Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM on August 3, 2022

Marc had me on his show today and my chat with him was preceded by his conversation with Jocelyn Bamford the Chair and founder of the CCMBC (Coaliation of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada. You can listed to her discussion with Marc starting at 48:00 of the podcast followed by yours truly at 1:04:12 and ending at 1:18:24.

Jocelyn covered lots of subjects related to what the Trudeau led government is doing that is negatively affecting the economy and businesses in Canada and my chat with Marc was related to renewable energy here in Ontario and how it has badly affected the EU and in particularly Germany and the UK. Naturally we also talked about industrial wind turbines and EV (electric vehicles) reflecting on a couple of my recent articles.

You can listed to both Jocelyn’s and my chat here at the times noted above:

Wind Energy once again displays its spasmodic and undependable nature

Another couple of warm (not hot) summer days here in Ontario on July 16th and 17th and guess what?  If you guessed those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were basically unreliable and failed to deliver what the eco-warriors believe in, you were absolutely right!

July 16th

Those IWT on July 16th at Ontario’s peak demand of Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM), generated 158 MW or 0.8% of the peak demand of 19,999 MW. That 158 MW represented 3% of their capacity at that hour but much earlier in the day they reached their high for the day at 3 AM when they generated 444 MW or 9% of their capacity.  At 9 AM however when demand is increasing, they once again hit their low point generating only 44 MW or 0.9% of their capacity. In total those IWT generated 4,906 MW over the full 24 hours and that represented only about 4.2% of their capacity. 

Fortunately for all of us Ontario’s natural gas plants were available to ramp up at 9 AM and generated 1,309 MW and at the Hour 17 peak for the day generated 4,483 MW.

July 17th

On July 17th the IWT were generating 531 MW at the Ontario peak demand hour which was once again Hour 17 and was 2.6% of the peak which reached 19,925 MW.  Those IWT peak for the day, was Hour 21 at 635 MW or 12.9% of their capacity. Earlier in the day at Hour 9 they generated 118 MW or 2.4% of their capacity

Once again, those natural gas plants came to the rescue generating 4,427 MW at the peak hour, and 1,563 MW at Hour 9 when those IWT were almost absent and because demand was still high at Hour 21 those gas plants generated 4,081 MW.

The Irony:

While the gas plants were demonstrating their necessity it is ironic as IESO is contemplating adding additional reliable supply via the addition of a 600-megawatt hydrogen-ready power plant project in Sarnia, Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) is pushing to stop it!  “The new plant would be designed to run on either 100 per cent natural gas or a blend of up to 65 per cent hydrogen and natural gas, according to a document the company submitted to the federal agency.”  The article in the Sarnia Observer went on to quote Gibbons: “Building a new gas-fired power plant would be moving Ontario in absolutely the wrong direction”. The OCAA’s list of supporters includes none other than George Smitherman, former Minister of Energy under the McGuinty led government and who enacted the GEA (Green Energy Act).  Another supporter is Peter Tabuns, Ontario’s NDP energy critic. It seems obvious the same individuals who caused Ontario’s electricity prices to spike by well over 100% in the past decade don’t recognize the importance of a reliable and competitively priced electricity supply.

Conclusion

All Ontario residents and businesses should be thankful our natural gas plants are at the ready to ensure we don’t suffer rolling blackouts similar to what is happening in Europe and in US states such as California and Texas who have embraced wind and solar in order to save the planet from the fictitious predictions of the eco-warriors!

Europe’s Strange Conflicting Observations

Following the news over the past week or two one would have observed some very strange happenings particularly as it relates to Europe. 

Most Canadians may be aware our PM Trudeau, flew off to Europe to attend the NATO Summit, the G7 Summit and the Canada-European Summit where the politicians joined together to make joint commitments on a variety of issues. Naturally there were castigations of the continuing Russian/Ukraine conflict and lots of the promises made were what many would consider conflicting.  

