Eco-Warriors are Strangling Energy Advances at a Cost to Consumers

Back in 1989 Greenpeace Canada lost it’s charitable status with the CRA and they kept trying to get it back without success but suddenly in late 2020 for some reason the CRA suddenly allowed the newly formed Greenpeace Canada Education Fund to have charitable status. The latter claim they are “focused on research, investigations and education” and reputedly have engaged “more than 17,000 students from K-12 and 328 presentations across Canada”.  One should presume those engagements have been to scare our children and grandchildren that the world will end unless we deal with “climate change”. 

As a coincidence an unrelated “Google” search led to finding an entity called the Green Energy Coalition which has been an “intervenor” with the Ontario Energy Board and on occasions; jointly with Environmental Defence.  Members of the GEC are none other than; Greenpeace Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, Sierra Club of Canada and the World Wildlife Fund.  The latter three plus Environmental Defence are all registered Charities and push the concept of eliminating fossil fuels and supporting expensive and unreliable renewable energy in the form of wind and solar.  One should note they are not the only eco-warrior intervenors pushing for the end of fossil fuel use.  Others include Pollution Probe, OSEA (Ontario Sustainable Energy Association), the Atmospheric Fund (created by the City of Toronto in 1991), Clean Air Council/Clean Air Partnership (funded by many municipal governments) and several others. One of the others is the School Energy Coalition Intervention Services (SEC) handled principally by the law firm Shepherd Rubenstein” who are also big supporters of “climate change”. The SEC (primary funding from school boards) intervenor awards alone for the April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020 OEB year report totaled $840K which was 18% of all the awards for that year.

What becomes obvious is, our tax dollars; municipal, provincial and federal, not only pay for the Ontario Energy Board, school boards, etc. etc. via all the tax burdens we experience but also are used to create not-for-profits and charities that continually fight as intervenors and whose costs are also billed to us via our bills for both the electricity and natural gas, we use, which are also both taxed on our bills. 

A recent example was the intervenor costs associated with Enbridge’s effort to replace a deteriorating 19.8 kilometer pipeline (denied by the OEB) in Ottawa where intervenor costs for SEC were $63,319.55, for Pollution Probe $36,637.43 and $12,856.01 for Environmental Defence.

Not sure how the OEB can view intervention by those eco-warriors as a benefit to all of the households and businesses using electricity and natural gas in Ontario as we are also obliged to pick up those intervenor costs which has a multiplier effect on our tax costs. Just another tax on tax on tax!

This is but one example of why we should not wonder why Canada ranks so low in the OCED for getting things done due to our numerous regulations and the bureaucrats managing them! 

Perhaps the time has arrived to reduce our regulations and the numerous bureaucrats managing them!

OCAF is bringing Holger Dalkman from Germany to speak to City of Ottawa Officials and Others

The excitement in Ottawa often keeps locals up at night but we should be pretty sure an upcoming event hosted by OCAF (Ottawa Climate Action Fund) will be nothing like a “truck convoy” with honking horns. Despite it’s more quiet nature it should cause excitement for other reasons! Let’s see why?

OCAF is Hosting an Event

OCAF was founded with $21.7 million of our tax dollars and endorsed by now retired MP, Catherine McKenna and MP Seamus O’Regan at their opening ceremony on May 14, 2021. The ceremony itself was hosted by none other than Diana Fox Carney (wife of Mark Carney), an acclaimed eco-warrior.

Just before OCAF was founded the City of Ottawa’s council (presumably smitten by the ruling Liberal Party) passed a plan (Energy Evolution) to reach “net-zero” emissions by 2050. The plan encompasses erecting 700 industrial wind turbines with a capacity of 3,218 MW and 1,060 MW of rooftop solar. The “plan” appears to have been generated by none other than Pollution Probe rather than the bureaucrats within the municipality.  That in itself seems very strange!

It appears the latest planned event by OCAF is aimed at Ottawa’s transportation and transit sector and they are bringing in a speaker from Germany to deliver the message outlined in the event title which is: Avoid, Shift, Improve: How can international best practices accelerate low-carbon, resilient transportation in Ottawa?

The invited guest speaker is Holger Dalkman whose LinkedIn profile claims he is the “CEO and Founder of Sustain 2030” (an extensive search of “Sustain 2030” on Google turned up nothing) and holds a Masters degree in geography! In searching his name, it appears he has had numerous appearances including with the WEF (World Economic Forum) the UN and many other organizations pushing the “climate-change” agenda. His forte according to his profile is “twenty years of experience working in the field of mobility, cities, sustainability and climate change”. 

