“Letter to the Editor”, regarding Cancellation of Renewable Energy Agreements…

 

Dear Editor

Electricity is back in the news again and some are expressing that green jobs might be lost if the province doesn’t enter into any new agreements for renewable energy.  This will save Ontarians a whopping $2.45 per month on their electricity bills.

Ontarians need to know about the original contract between Ontario and Samsung/Korea Consortium, where there was to be approx. 16,000 jobs created.  This was challenged in the World Trade Organization Court and Canada lost.  Because of the amended trade agreement in 2013 Samsung/Korea could “develop, construct and operate wind and solar generation projects” totaling “up to 1,369 MW of capacity (Phases 1 and 2 and 300 MW for Phase 3).  It could also “establish and operate facilities” to “manufacture wind and solar generation equipment” which might create approximately 900 jobs.

With how much Ontarians have spent on this monopoly there would be 900 jobs created – think about that.  And it would be the same deal even if it were the PCs or the NDP.  They are all getting the same failed advice from the same back-room boys.

We also must remember that there is 3 phases to the Samsung/Korea monopoly and only new agreements, with others, won’t be entered into.  This leaves Ontarians on the hook for the next umpteen years, according to the press, and what about the turbines that are already expropriating people’s use, enjoyment and operation of their land with 500 meter plus set-backs, that go over property lines.  According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association, a noise receptor is the inner ear, not the government’s definition that it is a house.  This expropriation/violation should not be tolerated by any Ontarian because if it can happen to one person it can happen to any person.  And one merely has to look at the “big 3” parties to see why this is continuing.

Bill Davis’ PCs (1985) was one of the first to have a government agreement with Suncor (TransCanada), which neither, the Liberals or NDP seem to cancel.  This might explain why none of the parties are not saying anything about the breach of trust involved with the cancellation of the gas-plants.  Wynne even admitted her government had committed breach of trust against Ontarians – silence from the other parties.  As for the Attorney General’s office, why isn’t it upholding the law?  Isn’t that its job?

When Ontarians find out what is really happening they might look to someone else to represent them in Queen’s Park and not merely the “big 3” representing the “back-room boy’s.” These costly agreements will be back, no matter which party is in power.  So don’t be fooled.  We have 18 months to find someone new – let’s do it.

 

Elizabeth F. Marshall,

Director of Research Ontario Landowners Association

Author – Property Rights 101:  An Introduction”

Secretary – Canadian Justice Review Board

Legal Research – Green and Associates Law Offices, etc

Legislative Researcher – MPs, MPPs, Mun. Councillors, etc.

President All Rights Research Ltd.,

Steering Committee – International Property Rights Association

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.  Any information relayed is for informational purposes only.  Please contact a lawyer.

1-705-607-0587Collingwood, ON

 

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Covering up bird mortality at wind farms. Mark Duchamp

PRESS RELEASE
12 September 2016

Hiding evidence of the massacre

 


News of bird and bat deaths at wind farms have reduced to a trickle. Does that mean that a solution has been found? Yes, it has, but it’s not what you think. Wind turbines are every year more numerous and the massacre they cause is ever increasing. What has changed is that the cover up is now effective at 100%, or just about.

The following news sheds light on the latest technique for making mortality data unavailable to the public (and the media):

Wind farm sues to block bird death data


Yes, you read correctly: “releasing (the wind farm’s) bird and bat kill reports would provide “trade secrets” to its competitors”. Surrealist, isn’t it? But that’s only one of the many lies we must deal with when investigating that hugely subsidized industry. Below, we present the “trade secrets” they are trying to hide:

trade secrets
courtesy of Ontario Wind Resistance


Indeed, in present day United States, mortality data legally belong to wind farm owners, and the public has no right to see the numbers without their permission. This is the “solution” that has been found for covering up the butchery of eagles, cranes, pelicans, condors, swans, swallows, bats, owls, falcons, hawks, geese, gamebirds, songbirds etc.

Throughout the world, ever since shocking mortality statistics at wind farms made the news 15-20 years ago, efforts have been made by the wind industry and complicit governments to hide the numbers. In the UK for instance, wind farms have long stopped being monitored for mortality; in Spain, the monitoring has been done, but the reports were filed away without publishing; elsewhere, whenever a wind farm had to be checked for mortality, its owner would select ornithology consultants based on their reputation for “cooperation” – i.e. whose reports always showed “manageable” numbers. This is still the preferred method for covering up in some countries, e.g. Canada or Australia.