One of the weirdest was how NATO pledged to revamp its energy-guzzling equipment as “NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the 30-member alliance would reduce emissions by at least 45% by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”  The article went on with Stoltenberg stating: “If we fail to preserve peace, we also fail to fight climate change” which appears to be a double entendre but what we should expect from our bureaucrats and politicians during these times.  This seems weird as Germany; the UK and several other European NATO members are firing up their mothballed coal plants to provide reliable power for their electricity grids due to attempts to curtail Russian natural gas and oil purchases.  

Shortly after the Summit, Trudeau reporteda new NATO centre of excellence for climate change and security will be located in Montreal, and that Canada plans to host the North American office for a network of NATO innovation hubs called the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA).”  That suggests the ever-expanding Canadian bureaucracy will grow further at the expense of Canadian taxpayers! The same article also said Canada is on track to spend the $500 million set aside in the 2022 budget to support the Ukraine.

Additionally coming out of the NATO Summit was an accession protocol for Sweden and Finland to join the current 30 member NATO group which would reputedly further isolate Russia.  Interestingly Turkey, a NATO member, could block their admission should either of them refuse to extradite certain terror suspects (named by Turkey), who sought and obtained refuge in those two countries. Each and every member of NATO must unanimously approve a new country’s admittance so at this point Turkey holds the key, unless Sweden and Finland agree to extradite those terror suspects.

Another event that caught my eye was a WEF short video expressively excited about how Finland was the first country in the World to pass into law a “Negative Emissions Pledge” suggesting by 2040 they will be absorbing more CO2 than they emit. Finland is without fossil fuels so it imports crude principally from their immediate neighbour, Russia.  They managed to reduce their Russian purchase of crude oil from 502 thousand tons in January to 501 thousand in February so they will have to do a lot better in the future.  That “sweet” Russian crude is refined by Neste Porvoo Refinery which is partially owned (35.9%) by the Finnish government.  Finland is counting on its forests, which cover three-quarters of its land, to achieve its emissions target but Statistics Finland’s recent report indicate their forests released more greenhouse gases than they absorbed!

It sure looks like “double jeopardy” for Finland; having asked to join NATO (impacting Russian oil imports) while passing a law committing to be carbon negative by 2040.  They better get their neighbour Sweden, to send Greta over to plant lots of trees! At the same time, they should get used to living without many of the amenities that the “sweet” Russian crude oil brings them.

A long standing member of NATO and the EU; Norway, was also recently called out by the European Commission to explore and produce more “offshore oil and gas”.  It seems obvious this reflected a rapid change in the EU energy policy due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the failure of all those industrial wind turbines and solar panels. This sudden change of heart has come about as Russia’s Gasprom has partially or fully cut supplies of natural gas to 12 European countries including Germany and has resulted in an energy scarcity and increasing costs of electricity along with the lack of fossil fuels used in many industries.

Conclusion

From just the few issues highlighted above it seems obvious the numerous eco-warriors active in the EU successfully convinced the majority of the politicians in most countries “global warming” was imminent and caused by mankind.  Some of those EU politicians now seem to be sobering up from drinking the “net-zero” kool-aid and have started to appreciate the damage they have inflicted on so many of their people.  Nevertheless, many others are still in the WEF’s “Building Back Better” camp and are convinced it’s all the fault of Russia’s war with the Ukraine. Those latter politicians seem unable to recognize their conflicted mind-set but one should hope the continuing events occurring; such as the current Netherlands “farmers protest” will enlighten them.  

Should the upcoming winter be a cold one, those in the WEF’s camp may finally see the light as “energy poverty” will strike many more households and cause more harm than a 1.5 degree increase in global temperatures by the year 2100 ever would. 

Conflicted political opinions on unsettled science causing harm will undoubtedly cause conflicts!    

NB: As this article was about to be posted the UK’s PM, Boris Johnson announced he is stepping down as his Minister’s pushed him to resign. 

Industrial Wind Generation Demonstrates It’s True Colours

If one follows or occasionally looks at Ontario’s hourly generation and took a peek at IESO’s Generators Output and Capability Output for Sunday July 3, 2022 their immediate reaction (should they regard wind as intermittent and unreliable) might have been; “aha, as I suspected, wind is a very fickle generation source”! 