It appears his presentation will be related to the transit and transportation system in the City of Ottawa. Perhaps he will recommend banning all trucks unless they are electric powered ones (sans horns).  He may also express delight that OC Transpo is on the path to converting all their buses to battery-powered ones but the foregoing is simply speculation on my part!

If an Ottawa citizen steps back and looks at how well Germany has done with its push to reduce “climate change” and push for “net-zero” emissions they might have second thoughts about Dalkman’s speech and recommendations.

Germany has one of the highest costs of electricity in the world as well as an extremely high cost for home heating.  A March 16, 2022 article stated “A new 5,000 kWh annual supply contract costs an average of 2,098 euros, or 42 cents/kWh, 23% more than in December”. To contrast that with Ontario the average annual household consumption is 9,000 kWh and the average price is about 15 cents/kWh.  It is also worth noting the “42 cents/kWh” is U.S. currency so the Canadian equivalent is about 56 cents/kWh! Germany’s households (half are heated with naturals gas) are also paying dearly for natural gas as it has been affected by the Russia/Ukraine war and are now facing annual heating costs of well over U.S. $4,000/annually.

One should presume many millions of households in Germany are currently experiencing energy poverty*.

The first question asked of Dalkman during the Q. and A. session after his presentation should be; how many of the 41 million German households are currently experiencing “energy poverty” and what has caused it? 

No doubt he will get all choked up as he ponders how to answer that question while continuing to push the “net-zero” target!

*The common denominator for “energy poverty” is 10% or more of household income goes to pay for those two staples of heat and electricity.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                  

Enbridge Inc Stymied by Ottawa Energy Evolution

As noted in the OEB’s (Ontario Energy Board) recent “Decision And Order” Enbridge Gas had applied to the OEB in March 2021 for approval to replace 19.8 kilometres of aging gas pipeline in Ottawa.  The pipeline is associated with the St. Laurent Pipeline which services approximately 165,000 Ottawa and Gatineau area customers. 

The OEB recently refused the replacement pipeline and basically told Enbridge to; “Plan for Lower Gas Demand” according to an article in The Energy Mix which noted: “The Ontario Energy Board sent minor shock waves through the province’s energy regulatory and municipal energy communities earlier this month with its refusal to approve the final phases of a $123.7-million pipeline replacement project in Ottawa proposed by Enbridge Gas.”  The article went on to note: “Several observers said this was the first time the OEB had refused a “leave to construct” application from a gas utility,”. 

The OEB, under Anthony Zlahtic,* the Presiding Commissioner, laid out the principal reasons for the decision and three of the five reasons were: City of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution Plan,”,Integrated Resource Planning Alternativesand “Downsizing the Pipeline due to Reduced Future Demand for Natural Gas.

Anthony Zlahic’s Background

Curiosity about Zlahic’s background led to examining his “Linkedin” file which lists his former jobs and co-incidentally claims he spent over 11 years working for Enbridge after which he worked for a subsidiary of EPCOR an electricity generation and distribution company owned by the City of Edmonton. EPCOR has subsidiary operations with one of those being Capital Power Corp of Toronto where Zlahic was employed and actively and successfully pursued wind power projects under the Ontario GEA (Green Energy Act).  He notes working with companies such as Pattern Renewable Energy as well as Samsung on industrial wind turbine projects for Capital Power and suggests he increased their “influence among key government agencies and companies directly and through the Association of Power producers of Ontario (APPrO) and Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)”. 

Based on Zlahic’s background and activities with both Enbridge Gas and his obvious belief in IWT (industrial wind turbines) as a reliable energy source one should wonder why the OEB appointed him and WHY he didn’t recuse himself (due to his background with Enbridge) from this hearing?

Also note, Zlahic ruled; Enbridge was responsible for all intervenor costs!

Ottawa’s Prejudicial Intervenor

One of the intervenor’s whom Enbridge is obliged to pay costs to is Pollution Probe** and they were represented by Michael Brophy both a director and team member of Pollution Probe.  Interestingly enough Brophy also was a former employee of Enbridge Gas.  One should wonder, did both Zlahic and Brophy part terms with Enbridge in a favourable way or do they hold some prejudices against them?

