do it.

A study by the Consumer Policy Institute revealed that Ontario customers have paid $6.3 billion over the last decade to cover the cost of selling electricity to customers outside the province, predominately to Quebec, New York and Michigan.  In 2011, surplus power was sold by the province for about $418 million. In some instances, power is sold for a penny or two per kilowatt hour, and sometimes even given away to the interconnected grid linking Ontario with New York, Quebec, Michigan, Manitoba and Minnesota.

Fedeli said Quebec has lower hydro rates than Ontario and is enticing businesses to relocate to the province.  He said Google chose to locate its first data centre in Canada in Montreal, Que. rather than in Ontario due to the lower energy costs.

“This goes on and on, not just the companies that left Ontario, it’s the companies that chose not to come to Ontario,” he said.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has stated selling surplus power is not new and has happened over the years under governments of all political stripes. Ontario also, it stated, takes advantage of low energy prices on the grid from other areas.

Fedeli said the Tories are also preparing to eliminate the Green Energy Act, which the party has stated has provided expensive subsidies to renewable companies for power that Ontario already has.

“The first thing we have to do is stop signing contracts for power we don’t need,” said Fedeli. “Second is open up those contracts and look at them.”

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He also wants to slash Hydro One’s $11 million pay for its chief executive officer and four of the top executives to the more manageable salaries of counterparts at Hydro Quebec and B.C. Hydro where they make about $400,000.

“It makes no sense making that kind of money,” he said.

During his address, Fedeli took aim at various Liberal ministers and accused them of providing incorrect facts about how well Ontario’s economy is doing.

He said Brad Duguid, minister of economic development, has stated that Ontario is “growing faster than the United States.” Yet, said Fedeli, Arkansas, Washington, Oregon all have higher growth rates than Ontario.

Fedeli added that Duguid said Ontario is the “top foreign direct investment location” in North America.

“Well, no we’re not the top foreign direct investment destination we used to be,” he said.

He said Ontario is the fourth highest location for direct foreign investment.

“So we are the fourth, not the top,” he said. “We fell, tumbled from $7 billion to $4 billion. That is a serious change in only a very short period of time.”

Duguid’s office did not respond to a request for comment. But the ministry’s website states Ontario is the “North American leader in attracting foreign capital investment, dated 2015.

A report from fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times Limited, showed Ontario leading for the second year in a row for foreign capital investment, receiving $7.1 billion; ranked third when it comes to foreign direct investment job creation with 13,055 from 6,102 in 2013; and ranked second in the number of foreign direct investment jobs in the finance sector and first for automotive and life sciences sector.

In the fDi 2017 report on global investment, Ontario ranks third for foreign investment, surpassing Texas and Florida, from $4.1 billion 2015 to $4.5 billion in 2016.

Fedeli also took issue with the Liberal government’s description of Ontario returning as Canada’s economic engine. Ministers and Premier Kathleen Wynne have stated, including in visits to Hamilton, that Ontario is booming again.

Yet, said the former North Bay mayor, referring to an analysis from the Fraser Institute, British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec all have lower unemployment rates than Ontario.

“So how can you say we’re leading when there are 10 provinces that don’t make us the leader,” he said. “So why do they do it? It’s because our economy is under attack. It is not outside forces that has made this happen, it’s the policies of this government that have brought our economy under attack.”

Fedeli said the major reasons why Ontario’s financial situation is in such a precarious situation is because of the high taxes, topping out at 53.5 per cent and the rising debt of over $300 billion, making Ontario the world’s most indebted subsovereign borrower.

“The deficits are going to get bigger,” said Fedeli, referring to the Liberals’ decision to extend the borrowing plan to finance the 25 per cent hydro rate cut under the party’s Fair Hydro Plan.

“We are going to be about half a trillion dollars in debt,” he said. “This is sobering and pretty damn scary.”

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The Wind Scam is Obvious to Intelligent People…

Wind turbines a government-backed Ponzi scheme

Sunday, March 5, 2017

To the editor:

All you people out there complaining about your hydro prices need to realize some important facts about the Kathleen Wynne government.

  1. The global adjustment charge on your hydro bill is to pay for the giant industrial wind turbines Wynne  has placed all  over rural Ontario.
  2. Wind turbines a useless technology that destroys our rural environment, ruins people’s health and poisons our drinking water aquifers.
  3. The only reason these turbines were erected was so Liberal insiders and their friends could get filthy rich.
  4. Wynne will not cancel the turbine projects or reduce the subsidies because the turbine lobbyists know where the political bodies are buried.
  5. Wynne has taken away the democratic rights of the people for her own financial and political gain.
  6. Wynne has sacrificed the health of rural citizens just so her friends can get rich.
  7. In a few year’s time, when it inevitably collapses, this wind turbine scam will be revealed for what it is: An enormous government-backed Ponzi scheme, founded on greed, corruption and stupidity.