That view would have been particularly obvious if they noted; as demand increased over the opening hours of the day wind fell flat and hour 10 highlighted that failure. At that hour they couldn’t even come close to generating IESO’s forecast of 101 MW producing only 17.8% (18 MW) of the forecast.  IESO’s forecast at that hour was only 2.3% of Winds Total Available Capacity (4,485 MW) shown on the report.

The hourly Ontario peak demand at Hour 10 was 14,070 MW so wind supplied 0.13% despite its total capacity representing 13% of all of our grid capacity as reported by IESO. Those Industrial Wind Turbines did that in spite of their favourable position under the contracts giving them “first-to-the-grid” rights!  

The IESO Crysler forecast and output for this 100 MW IWT project was respectively 18 MW but only 2 MW (11% of the forecast) were actually generated. The Crysler contract (for some unknown reason) was one of the few allowed to maintain its contract status under the first Ford government’s tenure as the ruling party in Ontario despite having had considerable pushback from the county prior to and after the election.  It recently gained “commissioned” status (awarded by IESO) but as one can see it joins the ranks of the others and fails to produce power when needed or forecast.

Hour 10 clearly demonstrates one of the many failures of IWT generation proving they are both intermittent and unreliable and absolutely need to be backed up by reliable fossil fuels in the form of natural gas generation which at hour 10 was generating 1192 MW! 

All those IWT (industrial wind turbines) ultimately do is increase the price of every kilowatt hour we consume.

Hopefully the second tenure voters have granted the Ford led government in Ontario will actually result in actions by them to eliminate the privileges granted to all companies owning those IWT! That would help reduce costs to ratepayers and taxpayers and reduce the harm they cause humans living in households near them along with their devastating effect on birds, bats and other nature related effects.

Tracking the Evolution of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Back on December 14, 1996 when Terence Corcoran was a journalist for the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business (ROB) section they published an article he wrote titled “Just say no to Rio target”. Twenty-six years later it is worth re-reading the article bearing in mind the continuing and unfolding debacle it started the developed countries on shortly after the Rio Earth Summit of 1992!

Here it is:

ROB Column The Globe and Mail TERENCE CORCORAN December 14, 1996, 

Just say no to Rio target

CANADA will not meet the greenhouse gas emissions target agreed to at the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. Thank goodness. If Ottawa and the provinces had tried to force us to live up to the unreal energy consumption target former prime minister Brian Mulroney signed on to four years ago during a Green binge, the Canadian economy would be in bad shape today.

To meet the target, Canada would have to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. According to the latest sophisticated computer simulations and forecasts — which are invariably wrong, by the way — Canadian industries and consumers will emit about 500 megatons of carbon in the year 2000, about 9 per cent more than we did in 1990. To meet the targets, therefore, Canada would have to cut energy use by about 10 per cent, a $20-billion economic hit that would significantly lower growth  and employment.

Not meeting the target is, in any case, almost totally irrelevant. Canada is not, as Environment Minister Sergio Marchi said the other day, “behind the eight ball” over the target — unless we insist on shooting it at ourselves. Regardless of the spin put on the target by environment ministers and writers, the target will not and should not be met for several powerful reasons. In the first place, the summit agreement is not legally binding. We can just say no. The targets never had any legitimacy in Canada anyway.

The Rio Summit was an orgy of ultra vires agreement-signing and back-room politicking by thousands of bureaucrats and special interest groups. No Canadian other than lobbyists and envirocrats ever saw the Framework Convention on Climate Change that supposedly commits Canada to reduce carbon emissions by the year 2000. No public support was sought for the accord, no parliamentary hearings were held, nobody knew what the agreement meant, nobody even knew the thing had been signed.

No wonder Ottawa and the provinces can’t get Canadians to go along with the carbon taxes and other drastic measures proposed over the years. Most Canadians probably also suspect that the targets are arbitrary, and of no significance to the scientific problem they’re intended to resolve. As author Gregg Easterbrook said in A Moment on the Earth: “Will the goal of the treaty, stabilization of carbon emissions at the 1990 level, prevent global warming? The answer is: Not a snowball’s chance in, well, Alberta, should the warming occur.”