Another important fact associated with the ruling is in respect to the City of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution Plan which was actually written by Pollution Probe as an earlier article noted.  The foregoing was confirmed by another intervenor who advised that Michael Brophy told him he was a co-author of the 101 page “plan”. The “plan” suggests the costs to Ottawa for net-zero will be $57.4 billion and result in 3,218 MW of IWT capacity and 1,060 MW of solar capacity on rooftops by 2050!

Was the OEB outcome a result of self-flagellation by Enbridge?

It seems very ironic when examining the March 2021 annual statement of Pollution Probe and note their list of “Sponsors, Major Supporters and Partners” includes none other than Enbridge Inc.  

The Pollution Probe statement filed with the CRA indicates gross revenue of $1,839,737 for the year ended March 31, 2021 but only $113,516 or 6.1% was tax receipted by them so; is this an indication they are not much of a worthwhile “charity”?  

What is not surprising to see in their annual report are numerous government donors listed including: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (Province of Ontario) and TAF (Toronto Atmospheric Fund [Municipality of Metro Toronto]).

Interestingly enough Michael Brophy is also listed as a “Major Donor” meaning taxpayers are hit with a double whammy in that their taxes support the government grants which supply Brophy income from Pollution Probe and his donation(s) provides him with a personal tax receipt!

The tax dollars doled out to Pollution Probe according to a Federal Grant search is in the millions of dollars and is additional to the money handed out by them via Federal Contracts worth hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars!

More self-flagellation by Enbridge

Another exampleof Enbridge’s self-flagellation is related to the net-zero push and ESG (environment, social, governance) issues. A four-page letter sent to Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock back in March 2022 clearly demonstrates the foregoing.  The President and CEO of Enbridge, Al Monaco goes into detail on how the company is changing. In in Monaco tells Fink how they have invested in wind farms and solar facilities and enshrined ESG related initiatives, etc. into their business model. An example from the letter related to ESG states: “By 2025 we’re aiming for a workforce that will include 28% racial and ethnic group representation, 40% women, 6% persons with disabilities, and 3.5% Indigenous peoples.”

We should all find it dismaying that one of Canada’s most successful companies is basically kowtowing to BlackRock and in effect, the WEF (World Economic Forum) instead of fighting back knowing the world cannot survive with the wind and solar intermittent and unreliable energy pushed by the WEF and the numerous eco-warriors like Pollution Probe.

Appeal of the Masses

For the will of the people Mr. Monaco please stand up for the enormous benefits of fossil fuels and how they have lifted billions of people around the globe out of poverty and saved so many lives!

*The 2021 Ontario Sunshine list indicates Anthony Zlahtic’s annual salary was $169,349.82!

**One of the original founders of the Strathmere Group which this writer has written a series of articles about was Pollution Probe.

Marc Patrone Show 960 AM Chatting about the WEF, Climate Change, etc. etc.

Marc had me on his show today (April 6, 2022) and we covered a lot of ground associated with the World Economic Forum, Climate Change, Carbon Taxes, etc. etc. and our chat also ventured to many places around the world during our time.

You can listen to our chat on the podcast starting at 33:44 and ending at 50:25.

Wind Generation is Up and Down like the Proverbial Toilet Seat and China’s Emissions in Two Years Increased by More than Canada’s Total Emissions

As noted in an article from a couple of days ago the wind on March 31st was blowing like crazy but two days later it had wimped out.

On March 31st IWT (industrial wind turbines) generated about 88,000 MWh and curtailed another 3,100 MW.  Generated and curtailed IWT combined; is about what 3 million average Ontario households would consume in one day.  Fast forward two days later to April 2nd and those IWT generated only 7,000 MWh or about what 230,000 households would consume.

Quite the difference and clearly displays the “intermittent” and “unreliability” of IWT to be counted on to even keep the lights on in most households!  Thankfully Ontario’s hydro and natural gas generation were available to fill the gap during wind’s absence.

The other positive effect of those IWT failures was Ontario’s HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) averaged above $50/MWh so just shy of what is paid for hydro generation whereas on March 31st we were basically giving away surplus power to our neighbours who pay the HOEP price which was $16.46/MWh.

Politicians and bureaucrats should invoke warning labels when promoting IWT similar to those found on various products we consume which would read; “WARNING: industrial wind turbines may cause blackouts”!