Leonard Vandenbosch

West Grey, Ont

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Property Rights Group Formed to Fight Wind Turbines!

Coalition for Rural Property Rights Formed

November 1, 2016
Emmetsburg News

To the Editor:

The Coalition for Rural Property Rights has been formed in response to the Supervisors’ acceptance of a wind energy ordinance that favors the wind companies but does not protect the rural citizens of Palo Alto. This ordinance affects everyone who owns land or has a rural home.

We agree with the Planning and Zoning’s recommendation of 2640 foot setbacks from homes, not 1500 feet the wind company demanded.

We want 1000 foot setbacks from property lines that include the blades, not 1.2 x the height of the turbine from the tower which equals about 360 feet.

We want the Supervisors to take the advice of Jim Hudson, the drainage attorney who said that the connecting cables “must be the lower of 7 feet below the surface or 2 feet below any known and existing district or private tile”, not just 5 feet of cover.

We want a setback of 1 mile from sensitive wildlife areas, not 1500 foot.

If these turbines are built and if there is a problem with noise or shadow flicker or with tiling or aerial applications what recourse will citizens have? Mid American may offer money but only if that landowner then signs a contract with again the same sort of easement that the turbine hosts sign. One where they have a perpetual easement over and under all the landowner’s land that can be sold or re-leased at the wind company’s discretion. That won’t fix the problem either. If we wanted to be bought, we would’ve already signed a contract.

This energy does not supply our area. Iowa may have excess energy when the wind is blowing and Mid American is using its power of eminent domain for power lines to ship the energy out, making it not a utility but a commodity. The closest area that even “needs” this energy would be at the base of Lake Michigan which has more available offshore wind energy than all of Iowa but the folks living on the coasts do not want wind turbines in their views.

Our right to peace for our homes and our right to protect our businesses is not for sale. Support the people and businesses that are already here paying into the tax base.

I ask that the people who want wind turbines stop destroying our signs. Your opinion would be voiced with 50-story wind turbines. If you want any kind of respect for your opinions, please respect ours.

(signed) Janna Swanson

for: Coalition for

Rural Property Rights. com

Renewables may Lose “First to the Grid Privileges in EU”.

Renewables could lose European power grid priority, documents reveal

Industry concern after confidential impact assessment models scenarios for paring back the ‘priority dispatch’ system for clean energy

The sun reflects off a solar collector assembly at the Andasol solar power station, southern Spain. Retroactive changes to funding rules have caused disputes and cutbacks in several countries, notably Spain.
The sun reflects off a solar collector assembly at the Andasol solar power station, southern Spain. Retroactive changes to funding rules have caused disputes and cutbacks in several countries, notably Spain. Photograph: Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters

Windfarms and solar power could soon lose the privilege of getting priority over other energy sources on European electricity grids, leaked documents show.

Paring back the “priority dispatch” system could increase carbon emissions by up to 10%, according to a confidential EU impact assessment seen by the Guardian. But the document goes on to model four scenarios for doing just that, in a bid to make Europe’s energy generators more flexible and cost-competitive.

Some industry sources have told the Guardian they are alarmed and think it highly likely that priority dispatch for clean energy will be scrapped from the EU’s renewable energy directive, which is currently being redrafted for the post-2020 period.

Oliver Joy, a spokesman for the WindEurope trade association, said: “Removing priority dispatch for renewable energies would be detrimental to the wind sector, which would face more curtailment across the continent. It also seems to be at odds with Europe’s plans to decarbonise and increase renewables penetration over the next decade.”

“Investors took priority dispatch into account when projecting revenues in the original investment decisions, and it could have a bearing on existing projects if they are not protected from the change.”

The issue of retroactive changes to funding rules for renewables in Europe has been a cause for disputes and cutbacks in the wind and solar sectors of several countries, notably Spain.

Senior industry sources say they will push for financial compensation and access to balancing markets to help prevent a significant industry contraction, if priority dispatch is ended.

“We have had enough instability and retroactivity in Europe and going forward, the difference between existing and future assets should be well distinguished,” said one industry source.

“I would be extremely worried if they just removed priority of dispatch and did not touch other key issues around market design. It would mean that the commission was taking measures against the same renewable industries that they defend in public.”

Fossil fuel power providers argue that renewables have the lowest operating costs and so would anyway receive priority access to the grid network.

They also say that taking the clean energy sector out of priority dispatch would prevent “negative prices” – where more energy is produced than can be sold – and eliminate anti-competitive subsidies.

The EU’s assessment views the abolishing of priority dispatch as a step towards the creation of a “level playing field” for energy generators.

But without such a system, renewable sources may be the most likely to be taken offline because of the relative ease of switching off a wind turbine compared to a coal or nuclear plant.