Note that last phrase: “Should the warming occur” is still the operative cautionary principle surrounding global warming. Despite the reams of material and reports, the scientific basis for predicting that human energy consumption will cause a significant increase in temperature, or that temperature increases are necessarily bad for human life, remains highly uncertain. But even if we assume the worst, that warming is something that should raise a global call for action, it makes little sense to load a country like Canada with major regulatory burdens and growth-hindering taxes. Canada’s share of the world’s energy market is minuscule by any measure that’s reasonably proportionate to the greenhouse gas problem.

Greens and envirocrats often make Canada look like a pollution hell by citing per capita energy consumption figures. For example, in 1995, Canadian per capita production of carbon dioxide was 4.4 tonnes, third highest in the world behind Australia and the United States. But there are many reasons for this, including our cold climate, heavy production of primary resources and secondary goods, and vast geography.

Another faulty measure of Canada’s role is the country’s share of energy production as a percentage of the global total: 2.2 per cent. The U.S. share is 25 per cent, China’s 13 per cent, France’s 1.7 per cent. However, this raw measure is also inadequate because it fails to take into account Canada’s geographic scale. Any proper assessment of Canada’s role in the global economy would have to incorporate the fact that Canada’s geographic land and air mass is massive.

A more accurate indicator of Canada’s relative role would be a measure based on the ratio of emissions to national air mass. Compared with other countries — France, the United States or just about any other nation — Canada’s share of world emissions as a proportion of total geography would be insignificant.Even if greenhouse warming is a looming crisis, assigning Canada emission reduction targets that are identical to other countries turns Canada into a sacrificial lamb to global environmentalism. Canada’s 30 million people could stop living tomorrow, and the trend of greenhouse warming would not change.”

Letter to the Editor December 20, 1996

Shortly after the article appeared Jack Gibbons, (current Chair of the OCAA) sent a letter to the Globe and Mail which they posted. Anyone following my blog and posts over the past number of years are aware of Gibbons push to shut down electricity generation from fossil and nuclear fuel in Ontario and replace it with unreliable and intermittent wind and solar.  The following is the Gibbons letter:

Toronto — According to Terence Corcoran, if Canada stabilizes its carbon dioxide emissions, our gross national product and our unemployment rate will rise (Just Say No To Rio Target — Dec. 14).

Fortunately for our planet’s life support systems and future generations, Mr. Corcoran is wrong.

Numerous studies have shown that there is not a tradeoff between substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth. For example, the Ontario Carbon Dioxide Collaborative recently developed a strategy to reduce Ontario’s carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2005 and reduce the energy costs of Ontario’s residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

According to the collaborative’s report, these dual objectives can be achieved by fuel switching from coal and oil to natural gas and by increasing our economy’s energy efficiency.

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy.”

At this point it is worth a brief look at where Canada is today (2020 stats) versus 1996 in respect to total and per capita emissions. The Government of Canada post of emissions is only to the end of 2020 and notes they were 672 megatonnes and if one examines their chart it suggests in 1996, they were at the same level.  On a per capita basis however, they declined as the 1996 Census indicated Canada’s population was 28.8 million whereas in 2020 the population level had increased to 38.1 million.  Doing the math suggests Canada has reduced emissions by 24.5% on a per capita basis.

Greenhouse gas emissions, Canada, 1990 to 2020

If we look at China’s emissions over that same time frame they have increased from 3,503 megatonnes in 1996 to 10,668 megatonnes in 2020 for an increase of 7,165 megatonnes or 204.5%. Total global emissions in 2020 were 34,810 megatonnes so China’s emissions in 2020 represented 30.6% of global emissions but back in 1996 they represented only 14.5%.

As Canada has increased its “Annual Canadian Crude Oil Production by Crude Oil Typefrom 1996 daily production of 2,000 barrels per day to 4,687 barrels per day for an increase of 134% it would suggest our emissions should have shown a massive increase but they haven’t!