China’s emissions and their economy grew in both 2020 and 2021

The Manhattan Contrarian today had an article dealing with a report from the IEA (International Energy Agency) which referenced China and carried the following quote: China’s CO2 emissions increased by 750 Mt over the two-year period between 2019 and 2021. China was the only major economy to experience economic growth in both 2020 and 2021“.

 In visiting the IEA website the press release associated with their report went on to state: “The emissions increases in those two years in China more than offset the aggregate decline in the rest of the world over the same period. In 2021, China’s CO2 emissions rose above 11.9 billion tonnes, accounting for 33% of the global total.

To put the foregoing in context to Canada’s emissions; just the increase in China’s emissions in those two years was 20 MT more than Canada’s total emissions in 2019. 

The IEA press release went on to say: China’s rise in emissions resulted largely from a sharp increase in electricity demand that leaned heavily on coal power. With rapid GDP growth and additional electrification of energy services, electricity demand in China grew by 10% in 2021, faster than economic growth at 8.4%. This increase in demand of almost 700 TWh was the largest ever experienced in China.

To put some context on the above another IEA report claims Canada generated 640.8 TWh in 2020 which is less than the 700 TWh China’s demand grew generated mainly from coal!

What the above clearly enunciates is that Canada’s move to net-zero is simply a means of penalizing our economic well being due to the whims of the current Trudeau led government supported by the Singh led NDP!

We should ask. why are those two so intent on harming Canadians by their inane beliefs and push to achieve net-zero emissions using unreliable and intermittent renewables?

CanREA’s Magic and PM Trudeau’s Net-Zero Target by 2050

As we have all seen and heard over the past several days our Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, has launched his plan to eliminate our emissions and reach the “net-zero” target by 2050.  Minister Guilbeault put out a “discussion paper” titled: “A clean electricity standard in support of a net-zero electricity sector”. The paper seeks input from the general population which, rest assured, will be ignored!  The paper notes the “electricity sector” is the “4th largest source of emissions accounting for 8.4% of Canada’s total GHG emissions in 2019”.  Based on the emissions reported for 2019 of 730 megatons that would equate to 61 MT but if one looks at another release by Guilbeault’s ministry analyzing the 2019 emissions it shows emissions of 69 MT.  That other report also states when comparing emissions with 2005, “a 42-Mt increase in combustion emissions from Oil and Gas Extraction and a 24-Mt growth in Road Transportation emissions were largely offset by a 56-Mt decrease in emissions from Public Electricity and Heat Production”. 

So, one should wonder why is he attacking the electricity sector when their emissions declined by almost 45%?

Collusion or Cooperation

Perhaps Guilbeault and his family’s investments are in companies involved in wind, solar generation and battery storage and perhaps their investments are in companies who have those lucrative contracts signed by the McGuinty/Wynne government? Perhaps some are also being supported by other ministries via the CIB (Canada Infrastructure Bank) which as one example, has supplied lots of traction and our tax dollars to battery storage?

Why is Guilbeault’s Ministry attacking the sector that has reduced emissions by 45% since 2005 and is delivering energy to households and businesses that depend on cheap and reliable power to keep the heat and lights on and their small businesses functioning? Is his objective to drive households and small businesses into energy poverty?

Birds of a Feather?

The other occurring thought is perhaps Guilbeault and Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association), know each other from Guilbeault’s time at Equitere. A letter they jointly signed (with others) dated November 23, 2016 was addressed to the then newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his ministers.  The letter applauds Trudeau’s initiative in establishing the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change and recommends “a price on carbon, to reflect the real environmental costs”.  Those eco-warriors who signed that letter must be rubbing their hands with glee at this point and now with the further attack on the electricity sector, Hornung and the members of CanREA are presumably looking forward to the wealth to be created from this latest move by Minister Guilbeault.

In addition, Hornung and others from CanWEA appear to have been active lobbyists with numerous Ministers and Ministries under Tudeau’s leadership before CanWEA became CanREA in 2020.

CanWEA’s 2050 Vision

The reason for the foregoing speculation and concern is related to a 60 page report from CanREA titled: “CanREA’s 2050 Vision Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero” with a smiley picture of Hornung providing the introduction. 