The energy source with the lowest marginal cost – almost always renewables – is usually the first in line to be shut down by power grid operators.

As things are, a Europe-wide trend towards ending financial support has constrained the forward march of renewables on the continent, and siphoned off investment to elsewhere in the world.

“Everyone is investing in renewables outside Europe right now,” said one industry source. “If you want to bring investors back you have to send very relevant signals.

Removing wind and solar power from priority dispatch may be intended to help reform the capacity market system, which currently pays gas generators to remain idle. Ironically though, it could lead renewable generators to demand an extension of the same mechanism to their own sector.

“If priority dispatch is removed, then renewables must be given a fall-back option of access and remuneration in the balancing markets to help stabilize the system, or clear levels of compensation in the event that curtailment is necessary,” Joy said.

Priority dispatch is supposed to be mandatory under current EU rules, although the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands are among countries that do not comply.

The study says that “the biggest impacts on generation [from ending priority dispatch] would be observed in Denmark, Great Britain and Finland, where biomass holds a large share of generation capacity”.

But this would be felt more in terms of bio-energy’s “expensive” production costs than its carbon emissions reduction potential, which is disputed inside and outside the commission.

“The removal of priority dispatch for biomass would indeed, in the first instance, imply an increase in GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions,” the paper says.

The four scenarios for scaling back priority dispatch involve an increase in CO2 emissions of 45m-60m tonnes.

Wynne Uses Wind Turbine Scam to Destroy Ontario’s Financial Stability!

Can Ontario Escape its Self-Inflicted Wind Power Disaster?

wynne

***

Ontario’s energy policy is in tatters; power prices have crushed business and the roll out of thousands of these things has wrecked the lives and livelihoods of thousands, in what were once peaceful and prosperous farming communities.

In short, Kathleen Wynne & Co have dug an enormous hole from which there may be no escape. But before the Province considers how it might get out, the only sensible strategy is to stop digging – starting with bringing an end to the ludicrously generous and heavily subsidised wind power contracts that led to the inevitable debacle that’s playing out in Ontario; and which has Wynne’s Liberals petrified of the political consequences the next time their victims come to vote.

Lawrence Solomon: Yes, Ontario’s Liberals can cancel their terrible renewable power contracts—and they should do it now
Financial Post
Lawrence Solomon
15 September 2016

Ontario’s power prices are soaring out of control, industry is leaving the province, the Liberal government is panicking over its re-election prospects, and almost everyone agrees there’s no remedy, that the ludicrously lucrative long-term contracts that the Ontario government signed with wind and solar energy developers condemn the province to many more years of economic hardship.

Except there is a way to deal with the onerous contracts — rip them up. There is no compelling economic, environmental, moral or legal case for the government to “honour” odious contracts. The only honourable course of action for the government, in fact, is to admit its mistakes and pass legislation declaring those contracts null and void.

A compelling economic case? In announcing its Green Energy Act, the Liberals repeatedly boasted they’d be creating 50,000 jobs, boosting the Ontario economy to new heights. With jobs fleeing the province and business confidence at rock bottom, no one hears that boast any longer.

A compelling environmental case? Industrial wind turbines, which rely on fossil fuel backup, do next to nothing to reduce carbon dioxide, the sole rationale for their existence.

In contrast to this trivial and dubious environmental benefit, wind turbines do immense and certain environmental harm by disfiguring the countryside and slaughtering millions of birds and bats.

A compelling moral case? Ontario’s multi-billion “clean energy” industry has a squalid provenance.

This has been largely a closed-door sector in which 11 politically favoured domestic and multinational giants control 90 per cent of the wind power market, letting them pocket an estimated $10 billion in government-mandated subsidies over the next two decades. Although the industry portrays itself as small scale and local, it’s anything but.

A compelling legal case? There is none, if the province proceeds properly, explains Bruce Pardy, professor of law at Queen’s University, a former adjudicator for the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal and author of the 2014 Fraser Institute study, Cancelling Contracts: The Power of Governments to Unilaterally Alter Agreements.

“The right way is to legislate: to enact a statute that declares green contracts to be null and void, and the province to be free from liability,” he explains. “Statutes can override iron-clad provisions in a contract because that is the nature of legislative supremacy: Legislatures can pass laws of any kind, as long as they are within their jurisdiction and do not offend the constitution. Legislating on electricity production is clearly a provincial power, as are ‘property and civil rights.’”

There is no compelling case for Ontario to honour its odious renewable power deals Pardy’s analysis is sound not just in theory but in practice, as Trillium Power Wind Corp. discovered when it sued for $2.25 billion in damages after the Liberals, to quell fierce public opposition to offshore wind turbines prior to a previous election, unilaterally rewrote the rules.

The appeal court had no time for Trillium’s claims, noting that it was “plain and obvious” and “beyond all reasonable doubt” that Trillium could not succeed in arguing breach of contract.

As an analysis of the case by the law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt put it, the appeal court “made it clear that proponents who choose to participate in discretionary government programs, such as Ontario’s renewable energy program, do so primarily at their own risk. Governments may alter the policies that underlie a program, and may even alter or cancel such programs, in a manner that may be fully lawful and immune from civil suit.”

Moreover, the appeal court decision dismissed Trillium’s contention that the government had acted improperly out of “purely political” considerations, rather than out of legitimate public policy considerations.

As Osler explained, governments are free to act in their political interests: “this decision emphasizes that political factors, such as strong public opposition, are legitimate public policy considerations.” These principles aren’t Ontario-specific — they’re fundamental. Throughout Europe, governments are also unilaterally rewriting their unaffordably generous rules governing the renewables industry.

Cancelling Ontario’s odious renewables contracts would immediately and directly lower rates for the province’s citizens and industry, reversing the harm to the provincial economy and improving the government’s prospects in the coming provincial election.

A cancellation would bless the citizens of Ontario — and other provinces —indirectly as well, by disciplining future governments and investors alike. Investors would be leery of participating in future politically motivated government programs that weren’t fundamentally sound, making it difficult for future governments to pursue pet projects that run the risk of harming the citizenry.

Benign government projects — say building a school or hospital — would run no such risk and discourage no investor.

Contracts are sacrosanct between private parties, when they follow the law. Contracts means something else entirely when one party — the government — makes the law and is free to change it. Let the investor beware before getting into bed with government. Let the government think hard about whether its fling with renewables is an affair it wishes to continue.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe.
Financial Post

digging-a-hole

Wind Fiasco Promises to be the “Liberal’s Undoing”!

Grits’ failed wind energy to face tough test in 2018

By Jim Merriam

Monday, October 3, 2016 

Premier Kathleen Wynne

Premier Kathleen WynneBookmark and Share

You have to wonder how bad the Ontario Liberal party’s internal polls are to force the government to fold on its signature green energy policies.

Published polls show both Premier Kathleen Wynne and party have found a basement under rock bottom and it’s likely private polls show the same or worse.

The fact wind factories were destroying communities and tearing families apart in rural Ontario meant nothing at Queen’s Park.

Likewise, the Grits ignored endless pleas and protests from municipal leaders and wind opponents. They dismissed as meaningless complaints about wind turbines driving families from their homes.

Even the mounting evidence giant turbines are contaminating nearby wells didn’t move Wynne and company.

Plus, the Liberals were experts at ignoring the media, who repeatedly pointed out green energy problems that were leading Ontario into power poverty, particularly in rural areas.

As the old joke about always being ignored until you pass gas in an elevator goes, it only took one Scarborough byelection loss to change the landscape.

The Grits’ first response was the throne speech fiasco to “reset” the agenda. That brought the eight per cent tax rebate on energy bills, a give that went over like a lead balloon.

Now future renewable energy projects valued at over $3 billion are gone because experts said Ontario has excess power.

It’s too bad bureaucrats couldn’t have figured that out for themselves months ago when they started delivering extra power across neighbours’ borders at huge losses to Ontario.

The big question is, now what? Cancellation of future projects will keep power bills from rising by a measly $2.45 per month in the future. But that does nothing about the current power crisis.

Obviously there’ll be more goodies to come on the power front as the government gets ready to face the people in 2018 but with a provincial debt of $300 billion and counting, how significant can they be?

Besides all the ways in which the people of Ontario have been victimized by green energy initiatives, the biggest crime is the bad rap the experiment has given to renewable energy.

Former premier Dalton McGuinty and his energy minister George Smitherman got in bed with international companies to bring green energy to Ontario at the highest possible cost.

Had these two done their homework and paid even scant attention to the people of the province, they would have found all kinds of ways to introduce renewable energy on a smaller scale with Ontario residents, not offshore companies, reaping most of the benefits.

Instead McGuinty set the stage for all that was to come by prejudging most criticism of green energy projects as nothing but NIMBYism, (Not in My Back Yard).

From that moment of insult to the intelligence of rural Ontario residents, the entire green energy plan became more farce than future.

Wynne, of course, doubled down on all that was wrong with the program and has brought Ontario to the financial disaster in which it finds itself today. The antipathy is massive towards Wynne in rural Ontario because of the energy mess and other fumbled files from health care to the environment to trail development. Her government is unlikely to recover in the boondocks.

The interesting question for 2018 is how many urban folks can be convinced that the Liberals have learned their lesson and suddenly will become good stewards of Ontario’s money and interests.

Even that seems to be an insurmountable hill to climb.

jmerriam@bmts.com