Perhaps it’s time our inane political leaders under Justin Trudeau and his minion, Jagmeet Singh, stop doing what they are trying to do to destroy the Canadian economy!

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.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                  

Weird Happenings as Eco-warriors keep pushing the envelope on climate-change

The eco-warriors around the world have amped up their push for the “net-zero” target recently as demand for those damn “fossil fuels” keeps rising along with their price! It seems apparent, without oil, coal or natural gas mankind will suffer immensely but that’s not stopping the push to get us all to abandon them.  The eco-warriors and their puppet politicians believe we can count on unreliable and intermittent production of energy from wind and solar; stored in batteries at a cost of trillions of dollars globally.  The following are just a few of the weird happenings pushed by the eco-warriors and endorsed by elected politicians we have stupidly voted for in the developed world!

India and China ramp up coal production

While the developed world is doing what our politicians tell us to do to ween us off of fossil fuels, India and China have both announced they are collectively ramping up coal production by 700M tons (300M by China and 400M tons by India) per year which is more than total US output.  In the latter case even though the U.S. is also ramping up their coal production slightly it will only amount to a total of 598.3 million st, (short tons) according to the EIA projections for 2022!  Surely India and China will be castigated by the eco-warriors for ignoring them and the politicians from the developed world!  They will then backtrack on their plans to ramp up their coal production or perhaps they won’t, as they are more focused on improving the livelihood of their citizens?

Prince Charles’ prize backs face mask that cuts methane emissions from cow burps

Back in January 2021 Prince Charles launched the Terra Carta (named after the Magna Carta) whose purpose was defined as; “provides a roadmap to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future; one that will harness the power of Nature”.  He sought pledges from the business community of $10 billion by 2022 and recently handed out the prize of “£50,000” for the inaugural winner of the Terra Carta Design Lab competition. The winning design was a face mask for cows to cut methane emissions from cow burps!  Interestingly enough, if one researches “cow burps” versus “cow farts” an article in Forbes in 2017 suggests those cow farts are worse than cow burps due to the fact that manure is not used much for fertilizer as in the past when it was spread rather then stored in open pits.

Perhaps the time has come for Prince Charles to suggest another competition to capture the methane from those “cow farts” Surely that will be an interesting design and worth that £50,000 prize or more or would it simply be more “Bull Shit”!

New Zealand’s plan to tax cow and sheep burps

A very recent article appearing in the BBC news suggests New Zealand’s astute politicians have also focused on not only cow burps but also sheep burps!  As a result of their observations, they plan to levy a tax on farmers for emissions from those sheep and cows. New Zealand reputedly host 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep grossly outnumbering their 5 million people. At the same time as they plan on levying the tax; New Zealand is involved in the launch of a trade dispute under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The trade dispute is against Canada and associated with our “supply management system” which protects our dairy farmers from cheaper imports.  So, should New Zealand’s “burp tax” become law it will presumably raise the price of their dairy products so one wonders will those increased prices result in their products becoming uncompetitive with the same products from our dairy farmers?  It appears that New Zealand’s politicians are trying to shoot themselves in the foot if they implement the tax making their diary products priced higher. Perhaps they are secretly hoping Canada will impose similar “burp taxes” or under the trade dispute will insist Canada impose the same tax!

As a matter of interest, the Chinese City of Shanghai emits two and a half times more emissions (200MT) than the whole country of New Zealand does even with all those cattle and sheep.   

Take your pick: Clean Energy Credits, Carbon Credits, Carbon Offsets, Voluntary Environmental Credits or Renewable Energy Credits

If you run a business these days you are forced to comply with the wishes of the politicians elected to run the country. Those politicians attended COP-26 and signed up to reduce those invisible emissions we have been told for well over 50 years will surely decimate the planet! The choices you make will drive up your costs but you are told you must comply regardless of what China, India or Russia do.  To reduce those emissions, you will pick one of the listed “credits” or “offsets” in the captioned headline and hope the cost(s) can be passed on in pricing your products or absorbed by increasing your efficiency. Either is a choice impacting your business and those you employ. Bearing in mind the choice you make it is interesting to note not only are the costs and choices varied but many selling them have been called out as false.  

One recent report out of Concordia University is critical of the fact that companies will purchase REC (renewable energy credits) to offset their emissions but are using electricity generated by fossil fuels.  Other reports have criticized purchases of “carbon credits” or “carbon offsets” which as one example found Nature Conservancy reputedly selling unendangered tree offsets.

Now here in Ontario back in January our Minister of Energy Todd Smith suddenly recognized Ontario’s electricity generation is very clean with only about 6% of it creating emissions. As a result he issued a press release suggesting Ontario may be heading to creation of a “Clean Energy Registry” that will make the province attractive for investments. Companies will be able to purchase those CEC from our renewable generators and the money will “reputedly” be returned to Ontario’s ratepayers to reduce electricity costs.

The foregoing looks to be the epitome of the “Circular Economy” and perhaps is what PM Justin Trudeau had in mind when he flew to California and signed the “Canada-California Climate Action and Nature Protection Partnership” on June 9,2022.

Apparently, it’s OK for Trudeau and others in his entourage to create a huge carbon footprint while the rest of us are told to reduce ours!  Seems just a little weird!

While You Were Sleeping, Quebec, Michigan and New York Raided Your Piggy Bank

The IESO reports from Midnight to 7 AM on June 7th indicate over those seven hours they sold off Ontario’s surplus generation* to our neighbours in Quebec (7,178 MWh), Michigan (6,849 MWh) and New York (3,114 MWh) for an average price of $1.25/MWh generating a pitiful $21,426  for those 17,141 MWh.  Ontario’s electricity demand during the bulk of those hours was in the 12,000 MW range which it frequently experiences during nights in the Spring and Fall months.  

As the foregoing suggests we didn’t need any other power beyond what nuclear and hydro can easily provide yet those wind turbine contracts give them “first-to-the-grid” rights and even pay them for curtailed power!

As it turned out, a large part of the 17,141 MWh sold off during those seven hours to our three neighbours were related to how those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were operating! IESO had forecast IWT would generate 13,481 MWh during those hours but they only accepted 8,068 MWh and curtailed 5,413 MWh.

The above exercise meant just the IWT cost was $1,738,740 and coupled with the cost for the other exported generation (9,073 MWh) at an average cost of $116/MWh (the latter includes about $30/MWh paid by Ontario taxpayers) brings the total cost to $2,791,200 or about fifty-three cents for each of the 5.3 million Ontario households.

While 53 cents per household is only 7.6 cents per hour; if it happened for the 8760 annual hours per year it would amount to over $600.00 per Ontario household and be a major hit to the 50% of families who are only $200.00 away from being able to pay their bills!

The time has come for the re-elected Ford led Government to do something about this mess and stop the continued bleeding of our after-tax dollars for this fictional “non-emitting” generation harming those 5.3 million Ontario households.

*Low demand coupled with nightly IWT generation drives down the market price referenced as the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) forcing ratepayers to pay for the difference between the contracted price and the market price.

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.

Hmm, One should wonder, do all the various taxes on fuels have anything to do with Canada’s current 6.8% inflation rate?

A Jack Mintz article in the Financial Post about the various “fuel taxes” inspired some research on how much taxes Canadians are burdened with in respect to the fuels consumed to bring goods to the stores, get us to work, manufacture products, used in agriculture and for food processing, etc.etc.

Most individuals are probably unaware how many variable taxes are applied by both the Federal and Provincial governments and how the layered effect creates a tax-on-tax situation we taxpayers absorb regardless of whether we bike to work or walk to the grocery store for our daily or weekly needs.

A short list includes: the “excise tax” (averaged at 10.5 cents/litre), the “carbon tax”* (currently at 11 cents/litre) and either the HST (harmonized sales tax) or the PST (provincial sales tax) plus the GST (federal general sales tax). The latter ie: “sales taxes” are applied to the final price after all the prior taxes are included on your purchase so, apply taxes-on-taxes, for both the excise and carbon tax. Please note I used 13 cents/litre as the average, with Alberta being the one exception as they have no sales tax.

The Feds and Provinces love high Gasoline and Diesel Prices

For some time I’ve wondered why no one has looked at the big picture with gas and diesel prices more than double what they were. Running the numbers based on what Statistics Canada reported we used for gasoline and diesel consumption for road vehicles and what diesel fuel is consumed for our railway industry for 2020 was targeted!  Interestingly the only government who offered a break by reducing taxes while prices increased was Alberta, where the current Provincial leader Jason Kenny agreed to eliminate their portion of the excise tax. Alberta is also the only province without a sales tax. The Ontario Ford led government has promised to cut sales taxes by 5.7cents/litre if elected starting July 1st, 2022 but we don’t know yet if that will actually happen.

I did a quick calculation on the fuel tax costs using an average of annual gasoline and diesel fuel sales from the Federal Government’s website(s) to determine how much more we pay annually now, versus prior to the doubling of pump prices!

Gasoline

For gasoline sales I used an average of 44 billion litres annually (6.4 billion litres consumed in Alberta was deducted from sales tax revenue calculations) as the years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic averaged above that consumption level. Alberta doesn’t have a provincial sales tax but the other taxes apply as they are federal not provincial.

For gasoline priced at $1/litre total costs including all taxes the total annual bill comes to $53.178 billion. That includes taxes of $15.578 billion with the latter broken down as $11.660 billion in Federal taxes and $3.918 billion in provincial taxes.

For gasoline priced at $2/litre the total costs including all taxes amounts to $95.666 billion with taxes of $20.466 billion and the latter broken down to $13.220 billion in Federal taxes and $7.246 billion in provincial taxes.

Diesel

For diesel sales from Statistic Canada the average used was 17.5 billion litres annually for “road motor vehicles” (3.6 billion litres consumed in Alberta was deducted from sales tax revenue calculations) plus an additional 2.1 billion litres of diesel used for the railway industry as per Statistic Canada.

For diesel priced at $1/litre the total costs including all taxes amounts to $28.330 billion including taxes of $5.790 billion with the latter split into $4.280 billion in Federal taxes and $1.510 billion in provincial taxes.

For diesel priced at $2/litre the total costs including all taxes amounts to $50.484 billion including taxes of $8.344 billion with $5.264 for the Federal coffers and $3.080 for the provincial tax kitty.

So, if we combine taxes for the $1/litre costs of both gasoline and diesel we can see total costs of $21.568 billion and at $2/litre combined federal and provincial taxes grows to $28.810 billion and is a year-over-year increase of $8.344 billion or 40.7%.

The $8.344 billion extracted from the taxpayers pockets by the Federal and Provincial governments clearly has had a negative effect on every Canadian household as it extracted our after-tax dollars and raised the cost of everything we consume. Those costs include simple things such as delivery costs added to the price of food to feed families and no doubt helped drive more households into energy poverty.

Oh, and less we forget, we also pay sales taxes (Federal and Provincial) for other necessities of life like electricity to keep the lights on and energy to heat our homes and keep us from freezing in Canada’s cold winters.

One should note the Bank of Canada has not noticed this inflation issue but bragged a few months ago about how they had “reduced electricity use in our head office by 50 percent—the equivalent of removing over 1,300 homes from the electricity grid.” One assumes they used our tax dollars to achieve the above reduction while ignoring inflation caused from increased taxes affecting each and every Canadian household.  

The Bank of Canada will have caused “energy poverty” in many more than the 1,300 homes their “reduced electricity use” reputedly saved by ignoring how tax policies of the Federal and Provincial governments are negatively affecting Canadian families and businesses!

NB: For the sales taxes (federal [5 cents/litre] and provincial [8 cent/litre]) the average used was 13%  combined and 10.5 cents/litre for the excise tax for gasoline and 4 cents/litre for diesel and for both a carbon tax (as at April 1, 2022) of 11 cents/litre.

*Scheduled to increase from $50/ton to $170/ton by 2030