One is struck immediately by his claim that: “We will need an almost ten-fold expansion of Canada’s wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage capacity, in addition to significant investments in other forms of electricity generation and electricity infrastructure”. Later in the report, they note Bloomberg suggests the “global” investment required to achieve the proposed “need” would be $12 trillion dollars (7.2 times Canada’s 2021’s GDP)

A chart on Page 23 indicates wind capacity in 2050 should be 109 GW (gigawatts) and solar 47 GW and  Page 21 suggests we would also need 3,000 GW of storage. On page 47 the diatribe notes: “The numbers are significant: building out 3,800 MW of new wind energy capacity and 1,600 MW of new solar energy capacity annually for the next 29 years, as our illustrative scenario suggests is needed to support our nation’s legislated net-zero objectives, would represent $8 billion dollars of annual investment.”

The forgoing suggests spending of $232 billion without the 3,000 GW of storage.  The estimates for 4 hours of battery storage varies widely but a report by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) of the US suggests an average of about $200/kWh (kilowatt) for storage.  The 3,000 GW of storage would therefore cost upwards of $3 trillion or almost double Canada’s current annual GDP and drive up the cost of electricity consumption to incredible levels. Reducing Canada’s emissions by just 8.4% could potentially represent 25% of Bloomberg’s forecasted global costs.

Based on the above linkages between the various parties, the pie in the sky net-zero push and the costs associated, all Canadian citizens should be very concerned this government (married to the NDP) will embrace the CanREA recommendations and Canada will turn into CANEZUELA. Those who can afford the expense associated with the conversion of the electricity sector coupled with expensive storage will be a minority.  The rest of us lowly Canadians will experience frequent blackouts due to the unreliable and intermittent nature of wind and solar. That intermittency coupled with the huge costs of the conversion will drive the majority of Canada’s households into “energy poverty”!

Ah, the magic of it all!

Eco-Warriors + Dumb Politicians + Climate Change + Net-Zero– Fossil Fuels = Energy Poverty

The foregoing is emerging as an equation gathering speed as we start to recognize the results falling out from its implementation in most democratic countries. The evidence was available for all to see from Ontario as an outcome of the McGuinty/Wynne led governing party and their implementation of the GEA (Green Energy Act) and its push for renewable energy in the form of wind and solar. It’s unfortunate the rest of the democratic world didn’t seek the data that was out there and are now experiencing what Ontario’s ratepayers did many years ago. Energy poverty is popping up everywhere!

Energy Poverty in New York

Next door in the state of New York a recent headline noted “Utility Debt Mounting for New Yorkers Looking for Current Help”!  One of the sentences in the article noted: “Across the state, almost 1.3 million residential gas and electric customers are 60 or more days behind on their bills to the tune of over $1.7 billion, according to an analysis by THE CITY of data provided to the state by 10 utility companies.” To put the foregoing in perspectives the U.S. 2021 census stated there were 7.417 million households in the state so 1.3 million customers experiencing energy poverty would represent 17.5% of all households.

Energy Poverty in California

It one looks at California an article back in July 2020 noted “18.1% of the state’s residents are living in poverty” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The article went on to state: “A growing element of this problem is the cost of electricity; rising electricity prices disproportionately impact lower- and middle-income families who lack the disposable income to absorb the extra costs.” The article said the “average” home in California uses about half as much energy as an average American household. There is little doubt the number of households living in “energy poverty” will grow further as California is pushing to restrict the use of natural gas and 31 local governments have enacted regulations to do that. They are certainly one of the “greenest” states pushing to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.

 Energy Poverty in the UK

 An article in The Telegraph on March 18, 2022 titled “While Boris bans fracking, one in four British households will fail to pay energy bills” and went on to say “One in four adults will be unable to afford their bills if prices rise by £145 a month in October as expected, according to charity Citizens Advice.” It is obvious to anyone following the news that the events happening in the UK and Europe are much worse than we are experiencing in North America as the above headline notes. The article went on to say “The Government has previously said it will offer a £200 energy rebate, to be deducted from customers’ bills in October and paid back over the next five years.” AND, “However, experts said this would no longer be enough to help struggling households after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused wholesale energy prices to spike further.”

Energy Poverty in Germany

Science Direct completed a study for the period prior to the recent events (data ending in 2019) driving up energy costs in Germany titled “Determinants, persistence, and dynamics of energy poverty: An empirical assessment using German household survey data”!  A couple of the highlights from the study clearly indicate things were bad before the current events as the following clearly articulates: “In 2019. 17% of household spent more than 10% of their income on domestic energy” and “Between 4.5% and 14% of households permanently experience energy poverty.” We should assume things are much worse now since the price of natural gas has shot up due to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and Germany has been forced to fire up its coal plants.

