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Will Dalton blow himself away?
Will Dalton blow himself away?
Premier Dalton McGuinty keeps putting lipstick on the pig that is his green energy policy.
Last week, he announced small downward adjustments to future, 20-year Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) contracts with green energy producers, that are driving up the cost of electricity for consumers.
But it’s too little, too late to avoid the economic and social disaster McGuinty has already inflicted.
Despite earlier musings he would give municipalities more say in where renewable energy projects go, McGuinty refused to remove the veto his Green Energy Act gives the province over local input into such decisions.
Instead, wind and solar projects that have community support will be fast-tracked, which doesn’t help the many rural communities which don’t want them because of health and environmental concerns.
This time, the Liberals claimed their renewable energy initiatives are adding 5% to hydro bills. When they introduced the program in 2009, they said it would add 1% to hydro bills annually.
A year later, they said renewable energy would be responsible for more than half (56%) of a 40% jump in electricity bills over five years.
So even they don’t take what they’re saying seriously anymore.
The Liberals also claim their renewable energy program is on track to create 50,000 new jobs, even though Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter reported last year most are temporary and international studies show renewable energy kills far more jobs than it creates because it increases electricity prices.
More and more renewable energy is scheduled to come on line over the next few years even though Ontario doesn’t need it because of an energy surplus caused by a huge loss of manufacturing jobs.
McCarter estimated that could mean paying renewable energy producers up to $225 million annually not to produce electricity.
He also found McGuinty’s green energy pricing polices are costing consumers billions of dollars more than they would have had he listened to the advice of his own experts.
Finally, McCarter reported the Liberals had no business plan or detailed economic analysis when they made their untendered green energy deal with South Korea’s Samsung Group.
The Liberals argue more green energy is needed to close Ontario’s coal-fired electricity plants by 2014.
But the plants are barely used now because of Ontario’s energy surplus, and wind and solar have to be backed up, usually by natural gas plants, because they can’t deliver base load power on demand.
Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says he’d eliminate FIT and restore the rights of municipalities to veto renewable projects.
The NDP want McGuinty to stop expanding nuclear power and put more money into renewables.
In the last election, rural anger over wind turbines cost McGuinty 10 seats, three cabinet ministers including the environment minister, and his majority government.
So, on the bright side, if he keeps this up, he may just blow himself out of office in the next election.
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