To make it even safer for European wind developers, and regardless of the proclaimed right of the public to be informed on environmental matters (Aarhus Convention), reports concerning wind farms’ impact on birds and bats were soon stamped “property of the developer”, meaning that he may edit them before publication. “The wind companies rewrite all ecological work themselves“, said to me a UK ornithologist who had worked for wind developers. But a non-disclosure clause in the contract kept him from revealing publicly what he knew and what he saw. This is now standard practice in wind farm monitoring contracts.

Thanks to these various methods to hide the evidence, high mortality numbers soon disappeared from the headlines, and the public lost interest, trusting large ecology NGOs and bird societies to watch over protected wildlife. However, conflicts of interests oblige (i.e. $$$), these organizations keep denying that significant harm is being done to biodiversity. For instance, none of them has published the report by the Spanish ornithological societyrevealing millions of deaths a year in Spain. Yet it is based on 136 monitoring reports obtained from the Spanish government under Freedom of Information legislation.

Granted, the particularly deadly Altamont Pass wind turbines kept coming back in the news now and then, but the media has become so gullible (or complicit) that even their repowering for another 25 years didn’t make waves.

The issuing by the US administration of “incidental take permits”, allowing wind farm operators to kill a number of eagles accidentally, did cause anger among bona fide conservationists, especially as wind farm operators can easily hide the real number of eagles they kill. But this scandal didn’t make the evening news on television. Most NGOs don’t really mind: there is no money in protesting, but plenty of it to be reaped from Big Wind, awash as it is in subsidies.

In Scotland, an issue that could become a hot potatoe is the census of golden eagles. Originally due in 2013, this politically-sensitive 10-year survey was postponed to 2015, and to date we are still waiting for its publication. Cynics are suggesting that it takes time to edit the text and doctor the figures, which would otherwise reveal a sharp drop in the Scottish golden eagle population, coinciding with the period when the moorlands were invaded by wind farms.

Coincidence or not, a report just surfaced in Edinburgh, reassuring the Scots on the fate of their beloved eagles. Wind turbines may be installed near eagle nests, it claims, provided ornithologists are paid, during the life of the wind farm, to feed the eagles and monitor their behavior. It’s pure rubbish, but it keeps ornithologists and bird societies happy. Officially, they are the ones who “know” about birds, and their opinion is taken into consideration by the authorities; so it’s important for the wind lobby to keep them cheery. In reality, we know that wind turbines attract (and kill) eagles, as they do other raptors, swallows and bats: read Biodiversity Alert. In short, the new report is just another one of many biased, misleading studies financed by wind interests. If you read the press article till the end, it actually claims thatBeinn an Tuirc wind farm helps Scottish eagles survive. Yes indeed, the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.

The population survival issue was tackled differently in the western United States: the golden eagle census was carried out from a plane. Obviously, scientific rigor was lacking: seen from an aircraft, it is easy to mistake a juvenile bald eagle for an adult golden eagle. The wind coalition used this worthless census to report a “stable golden eagle population” in the western States. Different methods, same misleading result.

One of the countries where the cover up wasn’t achieved at 100% is Australia. Mortality at the infamous Woolnorth wind farm apparently ceased being reported to the public, but a few months ago, that of the Macarthur wind farm hit the news, causing concern worldwide.

More recently, another Australian wind farm discreetly announced (you have to search their newsletter thoroughly – page 2, paragraph 3) that it was killing many eagles: Bald Hills wind farm – 7 eagles killed in 4 months. Seven in four months is the official figure, so the reality could be even worse. It’s also a good indication that, as revealed by Save the Eagles International, raptors are attracted to wind turbines (and then killed). But don’t be surprised that, in spite of the evidence provided in STEI’s article, bird societies completely ignore this lethal attraction exerted by wind turbines: it would hurt the wind industry if they recognized it. Here you can, again, appreciate the hypocrisy surrounding the whole issue.

Finally, the cover up is naturally helped by scavengers, which become rapidly aware that wind turbines provide easy food in the form of dead or injured birds and bats. So they make the rounds daily, mostly at night or at dawn when their chances are best. Searchers employed by consultants rarely start their work as early as foxes and crows, so they miss most carcasses. In addition, they visit the site once every week at best, leaving plenty of time for scavengers to clean up the grounds.

That is how the company operating Bald Hills WF, above, can claim they only found 19 bird carcasses (assuming the figure wasn’t simply doctored). You’ll note that there were 7 eagles among them: typically, small carcasses disappear whole, while larger ones often leave some remains behind. Some wind farm operators instruct their employees to bury the evidence , but some carcasses can escape their vigilance, given the very large surface to be searched, and the vegetation.

At Altamont Pass, California, Dr Smallwood estimated in 2004 that 116 golden eagles were being killed yearly by the 5,000 (small) wind turbines (1). These mostly young, wandering eagles, were from California, the western United States, and even Canada. The massacre will continue as new, bigger turbines replace the old ones. The “green” NGOs don’t really care – do we hear them protest? The killing is now legal (incidental take permits), and that keeps the operators out of trouble if some eagle carcass happened to be discovered by a member of the public. The wind industry wins. The extermination of eagles, hawks, falcons, cranes, swallows, owls, bats and other highly valued species may continue unabated.

Mark Duchamp
President

(1) – Altamont Pass wind farm, 116 golden eagles killed yearly: see Page 73, Table 3-11: Species/Taxonomic group: Golden eagle
Mortality per year:
– adjusted for search detection: 75.6
– adjusted for search detection and scavenging: 116.5
DEVELOPING METHODS TO REDUCE BIRD MORTALITY IN THE ALTAMONT
PASS WIND RESOURCE AREA – Shawn Smallwood & Carl Thelander (2004) – for the California Energy Commission. http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/500-04-052/500-04-052_00_EXEC_SUM.PDF

More About the “Climate Change Scam”…

Climate Change Won’t Kill The Grandkids – Having No Energy Will

Written by Tom D. Tamarkin

Anthropogenic warming (AGW)  or climate change is not the BIG problem its advocates make it out to be. Even if it could be proved that man is creating it through his use of hydro-carbon fossil fuels, it is not the truly BIG problem.

Climate change has always been a part of the Earth’s dynamic atmospheric system. During the last 2 billion years the Earth’s climate has alternated between a frigid “Ice House” climate, today’s moderate climate, , and a steaming “Hot House” climate, as in the time of the dinosaurs.

Principal contributing factors to the variability of the Earth’s median temperature and climate are the Earth’s complex orbit in the solar system as defined by the Milankovitch cycles, the sun’s variable radiated energy output, and geological factors on Earth such as undersea volcanic activity leading to inconsistent temperature gradients in the oceans.

This chart shows how global climate has changed over geological time.

geologic climate

Unfortunately, the potential threat of predicted future climate change has been used to transfer enormous amounts of money from wealthy nations to poor nations [1]. This has enabled the survival instinct mechanisms of the climate change community. That includes governments, consultants, and scientific researchers who simply study the perceived problem and generate academic journal articles and reports. The ineffective green energy solutions manufacturing and service industry also owes their life…and government subsidies…to the climate change scare. No serious money raised by the “climate scare” has been spent on solving the BIG problem.

The BIG problem is the fact that man was provided with about 400 years’ worth of hydrocarbon based fossil fuels which took several hundred million years to be created on Earth. The energy came from the Sun [2]. Integrated over large amounts of geological time, daily Sun energy was converted into chemicals through plant photosynthesis. These chemicals can, in-turn, be ignited to release the stored energy through an oxidation reduction reaction with oxygen [3]. Once they are gone they are gone in human life cycle terms.

What is energy? A physicists will answer by saying “the ability to perform work.” They will elaborate by saying: “energy is a property of objects which can be transferred to other objects or converted into different forms, but cannot be created or destroyed.”

A housewife will say energy is what moves our cars, powers our airplanes, cooks our food, and keeps us warm in the winter – cool in the summer.

You cannot power a world estimated to have 9 billion people by 2060 on energy produced from solar cells and wind turbines.

They are not sustainable meaning they cannot create enough energy quickly enough to reproduce themselves (build more) and provide energy to man. The reason is that the amount of energy received from the Sun is far “too dilute” meaning a very small amount of energy is received per square unit of surface area for relatively short periods of time given the day-night cycle and weather conditions [4].

Wind energy is a secondary effect of solar energy because wind is created by the atmosphere’s absorption of the Sun’s thermal energy in combination with the Coriolis force effect [5]. This is based on the rotation of the Earth coupled with atmospheric pressure differences relating to elevation, mountains, and the like [6].

Hydro power from dammed rives is also a secondary effect of solar energy. The movement of water in the Earth’s vast system of rivers occurs because of solar energy. This happens as seawater is evaporated, forms clouds, and ultimately water is released as rain and snow keeping our rivers full and flowing out to sea from higher elevations propelled by gravity. Unlike solar and wind, hydropower can consistently produce material but limited amounts of energy.

fuel graph

The above illustration shows energy flux density in million Joules per litter on the left hand vertical axis with a scale spanning 10 to the 16th power in scientific notation. The horizontal axis depicts time on the top row from 0 years Common Era to 2200. The bottom row depicts worldwide population which is directly controlled by available energy to produce food, potable water and to provide for man’s comfort. As can be seen, once fossil hydro-carbon fuels are no longer available in quantity, fusion energy must be developed or worldwide population will contract to that of the preindustrial age in the 1600s. Energy flux density refers to how much energy is contained per unit volume of an energy source. Appendix 1 below provides tabulation for various energy sources.

We must begin to turn to what Dr. Steve Cowley in the UK calls “energy from knowledge;” the conversion of mass into energy [7]. Albert Einstein formulated the relationship between energy and mas (matter) in his famous equation E = mc2. This means that a very small amount of mass is equal to a very large amount of energy as explained by Dr. Einstein in his own voice [8].

We must solve energy for the long term through the conversion of matter into energy. No other energy source has a suitable energy flux density to provide our electricity, transportation, potable water and agricultural needs once fossil hydro-carbon fuels are no longer economically viable to recover due to depletion [9].

We must begin now because it will take several decades to master the science. We began this journey when we developed nuclear fission power. However nuclear fission is not a long term solution for several reasons; most notably the long-term radioactive waste it produces. As an example, in the U.S. today, nuclear energy accounts for approximately 20% of input energy to create America’s baseload power. To produce all baseload power we would have to increase the number of active nuclear plants by five times. Baseload power generation in the U.S. consumes roughly 40% of all energy resources. Thus, approximately 600 additional 1 GWH plants would have to be built and operated to provide 100% of all input energy currently consumed in the production of consumable energy in the United States. Scale this worldwide based on population and an equivalent per capita energy and it becomes overwhelming in terms of waste issues.

The next step is the development of nuclear fusion. Fusion is much different than fission[101112]. It uses light elements in the fuel cycle, is fail safe, and can do no environmental harm. It has the highest flux density of any energy source short of matter anti-matter annihilation.

It will take several more years of pure experimental scientific research to demonstrate a sustained fusion reaction in the laboratory producing a net energy gain meaning more energy is produced than was “pumped in” to start the energy production [13]. Once controlled fusion is proven in a controlled environment, regardless of how expensive and complicated the reactor mechanism and facility is, man’s ingenuity will take over in the private sector. The complexities and costs will be driven down just as turn of the 20th century vacuum tubes gave way to transistors and later microcomputers-on-a-chip.

That is the BIG problem. If we do not solve this, in 50 to 100 years our coal, oil, and natural gas resources will no longer beeconomically and environmentally recoverable [14]. Then mankind reverts back to life in the 16th century. If we do not solve energy the entire argument of being good environmental stewards of the Earth is moot. Why? Because in less than 100 years we will no longer be burning fossil hydro-carbon fuels. Global warming and climate change caused by man is no longer an issue. The problem takes care of itself. In a few thousand years the processes of nature…geological and geo-chemical…will erase most signs of our past industrialized existence.

If there are not sizable numbers of cognitively intelligent humans capable of thinking and distinguishing beauty, it is a nonconsequential point as aliens are not flocking to our planet. No one or no thing will ever know the difference. Which begs the question: “Is there intelligent life on Earth?” This author believes so. As Bill & Melinda Gates recently stated in their recentfoundation’s annual open letter, our youth needs to be challenged to produce what they called an “energy miracle” [15].

This is the biggest problem man faces. Climate change…if caused by man…automatically reverses itself over the next 100 years. But if we do not solve energy mankind’s population will contract by a factor greater than 10 over the course of the following 100 years. Collectively, we as a species must recognize this reality and begin the energy race today.

References:
[1] Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare, Investor’s Business Daily, March 29, 2016.
[2] Tamarkin, Tom D., Energy Basics; Where does energy on our planet come from?, Fusion 4 Freedom.
[3] Heats of Combustion, UC Davis Chemistry Wiki.
[4] Lawson, Barrie & Tamarkin, Tom D., Going Solar-System Requirements For Solar Generated Utility Baseload Power, Fusion 4 Freedom.
[5] Consequences of Rotation for Weather; Coriolis Forces, Universe of Tennessee Knoxville.
[6] Atmospheric Pressure at Different Altitudes, AVS Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, & Processing, https://www.avs.org/.
[7] Fusion energy with Professor Steven Cowley, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, UK.
[8] William Tucker, Ph.D., Understanding E = MC2, Dr. Albert Einstein in his own voice & explanation, Energytribune.com.
[9] Tamarkin, Tom D., Energy Basics, Comparison of fuel energy flux densities, Fusion 4 Freedom.
[10] Duke Energy Nuclear Information Center, Fission vs. Fusion – What’s the Difference?
[11] Lawson, Barrie, Nuclear Fission Theory, Fusion 4 Freedom.
[12] Lawson, Barrie, Nuclear Fusion-The Theory, Fusion 4 Freedom.
[13] Tamarkin, Tom D., Fusion Energy; Too Important to Fail – Too Big To Hoard, Fusion 4 Freedom.
[14] Tamarkin, Tom D. 2060 And Lights Out: How Will America Survive Without Oil?, Inquisitir Special Report, http://www.inquisitr.com.
[15] Gates, Bill & Melinda, Gates Foundation Annual Open Letter, James, Murray, Guardian, February 24, 2016.

Appendix 1

Energy Flux Density Comparisons
Energy density is the amount of energy stored in a given system or region of space per unit volume. Specific energy is the amount of energy stored per unit mass (weight.) Only the useful or extractable energy is measured. It is useful to compare the energy densities of various energy sources. At the top of the list is fusion followed by nuclear fission and then hydrocarbon fuels derived from petroleum, coal and natural gas. At the bottom of the list are batteries which either generate energy or store energy as well as “renewable energy” such as solar.

1 Kg of Deuterium fused with 1.5 Kg of Tritium can produce 87.4 GWH of electricity

Here are the underlying calculations supporting the statement above:
The energy released by fusion of 1 atom of Deuterium with 1 atom of Tritium is 17.6 Mev = 2.8 X 10-12 Joules.

The energy liberated by the fusion of 1 Kg of Deuterium with 1.5 Kg of Tritium is 2.8 X 10-12X 2.99 X 1026 = 8.3 X 1014 Joules = (8.3 X 1014 ) / (3.6 X 10-12 ) = 230 GWHours.

This energy is released as heat. A conventional steam turbine power plant with an efficiency of 38%, would produce 87.4GWH of electricity

1 Deuterium is a naturally occurring isotope of hydrogen readily available from sea water.
2 Tritium is produced in the fusion reactor from Lithium as part of the fuel cycle and energy exchange process. Lithium is an abundant naturally occurring element.

Comparison of “renewable” energy density

renewables

1 How much solar power per cubic meter is there? The volume of the space between a one-meter-square patch on Earth and the center of our orbit around the sun is 50 billion cubic meters (the earth is 150 billion meters from the sun, or 4,000 earth circumferences). Dividing the usable 100 watts per square meter by this volume, yields two-billionths of a watt per cubic meter. Sunlight takes about eight minutes(499 seconds) to reach the earth. Multiplying 499 seconds by twenty-six billionths of a W/m3 reveals that solar radiation has an energy density of 1.5 microjoules per cubic meter (1.5 x 10-6 J/m3).

2 The only way to extract thermal energy from the atmosphere is to construct an insulated pipe between it and a reservoir at lower temperature (preferably a much lower one). This is how geothermal heat pumps work. Typical ground temperature is 52F (284 K). On a 90F day, such a system has a peak efficiency of 7%, and a power density of only 0.05 mW/m3 (Stopa and Wojnarowski 2006): typical surface power fluxes for geothermal wells are on the order of 50 mW/m2 and have typical depths of 1 km. To find the energy density, a characteristic time must be included. The time used should be that of the time required for water being pumped into the ground to circulate through the system once. This number is on the order of ten days (Sanjuan et al. 2006). The resulting energy density is 0.05 J/m3, or roughly two to three orders of magnitude lower than wind or waves.

3 Wind is driven by changes in weather patterns, which in turn are driven by thermal gradients. Tides are driven by fluctuations in gravity caused by lunar revolutions. The energy densities of wind and water systems are proportional to the mass, m, moving through them, and the square of the speed, v, of this mass, or ½mv2. At sea level, air with a density of about one kilogram per cubic meter moving at five meters per second (ten miles per hour) has a kinetic energy of 12.5 joules per cubic meter. Applying Betz’s Law, which limits efficiency to 59% (Betz 1926), yields about seven joules per cubic meter. Thus, wind energy on a moderately windy day is over a million times more energy-dense than solar energy.

There are two prevalent mechanisms for extracting tidal energy. In one system, barrages move up and down, extracting energy with the rise and fall of the tides. On the second type strategy, tidal stream systems act more like underwater wind turbines, extracting energy from tidal waters as they move past. As with wind, the energy of a moving volume of water is also ½mv2. Tidal systems have the advantage over wind systems in that water is approximately one thousand times denser than air. Their disadvantage lies in generally low tidal velocities of only ten centimeters per second to one meter per second. Thus, a cubic meter of water, with a mass of about 1000 kg, yields an energy density of about five joules per cubic meter for slow water1and five hundred joules per cubic meter for fast water2. These are also subject to Betz’s law and represent only peak values, so the average energy densities are closer to one-half of a joule per cubic meter to fifty joules per cubic meter, or about the same as wind.

1 kinetic energy (tidal low velocity) = ½ mv2 = ½ · 1000 kg · (0.1 m/s)2 = 5 joules.
2 kinetic energy (tidal high velocity) = ½ mv2 = ½ · 1000 kg · (1 m/s)2 = 500 joules.

How Green Energy Hurts the Poor…

Commentary

How Green Energy Hurts the Poor


     Print

The clean energy mantra is so loud that it often drowns out the feeble cry of energy poverty. Many Americans are finding it more and more difficult to pay their utility bills, yet this important issue is nearly absent from the debate about America’s energy future.

Modern progressives, who have long fancied themselves as champions of the poor, now see energy policy only through the lens of climate change. Their call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at any cost, drives public policy. Consequently, the sources of our most reliable and affordable electricity, existing coal power plants, are being shut down across the country as overzealous federal and state regulatory mandates force utilities to use less reliable, and more expensive sources such as wind and solar power.

For those on fixed incomes, increasing energy prices mean that the gap between what they can afford to pay and what they are paying for electricity is widening. If we continue to push aside cheap coal-generated electricity for more expensive alternatives, many more of the nation’s poor will fall into that gap as they struggle to keep their lights on and their refrigerators running.

To be considered affordable, utility bills should be no more than 6 percent of one’s income. But according to new research, energy costs now represent 20 percent or more of income for many of the poorest Americans. That affordability gap of 14 percentage points translates into an extra $40 billion per year.

Only about 1 in 5 families eligible for the federal government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program actually received funding last year. While climate change evangelists might suggest the answer to this affordability crisis is more funding for energy assistance programs, that’s only a Band-Aid solution that ignores the critical issue of why energy costs are rising.

While low-cost natural gas—thanks to the shale revolution—has moderated rises in energy prices, we cannot assume that natural gas will stay cheap forever. Today, natural gas is the largest source for generating the nation’s electricity. It also heats half of American homes and is being exported in ever-growing volumes.

In the past, when natural gas prices spiked (which they have a history of doing), utilities could turn to abundant, reliable and low-cost coal power to hold down energy costs. But many of those coal plants, once the backbone of our electricity sector, are now gone or are threatened with regulation-induced death. While coal is still used to generate a third of the nation’s electricity, an ever-lengthening list of EPA regulations continues to push critically important coal plants into early retirement.

But renewable energy can’t fill that void any time soon. Despite receiving tens of billions of dollars in subsidies, wind and solar still generate less than 6 percent of the nation’s electricity and remain undependable sources of electricity generation.

Improving the environmental performance of our energy sector is a worthy goal. But doing so by regulatory fiat, while trading reliable and low-cost energy for more expensive and less reliable alternatives, is not the right path forward.

Purposefully driving up the cost of energy, while millions of Americans already struggle to pay their utility bills, is irresponsible. We cannot cut the world’s carbon emissions alone, but we can certainly make U.S. energy poverty a full-blown crisis if we continue on our current course.

Innovation and competition, not heavy-handed regulation, are the keys to keeping the cost of energy from breaking household budgets. Maintaining, or even lowering, energy costs must be as important a consideration in U.S. energy policy as any efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


William F. Shughart II is Research Director and Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, and editor of the Independent Institute book, Taxing Choice: The Predatory Politics of Fiscal Discrimination.

Donald Trump….Too Smart to Fall for the Wind/Climate Scam!

Donald Trump Would Unleash Energy Sector

Say what you want about Donald Trump, but he has said two things recently that more profoundly diagnose America’s true problems than anything Hillary Clinton has even come close to thinking about in her entire lifetime.

Donald Trump Would Unleash Energy Sector
By Steve Milloy
Breitbart.com, August 9, 2016

Say what you want about Donald Trump, but he has said two things recently that more profoundly diagnose America’s true problems than anything Hillary Clinton has even come close to thinking about in her entire lifetime
The first thing he said — that political correctness “cripples our ability to talk and think and act clearly” — is not the subject of this column. The second — that “It is time to remove the anchor that is dragging us down” — is.

The “anchor” he was talking about is the government and, especially the Obama administration and any extension thereof through Hillary Clinton.

We have a government that is choking us to death with regulations and economy killing policies. As Trump pointed out:

The Federal Register is now over 80,000 pages long. As the Wall Street Journal noted, President Obama has issued close to four hundred new major regulations since taking office, each with a cost to the American economy of $100 million or more.

In 2015 alone, the Obama Administration unilaterally issued more than 2,000 new regulations – each a hidden tax on American consumers, and a massive lead weight on the American economy.

Nowhere is this truer than in the energy sector Trump spotlighted in his speech in Detroit. But to appreciate Trump’s prescription for the energy sector and the rest of the economy, it’s first necessary to understand how the Obama administration has sabotaged both.

Probably the least talked about effect of Obama’s anti-economic policies has been the destruction of the economic model for the electric power industry. Electric utilities used to make money the old fashioned way — by selling more electricity. For a variety of reasons, that has not been possible in the moribund Obama economy.

Instead utilities have been forced to engage in various government-mandated energy efficiency and green power schemes where utilities can only make more money by selling less electricity at higher prices. Flattened electricity production by utilities has then had downstream effects on fuel production industries.

Lower fuel needs has forced down coal prices and caused overproduction in a coal industry that has become increasingly efficient over the years at producing coal.

The Obama administration then compounded this problem for the coal industry by commencing its infamous war on coal. This has had the effect of forcing utilities to choose either to endure high regulatory compliance costs and political disfavor by sticking with coal or to switch to alternatives like natural gas, wind and solar. While the Obama administration favored the later two energy sources, the markets tossed a monkey wrench in these plans.

A glut of cheap natural gas produced by hydrofracturing technology (fracking) eased the coal-switching problem for utilities. Making progressive lemonade out of lemons, at this point the Obama administration then decided to finish off the coal industry by making the permanent the glut of cheap natural gas. It did this by slow-walking if not just simply preventing natural gas from being exported to a global market hungry for it.

The effect was two-fold. First, it forced most of the coal industry into bankruptcy. Second, it kept gas prices depressed. If an oil and gas firm is not struggling today, it’s probably only because it has gone into bankruptcy, too. And it you’re thinking that cheap fuel prices must have been good for electric utilities, think again. Midwestern utilities were hoping that the cheap fuel glut would lead to a renaissance of manufacturing in the Rust Belt, facilities to which they could sell more electricity. But regulatory uncertainty brought about overzealous and arbitrary Obama administration agencies and actions has prevented any such renaissance.

A President Trump would remove the government boot from the energy industry. Natural gas could be exported to a gas-hungry world. This would relieve pressure on what’s left of the coal industry. Then, unburdening utilities of regulatory and political pressure to use politically correct fuels and allowing utilities to sell more electricity to a growing economy would restore health to the ailing energy sector and help create millions of good-paying, wealth producing jobs.

All this is complex and difficult to explain in a brief column, let alone a policy speech by a candidate who is more of a business-doer than a political-talker. But Trump gets the big picture. Overregulation is killing our economy. The energy sector is living (on life support) proof.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is a former coal executive.

A Breakdown on How Badly the Wind Fiasco is Hurting us…Financially.

Ontario electricity has never been cheaper, but bills have never been higher

The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar.

Tyler Brownbridge / Postmedia News files
 
The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar.  The more the wind blows, the bigger the losses and the higher the hit to consumers.

You may be surprised to learn that electricity is now cheaper to generate in Ontario than it has been for decades. The wholesale price, called the Hourly Ontario Electricity Price or HOEP, used to bounce around between five and eight cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), but over the last decade, thanks in large part to the shale gas revolution, it has trended down to below three cents, and on a typical day is now as low as two cents per kWh. Good news, right?

It would be, except that this is Ontario. A hidden tax on Ontario’s electricity has pushed the actual purchase price in the opposite direction, to the highest it’s ever been. The tax, called the Global Adjustment (GA), is levied on electricity purchases to cover a massive provincial slush fund for green energy, conservation programs, nuclear plant repairs and other central planning boondoggles. As these spending commitments soar, so does the GA.

In the latter part of the last decade when the HOEP was around five cents per kWh and the government had not yet begun tinkering, the GA was negligible, so it hardly affected the price. In 2009, when the Green Energy Act kicked in with massive revenue guarantees for wind and solar generators, the GA jumped to about 3.5 cents per kWh, and has been trending up since — now it is regularly above 9.5 cents. In April it even topped 11 cents, triple the average HOEP.

So while the marginal production cost for generation is the lowest in decades, electricity bills have never been higher. And the way the system is structured, costs will keep rising.

The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar. Obviously, if the wholesale price is around 2.5 cents, and the wind turbines are guaranteed 13.5 cents, someone has to kick in 11 cents to make up the difference. That’s where the GA comes in. The more the wind blows, and the more turbines get built, the bigger the losses and the higher the GA.

Just to make the story more exquisitely painful, if the HOEP goes down further, for instance through technological innovation, power rates won’t go down. A drop in the HOEP widens the gap between the market price and the wind farm’s guaranteed price, which means the GA has to go up to cover the losses.

Ontario’s policy disaster goes many layers further. If people conserve power and demand drops, the GA per kWh goes up, so if everyone tries to save money by cutting usage, the price will just increase, defeating the effort. Nor do Ontarians benefit through exports. Because the renewables sector is guaranteed the sale, Ontario often ends up exporting surplus power at a loss.

The story only gets worse if you try to find any benefits from all this spending. Ontario doesn’t get more electricity than before, it gets less.

Despite the hype, all this tinkering produced no special environmental benefits. The province said it needed to close its coal-fired power plants to reduce air pollution. But prior to 2005, these plants were responsible for less than two per cent of annual fine particulate emissions in Ontario, about the same as meat packing plants, and far less than construction or agriculture. Moreover, engineering studies showed that improvements in air quality equivalent to shutting the plants down could be obtained by simply completing the pollution control retrofit then underway, and at a fraction of the cost. Greenhouse gas emissions could have been netted to zero by purchasing carbon credits on the open market, again at a fraction of the cost. The environmental benefits exist only in provincial propaganda.

And on the subject of environmental protection, mention must be made of the ruin of so many scenic vistas in the province, especially long stretches of the Great Lakes shores, the once-pristine recreational areas of the central highlands, and the formerly pastoral landscapes of the southwestern farmlands; and we have not even mentioned yet the well-documented ordeal for people living with the noise and disturbance of wind turbines in their backyards. We will look in vain for benefits in Ontario even remotely commensurate to the damage that has been done.

The province likes to defend its disastrous electricity policy by saying it did it for the children. These are the same children who are now watching their parents struggle with unaffordable utility bills. And who in a few years will enter the workforce and discover how hard it has become to get full time jobs amid a shrinking industrial job market.

Electricity is cheaper to make than it’s been for a generation, yet Ontarians are paying more than ever. About the only upside is that nine other provinces now have a handbook on what not to do with their electricity sector.

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at University of Guelph, is Research Chair, Frontier Centre for Public Policy.