Energy Poverty in Ontario

Back in 2013/14/15 I endeavored to try as best I could to determine how many households in Ontario suffered from “energy poverty” as a follow up to the GEA. I discovered it was nearly impossible and the findings I kicked out were significant but meaningless as they were focused only on certain municipalities.  My findings can be found on Energy Probe

Energy Poverty in Canada

The only viable information related to “energy poverty” in Canada appears to come from CUSP (Canadian Urban Sustainable Practitioners) with members from cities across Canada reputedly representing about half of Canada’s population. CUSP released a 2019 report dealing with “energy poverty”.  The report is based on: “Percentage and number of households in each province experiencing high home energy cost burdens (greater than 6% of after-tax income spent on home energy bills).” One chart in the report suggests just over 20% (2,810,905) of Canadian households were experiencing “energy poverty”!   One should be aware the latter number would be considerably higher should the data be refreshed as CUSP used 2016 census data.

The foregoing only touches on a few developed democratic regions around the world but many more could have been included having all experienced a huge climb in the creation of “energy poverty” within the confines of their land over the past decade or two.  As one should recognize, the reason for the climb can be attributed to the eco-warrior’s push to eliminate fossil fuels as the prime energy source that brought us prosperity, longer and better lives and all the attributes we have enjoyed. The eco-warriors have substantially infiltrated the political realm convincing politicians we citizens elected! Most of those now in power in democratic countries have drunk the “cool-aid” and seem determined to push more of us into “energy poverty”!

Its time to turn the equation around and push the notion; CO 2 is not the control knob of “global warming” nor does wind, solar and battery storage represent a sound replacement for fossil fuels which still represent 80% of mankind’s energy needs. 

The new equation needs to be:

 Voters + Smart Politicians – Eco-Warriors + Sustainable Fuels (Fossil Fuels Included) = Prosperity!

What Should Ontarians Take Away from Energy Minister Todd Smith’s recent Speech

The very recent article concerning where Minister Smith said Ontario ratepayers are heading in directives issued to IESO and his speech at the Empire Club noted responses were sought from a few knowledgeable individuals that had been intimately involved with the province’s energy sector! Here is their Feedback:

From the first responder who didn’t watch the speech:

“However, I did read the associated press release:

My initial impression is that it strikes me a lot like the “buy wind” BullFrog material.

All I can see it giving is an opportunity for some friends of the government to make an extra buck.  Trouble is, every time somebody is making an extra buck, someone else at the bottom of the pile has to pay a buck-fifty to ensure that the administrative charges get dealt with.  Does it make anything better?  Not very likely.

Will it be used to justify more expensive power, wind solar, and battery / storage – for sure.

Does it mean the government are devoting the attention they should – to actually addressing the problems with wind turbine located too close to homes, or paying non-dispatchable sources a premium, instead of those who should be paid a premium, who can be available 24/7.  Not that I see,

So, in summary, am I impressed … no. I’m finding myself stuck between the proverbial rock and hard spot.  The PC’s have had 4 years and done next to nothing to improve the situation with our energy supply, or addressing the harm done to citizens.  Conversely, had we had a Liberal or NDP government, they might have made the situation even worse.  Not much of a choice.”

From the second responder:

“Good Morning Parker. I am about 20 minutes into the Todd Smith epistle. The PC’s are sounding more like Liberals and NDP every day. Here’s why. They have no shame.

Small Modular Reactors – Doug Ford – LIUNA – BWXT (subsidiary of AECON).
FYI … it is AECON whom are the prime contractor in the nuclear reactor refits for both OPG Darlington and for Bruce Power at Tiverton / Kincardine.

Aecon has their collective labour agreements with ….. (drum roll svp) …. LIUNA.

It was AECON who sought suitors in 2016 and 2017 … offering control of the company in exchange for access to greater amounts of working capital; which in turn would increase the leverage of Aecon to build the massive P3 regional rail electrification projects proposed by Metrolinx; as well as the municipal LRT projects in GTA, Hamilton and Ottawa (2nd phase).

Aecon went so far as to sell their lucrative Ft Mc Murray oil sands mining division in order to raise more cash.

You may recall the Chinese takeover of the company that was quashed by Ottawa in May 2018 … due to concerns of “national security”.

Aecon was bullish on building all of the electric rail projects proposed for Ontario. They formed a new division by poaching people from other companies. To my knowledge as of this date their record of rail electrification contracts obtained still remains at .. zero. As a result, some of those whom were “poached”; left Aecon and went elsewhere.

I will finish listening to the Todd Smith epistle … but so far, it is crystal clear the PC’s are heading in the direction that LIUNA and Aecon wants them to go.”

As is obvious the responses received to the direction Minister Smith has put forward, are not seen as very positive by those whom I consulted despite the enthusiasm exhibited by the Minister in the press release and his speech.  I was particularly struck by the following comment from the first responder:

The PC’s have had 4 years and done next to nothing to improve the situation with our energy supply, or addressing the harm done to citizens.

Multi-billionaires and their Mind-blowing Hypocrisy

It is somewhat amusing and disheartening to realize the super-rich such as; Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Fink frequently preach to us earthlings about “climate change” and the path to net-zero.  They do this as they fly off in private jets to Davros to attend the WEF (World Economic Forum) annual event or to Glasgow for COP26 thereby creating tons of emissions.

Both Gates and Bezos however, tell those who ask, that they buy “carbon offsets” to eliminate their carbon footprint.  Gates reported he spends US$5 million annually on those offsets.  To put that in perspective Gates is reputedly worth $137 billion so $5 million represents 0.000036% of his net worth or to us in the real world, the purchasing of a “timmies” coffee for a friend!

Bezos (until very recently the richest man in the world) reputedly also buys those carbon offsets but hasn’t disclosed how much he spends annually.  Bezos did announce in February 2020 he would launch a US $10 billion fund (slightly less than 5% of his reported net worth) titled the “Bezos Earth Fund“ to fight “climate change”.  Pretty sure Bezos is totally delighted with the lock-downs imposed on much of the developed world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon; which he founded, has benefited tremendously as they import goods from developing countries like China, India, etc. and deliver them to your front door by truck.  Now try, as hard as you possibly can to determine how Amazon can become “carbon neutral” by 2040.  Oh, yes, Bezos has pledgedto get the company carbon-neutral by 2040, 100% renewable energy by 2030, and 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030.“ 

Now if you want to watch how Larry Fink and Bill Gates speak with each other on the “Path to Net Zero” they jointly participated in a short YouTube video posted April 23, 2021.  Fink opens by saying “this will not be an easy task” and goes on to state “every hydro-carbon company in the United States is now focused on this” and suggests “it’s because of Bill and other people”!  Fink’s reputed net worth is somewhere around US$1 billion so it pales when compared to Gates or Bezos. As the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company with almost US $9.5 trillion (approximately 11% of Global GDP) of assets, however, Fink is a huge influence on that “Path”!  Fink annually sends a letter to the world’s 200 largest company’s CEOs and his last one (issued in early 2021) had much to say about “climate change” including this unambiguous sentence: “No issue ranks higher than climate change on our clients’ lists of priorities.“  His letter goes on saying;  “From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $288 billion globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019.“  This years letter will be interesting to see how those assets performed in light of the energy crisis in European and Asian countries which affected share prices of renewable energy companies in a negative fashion as the wind stopped blowing and Russia was unable to deliver fossil fuels during their absence. 

Based on more recent news it appears Fink may have had an awakening as an article from just over a month ago quoted him saying: it’s a “bad answerfor investors to abandon oil and gas, and it won’t help solve climate change.“ As if to support the latter view from Fink and to contradict his above noted chat with Gates and the “path to net-zero” it’s interesting to discover a BlackRock-led group recently won a $15.5 billion bid for a Saudi gas pipeline.  One should assume a gas pipeline will indeed by used to transport “fossil fuels” which intimates BlackRock and Fink understand the importance of fossil fuels to many of the companies they have investments in!

Could Fink’s somewhat mild “about-face” trigger politicians to also understand the importance of fossil fuels in a world dependent on them for 80% of our energy needs.  Let’s all hope so in an effort to end the hypocrisy that seems intent on driving people around the world into energy poverty except for those who can afford to purchase those “carbon offsets”.

Marc Patrone podcast: COP26 attendees, PM Trudeau’s commitments, oil sands emissions, etc.

I was on the Marc Patrone show on SAUGA 960 AM today (November 23, 2021) starting at 1:26:35 of the podcast. We covered a lot of ground about COP26 and what the approximately 39,000 attendees accomplished (sarcasm intended) and a wide degree of other related topics including emissions, inflation, etc. You can listen to our conversation starting at 1:26:35 of the Marc Patrone podcast here: