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!

What’s Best at emissions control; Trees, Wind Farms or Solar Farms?

It is amusing to do a Google search with the simple words:  trees cut down to have solar farms, or trees cut down to have wind farms. The former generates over 26 million hits and the latter over 88 million.  Examining just a few dozen from either search alerts you to how convoluted and twisted the eco-warriors are about the either/or arguments in respect to; clearing trees or not clearing them to erect those IWT (industrial wind turbines) or lay down solar panels!

Leading to the searches was an article out of India titled:  “Felling of trees for solar power plants in Jodhpur raises hackles of locals, environmentalists”.  What catches the eye is the sentence: “While solar parks are being encouraged for providing clean energy, environmentalists and local communities in Rajasthan are concerned over their impact on the natural vegetation of the desert state.”  Wow, are people finally catching on?

A few of the Searches Catching the Eye on Solar Farms

A Korea Herald article from April 2019 noted “Since the government strongly pushed for solar power business in 2017, 4,407 hectares of forest have been damaged, 15 times the space of the Yeouido area of Seoul,”. It noted 2 million trees had been cut down to make way for solar panels and went on to state it was the opposition politicians of the Liberty Korea Party’s view that renewable energy shouldn’t be a replacement for nuclear energy.  Interestingly enough a recent announcement indicated Korea will expand its nuclear power in order to meet its climate targets.

Another article from May 2015 said Six Flags amusement park were seeking to clear-cut 90 acres for a solar farm in Central New Jersey to power their park but they received push-back from several environmental groups including the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. Those environmental groups even filed a lawsuit against Six Flags and the solar developer.  Amusingly the article went on to note; “The lawsuit was filed on the same day as a legislative panel in Trenton approved an aggressive ramping up of how much electricity in the state must come from renewable energy, a goal endorsed by most environmental groups.” The lawsuit was somewhat effective and wasn’t settled until 2018 and Six Flags was only allowed to clear-cut 40 acres so had to cover some of their parking lots with solar panels.

Yet another article from February 7, 2019 announced Georgetown University of Maryland was planning to get nearly half of its electricity power from solar power and went on to note:  “However, the university drew ire when it was announced that the solar farm it would construct in Nanjemoy, Maryland, would require clearing 210 acres of forested land on a peninsula near the Potomac River.  That raised the hackles of the environmentalists resulting in push-back. As a result; “Bonnie Bick, the political chair of the Southern Maryland Sierra Cluban organization famous for fighting for emission reduction with renewable energy – said, “I’m very much in favor of solar, but the solar needs to be properly sited. The question is not forest or solar, it’s where is the proper place to install solar?”  The push-back worked and Maryland blocked the project which resulted in the University instead contracting with existing solar farms in Maryland to purchase power from them under a PPA (power purchase agreement).

 A few of the Searches Catching the Eye on Wind Farms

One of the early finds in the Google search was one titled “A green paradox: Deforesting the Amazon for wind energy in the Global North” and curiosity piqued; it was viewed. The sub-heading was more enticing as it stated: “A shift to wind energy is leaving a trail of destruction in Ecuador, with a brutal impact on Indigenous communities and fragile ecosystems”. Reading the article, one discovers that the “trail of destruction” has been caused by the demand for balsa wood, a major component in the construction of wind turbine blades due to it being flexible and yet hard, while also being both light and resilient.  The article states: “The increased demand led to the deforestation of virgin balsa in the Amazon basin, in what came to be known as ‘balsa fever’. Balseros began to illegally deforest virgin balsa from the islands and banks of the Amazonian rivers in an effort to overcome the shortage of cultivated wood. This has had a terrible impact on the Indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon,” The demand for balsa has come from both Europe and China.  The article claimed; “In 2019, Ecuador exported $219m worth of balsa wood, up 30% from the previous record in 2015. In the first 11 months of 2020, it exported $784m worth.”  It sure appears the push by eco-warriors and their political followers to reach “net-zero” is “leaving a trail of destruction” and the Indigenous communities on the Amazon basin by clear-cutting those balsa wood trees.

A series of articles about Scotland’s push to create wind power also disclosed how it resulted in clear-cutting 17,283 acres and wiping out 14,000,000 trees to save the planet.  The foregoing claim was also backed up by a citizen inquiry to the Scottish Forestry arm of the Government who provided a partial response which stated “The area of felled trees in hectares, from 2000 (the date when the first scheme was developed, is 6,994 hectares. Based on the average number of trees per hectare, of 2000, this gives an estimated total of 13.9M.” For privacy reasons Scottish Forestry would not disclose the clear-cut trees or acres affected on private property.  An attempt to determine how many IWT (industrial wind turbines) were located in Scotland only seemed available on Wikipedia which said as of June 2020 they were 8,366 MW (megawatts). If the average IWT was 2 MW it suggests a total of 4,183 IWT. In order to secure the bases of those turbines scattered throughout the Scottish countryside those bases would need about 500 tons of concrete to secure each of them. That results in over 2 million tons of cement scattered underground throughout Scotland’s countryside. We should all wonder how that will save the planet from “global warming”?  There has been lots of push-back from Scottish anti-wind groups for years but without much success until very recently when ministers actually refused planning permission for a 39 turbine wind farm in the Highlands’ Monadhliath mountains as it would have a “significant visual impact”.

Perhaps the Scottish politicians were enamored by the fact it was a Scottish engineer, James Blyth who first generated electricity via a wind turbine back in 1887 to power the lights in his cottage but we will probably never know why they bought into the concept?

Conclusion

It seems obvious that not only are wind and solar generation intermittent and unreliable but are also costly and detrimental to forestry and all the nature existing in the forests they decimate.  They have done absolutely nothing to alter the climate under the pretext of saving the planet from climate change.

One should surmise, trees; not solar panels or IWT, are much better at reducing emissions so, STOP the push to replace the world’s forest with those unreliable energy sources!

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.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                  

Are More Mask Mandates Coming to Capture CO2

Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister just announced his plan for the new federal carbon offset market and as he stated its focus is: “Climate change is the crisis that will persist,” he said. “That’s why we cannot pause and we must continue to go faster and further.”

From the text in the article, it appears the “crisis” initially will apply to municipalities who will be required to “install new methane capture systems at landfills will be part of the new compliance market.”  That will obviously be a financial burden for the municipalities who will simply raise their municipal taxes to recover the funding required to install those methane capture systems.

Minister Guilbeault went on to say; Over the next year, the government intends to finish the rules to add projects that cut emissions from refrigeration systems, forests and soil management on farms. The rules applied to refrigeration systems, forests and soil management on farms will raise the price of anything requiring refrigeration, logging or crop generation so the objective seems aimed at ensuring the current “inflation” we citizens are experiencing continues!

The one comment in the article that I found very strange was the sentence stating: “The government said it is also now starting to write the rules to add direct air capture technology that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air and traps it underground.” Immediately the Bill Gates plan to fund technology for “sun-dimming” and reflect sunshine out of the earth’s atmospheric came to mind but that plan was blocked for ethical reasons and postponed. 

The other thought was; perhaps Guilbeault was impressed with the ability of the government to make “mask mandates” compulsory during the Covid pandemic? Perhaps he is aware someone has created a mask that could capture the CO2 we expel when breathing”?  After we were “government certified” of having captured a ton of CO2 and buried it in our backyard, we would be given a “carbon offset” and perhaps then be allowed to take a vacation via an aircraft or take that ICE car in our garage out for a spin?

Surely the foregoing isn’t what he has in mind but with this current government we shouldn’t be surprised if that is what he envisages. We should expect it won’t apply to the almost 300 politicians and bureaucrats from Canada that will attend the next COP event or a WEF event in Davros, Switzerland or to our current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has flown over 38,000 kilometers around the world since May 1, 2022!

One would hope Guilbeault and many other politicians would spend a little time and watch a recent video posted June 3, 2022 titled “The Carbon Offset Problem” with over 800,000 views so far, to get a sense on the some of the scams taking place related to carbon capture!

Perhaps that is too much to hope for with this current crop of politicians as they are simply some of the scammers!

This happening brought to my attention and it is related:

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.

Net-Zero Looking like a No-Go by 2050 Part 2

Part 1 examined several events related to the global “climate change” push and the damage being caused to livelihoods in the U.S., Europe and Canada.  The news was bleak but a couple of the articles signaled the fallout may be having an effect on how politicians may react to more bad news and that voters may rebel. 

Part 2 will look at other global events that will surely cause more handwringing amongst those politicians!

The transition to green energy and the missing warming

Lets’ start with a recent report from a German Scientist, Fritz Vahrenholt, who describes himself as “a scientific reviewer of the IPCC report (The renewable energy section, not the section on climate science), and says that it was his first view of the report that caused him to become skeptical of climate change.”

The review of his report notes the climb of “CO2 emissions” and their increased air concentration over the past 30 years and the warming over that timeframe.  It then points out that the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) has increased since 1980 but is now weakening suggesting a cooling stage of 20-40 years will occur and added to a weakening solar radiation concludes; “further significant warming beyond 1.5 degrees is unlikely in the next 30 years.”  The review also notes a “halted decline in Artic Sea ice” as noted by “European Copernicus program in March”.  This leads to the conclusion; this is good news and suggests: “Wouldn’t it be time for climate researchers to bring these trends to the attention of politicians and the public? After all, politicians are currently readjusting the priorities of energy supply. While until last year’s price explosion and the aftermath of the Ukraine war it was apparently taken for granted that climate impacts would be the sole determining factor for energy policy, we are all now being made aware of the importance of security of supply and price trends.”  We can only hope the foregoing news is actually brought to the attention of the politicians and they listen rather than always accepting the dire forecasts of the eco-warriors.

Canada’s oil and gas workers don’t need a forced ‘just transition

The captioned headline and the article from May 10th in the Niagara Independent should be a “must read” by every Canadian politician.  The article enunciates the importance of Canada’s oil and gas sector and how the demand for oil and gas not only creates jobs for hundreds of thousands of workers but also generates billions of tax dollars that pay for “roads, schools and hospitals”.  It goes on to note “Global demand for both oil and natural gas is firmly back near pre-pandemic levels and rising, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration” and questions the need for the “Just Transition” pushed by the current Trudeau led government!  The article points out “Canada can be the world’s oil and gas supplier of choice, providing customers reliable, responsible energy that is committed to emissions reduction and environmental excellence.”  The article points out world energy consumption will grow and Canada should be ready to step up to provide it.

It is so far not apparent the current government will back off their “Just Transition” concept but they should note the UK plans to classify “natural gas” as green and drilling for it is “environmentally sustainable” as noted in a post in Part 1 of this series.

India going gangbusters on coal — tosses green rules, & wants to reopen 100 old mines

It is becoming more apparent that while countries like Canada are led by politicians who have subscribed to the UNIPCC’s push to eliminate fossil fuels there are still some politicians around the world who are more concerned with their citizen’s well-being!  This is evident with India who did not step up at COP-26 to demands they should reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and didn’t accede to the wishes of people like Mark Carney. A recent article noted “India needs a billion tons of coal a year, and digs up about 770 million tons. Suddenly the plan is to increase that to 1.2 billion tons “in the next two years” and if that means opening 100 old mines and throwing away the green tape, so be it.” India depends on fossil fuels for 70% of their power generation and recently experienced increased demand due to the end of Covid restrictions and hot temperatures causing power demand to rise resulting in power outages. Increasing coal mining will allow them to reboot those coal plants that have experienced a shortage of fuel.

It is good to see some politicians around the world feel their citizens deserve reliable power and are not caught up in what the unelected Mark Carney’s or Bloomberg’s of the world tell them to do.       

US to Ease Sanctions on Venezuela, Enabling Cargoes to Europe  

As a Canadian it seemed very strange that the U.S. Government under President Biden recently decided to ease sanctions on Venezuela allowing them to ship oil to Europe and perhaps even the USA based on an article in the Financial Post last week.  Is this the same President who cancelled the Keystone pipeline during his first day in office that would have carried Canadian crude oil to the US?  The article suggests Venezuela oil may even be allowed to go to the US; “While Chevron currently isn’t allowed to drill for or export oil from Venezuela, the resumption of talks with state-owned PDVSA paves the way for the San Ramon, California-based company to obtain a new license allowing it to resume operations. It also signals that Venezuelan oil may be coming to the U.S., one person said.

We should assume our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau didn’t jump on that news and call Biden to get him to reverse his decision to allow the Keystone pipeline. Trudeau and his minions like the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, are determined to stop all Canadian fossil fuel from being extracted and sold around the globe.

Huge fire erupts at bus garage with vehicles alight and reports of an ‘explosion’

A bus garage hosting TfL (Transport for London) electric double decker buses erupted in flames yesterday and included an explosion which can be seen on a video.  The cause of the fire is under investigation but as a result TfL has removed 108 electric London buses from service due to the concern it could be an issue with the battery.  There have been similar incidences elsewhere with another one having recently occurred in Paris, France near the end of April and their transit authority suspended the use of 149 electric buses. Apparently this was the second one occurring as another electric bus had caught fire earlier in April. 

We have heard from the elites of the world as well as our politicians that we should stop consuming fossil fuels and use public transit but hopefully this isn’t what they had in mind but based on the travelling habits of our PM, Trudeau perhaps it is as he never takes public transit?

Conclusion

The developed world’s politicians seem to have embraced the dire and criticized reports from the UNIPCC along with the hues and cries from the many unqualified ENGO (environmental non-government organizations).  Couple that with the further embrace of those IPCC reports by the main stream media and it sure appears “actual science” is ignored! 

Perhaps some of these recent events will light up the minds of the reporter’s aka journalists and the general public will get the truth instead of the “disinformation” we are being fed!

Net-Zero Looking like a No-Go by 2050 PART 1

The past several days has made it look like there isn’t “a hope in heaven or hell” to meet the commitments to reach net-zero by 2050. The promises made at COP-26 will be not be met, unless mankind is back living in caves by that date!  The following highlights several happenings impacting the impossible dreams of our elected leaders. Here are a just few that will also make eco-warriors upset!

Creaky U.S. power grid threaten progress on renewables, EVs

The captioned was labelled as a Reuters Special Report posted several days ago suggesting grid failures are becoming a big problem in the U.S. and caused by “climate change” bringing nasty things like; wildfires in California, hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, Midwest heat waves and a Texas deep freeze.  The author goes so far as to claim; “the seven regional gid operators in the United States are underestimating the growing threat of severe weather caused by climate change” claiming he checked data going back to the 1970s! Had he bothered to go back a little further he may have found heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires and deep freezes are not a new phenomenon that has only occurred during the past 50 years.  He did rightly note the “inherent unreliability” of wind and solar “exacerbates the network challenges” and requires grid expansion to get their generation to where they are needed!  The article goes on to cite the increasing demand for electricity that will be caused by all those EV (electric vehicles) charging their batteries but that means a huge increase in spending on the grid!  He cites John Kerry, U.S. Special Envoy who stated: “We can send a rover to Mars, but we can’t send an electron to California from New York.” My guess is if Kerry had investigated, he would find out New York has no spare electrons to send anywhere and moving that “electron” across the county would cost more than sending that rover to Mars!

A summer of Blackouts

Another recent article related to the U.S. in the City Journal (CJ) co-authored by the editor and a “Fellow” at the Manhattan Institute took a different tact. The article noted “rolling blackouts” will be caused by; “the closure of some coal and nuclear plants, and the unreliability of renewables like wind and solar”.  The article further states “the unreliability of renewables like wind and solar” reduced energy surpluses. The article goes on stating; “That’s left some places with little margin for error during peak usage times in mid-summer—potentially prompting the kind of blackouts California saw last year. The warnings have spurred calls to slow down climate-change-driven efforts to retire nuclear and fossil-fuel generating plants.“ The authors of this article make a more logical argument than the Reuters article as it cites immediate problems presumably inferring building transmission systems to carry an electron from NY to California is not the answer noting: “the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which coordinates and oversees the power grid for 15 midwestern and southern states serving more than 40 million people, has noted that the closing of plants representing significant sources of energy had accelerated a shortfall in power reserves, potentially with dire consequences.”  The article goes on to note upcoming problems in several of those midwestern states including Illinois, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, all of whom, forecast power shortfalls and corresponding blackouts during peak demand hours principally due to plant closures and intermittent unreliable wind and solar.  The article also mentions the drought in California which will reduce hydro generation and suggest that, in itself, may well cause blackouts similar to those experienced last year.

Bundesbank warns Russian gas embargo would cost Germany 5 per cent in lost output

The Russian Ukraine war has exacerbated the global efforts to meet those COP-26 targets as the European Union has moved to stop purchasing Russian oil, natural gas and coal. Germany could see one of the largest impacts as they had become overly dependent on the supply of those fuels from Russia. Recently Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) warned the embargo could knock 5% (US$195 billion) off of Germany’s GDP effectively creating a recession.  At the same time Germany has reactivated many of their old coal plants to ensure electricity supply certainty.  The latter will not ensure they avoid the falling GDP forecast from Bundesbank nor will it help Germany and the EU reach their “net-zero” emission targets as they will be replacing gas fired plants with coal which is much more emissions intensive. It should also be remembered by all, that Germany had not only closed their coal fired electricity plants but had also phased out their nuclear plants in favour of intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation.

Kwarteng to classify natural gas as ‘green’ investment to support North Sea

Kwasi Kwarteng is the UK’s Business Secretary under Prime Minister Boris Johnson. One month ago he was quoted stating: “Net zero is the solution to the global gas crisis, not the cause. Expensive gas is the problem – cheap, clean, homegrown energy is the solution,”! The quote was from a speech he delivered at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Kwarteng is now planning on classifying “natural gas” as green and drilling for it in the North Sea as “environmentally sustainable”.  Pretty sure the “eco-warriors” around the world must be very upset about declaring “natural gas” as green and drilling for more is “environmentally sustainable”!

Not to worry about the above though, as right here in Ontario the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) got a much different message recently.  The OCAA paid close attention to a recent debate amongst the leaders of four (New Blue Ontario Party and the Ontario Party were excluded) of the Provincial Parties invited to debate and the OCAA were delighted when they heard Doug Ford declare he “will not be happy until Ontario achieves a 100%  zero-carbon electricity grid”!  We should be pretty sure the Liberals, NDP and Green Party Leaders are fully on-board with Ford’s “happy” target!

What the foregoing suggests is that it doesn’t matter which side of the ocean you live on; politicians haven’t got a clue as to what the truth is!  Their preferences are driven by what they perceive voters’ favour and apparently, they haven’t a clue if “climate change” aka “global warming” is fact or fiction or what mankind’s influence on the climate actually is.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series!

Ontario Teacher Pension Plan Using our Tax Dollars to Create “Green” Jobs in Other Countries

The OTPP Board of Directors just announced they are investing $1 billion dollars of Ontario taxpayers’ contributions to their pension plan but it will be in other countries. They claim it’s a good thing as it will help them achieve “net-zero emissions” presumably by creating jobs elsewhere! We should not it’s not the first time they have done that! 

Earlier investments have gone to Cubico Sustainable Investments, with their headquarters in London, England.  Cubico has offices in ten (10) countries but Canada is not one of them and their portfolio includes onshore wind, solar, transmission and distribution assets.  OTPP have invested in Anbaric Development Partners who are involved in transmission and storage projects in the U.S.A.  They are also invested in NextEra Energy (U.S.$864 million invested) another US company.  NextEra took advantage of Ontario’s Green Energy Act to build several intermittent and unreliably IWT (industrial wind turbines) and solar projects in Ontario and then sold them off to none other than the CPPIB (Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board).

The latest announcement relates to OTPP’s US$1 billion investment in Corio Generationof Australia who actively pursue offshore wind contracts and the article in the Financial Post noted:  “The joint venture will fund the development of 14 fixed-bottom and floating projects in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland and the United Kingdom, all of which are currently in development by Corio with an initial target of up to nine gigawatts.”  Once again, the OTPP is investing in other countries to create jobs.

In 2020-2021, there were 130,923.28 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers, according to the Ontario Ministry of Education and 2,025,258 students which on average is 15.46 students per teacher.  The 2021 OTPP report noted: “We deliver retirement security to 333,000 working members and pensioners.”  The average pension benefit per retired teacher was $36K; based on the 2021 OTPP report noting $6.909 billion was the amount delivered for “pension benefits! On another note, the Ontario Ministry of Education’s annual budget for 2021-2022 year was $33 billion which works out to $250K per “full time equivalent” teacher for just that year.

Based on the above information we taxpayers are doing a fine job of ensuring public school teachers are; not overworked, well paid and secure in the pension benefits they will receive when they retire! 

So, the question becomes why is their Pension Plan so determined to create jobs in other countries instead of Ontario and Canada whose private sector taxpayers pick up all the costs associated with their employment and retirement benefits?

The investments they continue to make suggest it is apparent the Board of the OTPP have fully endorsed “net-zero” and all of the false promises our PM Justin Trudeau made at the COP-26 Conference related to job creation. 

No doubt us taxpayers should assume if those OTPP investments don’t work out the teachers using our contributions to create those “net-zero” jobs (everywhere but Canada) will come cap-in-hand to the Ontario Ministry of Education seeking more of our tax dollars to ensure they are able to retire in comfort. 

Bruce Power took their Four “A” Units offline and no one Noticed

The OCAA (Ontario Clear Air Alliance) has been pushing the closure of Ontario’s nuclear plants for years in addition to their more recent effort to gain municipal support for the closure of our gas plants.  They continually suggest the closure of both will not cause problems as we will get all the power those units now produce from Quebec’s excess hydro which is an outright lie. Quebec is a winter peaking province and pushes their residential and businesses to conserve power during that season.  No doubt the OCAA will renew the claim with Bruce taking all four of their “A Units (3,144 MW capacity) offline as part of the requirement to do its Vacuum Building Outage. That will allow OCAA to suggest they weren’t missed! 

The VBO is a regulation as noted in the Bruce press release: “All four operating units must be shut down once every 12 years to allow for inspections and maintenance to the vacuum building.”  The units will come back on line before “summer peaking season” to ensure Ontario has the electricity supply needed.

What is interesting about the units being taken offline is to look at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) on May 12th!  That time reflects the “peak demand” hour for the day with it reaching 17,179 MW for a five-minute segment.  At that hour nuclear generated 6,758 MW, hydro 6,176 MW and natural gas plants 3,666 MW.  From the three renewables IESO report; solar contributed 97 MW, biomass 50 MW and those IWT (industrial wind turbines) 866 MW so collectively they provided 5.9% of peak hour needs.

Now try to imagine the blackouts we would experience without nuclear and gas or what Quebec might have provided to replace the 57% of generation those two sources did!

As a matter of interest, the IESO “Intertie report” disclosed Ontario even exported 1,408 MW to Michigan and imported 500 MW from New York.  Quebec supplied 115 MW (less than solar and biomass combined at that hour)!  Those imports and exports traded at an average rate of $81.06/MWh which is much closer to their actual cost than when the wind is blowing hard during low demand hours and days driving down the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price)!

So, Mr. Gibbons, Chair of the OCAA, the “cheap and abundant” hydro you told us Quebec would supply if we shut down our nuclear and gas generation never appeared at Hour 18 so what makes you believe we would be able to do without Ontario’s nuclear and gas generation?  You seem intent at wanting to cause widespread blackouts throughout Ontario!

The time has arrived for the OCAA and its supporters to back off from their spurious claims!

Four Years Later and I Repeat: “If I were Ontario’s new Minister of Energy …”

Back on May 30, 2018 an article I penned, just prior to the last provincial election, listed ways in which the incoming ruling party could reduce electricity costs by $2 billion annually.  Electricity costs had more than doubled in Ontario under the reign of the McGuinty/Wynne led Liberals due to their enactment of the GEA (Green Energy Act) when George Smitherman was the Minister of Energy.

Ontario’s voters were expected to respond when casting their vote in early June 2018 and they did!  The ruling OLP (Ontario Liberal Party) were decimated turning them into what many referred to as the “mini-van party”.

My prior advocacy work had focused on the “electricity sector” and the cost of wind and solar generation. My efforts included frequent dialogue with the Conservative appointed “energy critics” so, at that time, I and many Ontario ratepayers in rural and urban communities had hopes the Doug Ford led Ontario Conservative Party would deal with the mess the Liberals had created. Potentially the savings would have amounted to around $8 billion over the past four years.

The Ford led government based on a recent report from the Ontario Financial Accountability Office seems to have simply transferred $6.9 billion in electricity costs for the 2021-2022 year and $118 billion to taxpayers over 20 years, even though taxpayers are also ratepayers!  In quickly reviewing recently released platforms for the OLP, the NDP and the recent OPCP budget it sure appears they all have plans aimed at “global warming” and want to spend billions continuing the push to jump on board with “The Great Reset” advocated by the WEF and our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

The only dissenting voice amongst the political parties seems to be the newly formed “New Blue Party” whose “BLUEPRINT” states they will take “down wind turbines to reduce electricity costs”!

Following are the recommendations put forward in the article four years ago and I will leave it to the reader to pontificate as to whether or not, any of them were acted on!

“Green Energy Act

Immediately start work on cancelling the Green Energy Act

Conservation

Knowing Ontario has a large surplus of generation we export for 10/15 per cent of its cost I would immediately cancel planned conservation spending. This would save ratepayers over $433 million annually

Wind and solar contracts

I would immediately cancel any contracts that are outstanding but haven’t been started but may be in the process of a challenge via either the ERT (environmental review tribunal) or the court system. This would save ratepayers an estimated $200 million annually

Wind turbine noise and environmental non-compliance

Work with the MOECC Minister to insure they effect compliance by industrial wind developers both for exceeding noise level standards and operations during bird and bat migration periods.  Failure to comply would elicit large fines. This would save ratepayers an estimated $200/400 million annually

Change the “baseload” designation of generation for wind and solar developments

Both wind and solar generation is unreliable and intermittent, dependent on weather, and as such should not be granted “first to the grid rights”.  They are backed up by gas or hydro generation with both paid, for either spilling water or idling when the wind blows or the sun shines.  The cost is phenomenal.  As an example, wind turbines annually generate at approximately 30 per cent of rated capacity but 65 per cent of the time its generation is at the wrong time and not needed. The estimated annual ratepayer savings if wind generation was replaced by hydro would be $400 million and if replaced by gas in excess of $600 million

Charge a fee (tax) for out of phase/need generation for wind and solar

Should the foregoing “baseload” re-designation be impossible based on legal issues I would direct the IESO to institute a fee that would apply to wind and solar generation delivered during mid-peak and off-peak times.  A higher fee would also apply when wind is curtailed and would suggest a fee of $10/per MWh delivered during off-peak and mid-peak hours and a $20/per MWh for curtailed generation. The estimated annual revenue generated would be a minimum of $150 million

Increase LEAP contributions from LDC’s to 1 per cent of distribution revenues

The OEB would be instructed to institute an increase in the LDC (local distribution companies) LEAP (low-income assistance program) from 0.12 per cent to 1 per cent and reduce the allowed ROI (return on investment) by the difference. This would deliver an estimated $60/80 million annually reducing the revenue requirement for the OESP (Ontario electricity support program) currently funded by taxpayers

Close unutilized OPG generation plants

OPG currently has two power plants that are only very, very, occasionally called on to generate electricity yet ratepayers pick up the costs for OMA (operations, maintenance and administration). One of these is the Thunder Bay, former coal plant, converted to high-end biomass with a capacity of 165 MW which would produce power at a reported cost of $1.50/kWh (Auditor General’s report) and the other unused plant is the Lennox oil/gas plant in Napanee/Bath with a capacity of 2,200 MW that is never used. The estimated annual savings from the closing of these two plants would be in the $200 million range.

Rejig time-of-use (TOU) pricing to allow opt-in or opt-out

TOU pricing is focused on flattening demand by reducing usage during “peak hours” without any consideration of households or businesses.  Allow households and small businesses a choice to either agree to TOU pricing or the average price (currently 8.21 cents/kWh after the 17% Fair Hydro Act reduction) over a week.  This would benefit households with shift workers, seniors, people with disabilities utilizing equipment drawing power and small businesses and would likely increase demand and reduce surplus exports thereby reducing our costs associated with those exports. The estimated annual savings could easily be in the range of $200/400 million annually

Other initiatives

Niagara water rights

I would conduct an investigation into why our Niagara Beck plants have not increased generation since the $1.5 Billion spent on “Big Becky” (150 MW capacity) which was touted to produce enough additional power to provide electricity to 160,000 homes or over 1.4 million MWh.  Are we constrained by water rights with the US or is it a lack of transmission capabilities to get the power to where demand resides?

MPAC’s wind turbine assessments

One of the previous Ministers of Finance instructed MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corp,) to assess industrial wind turbines (IWT) at a maximum of $40,000 per MW of capacity despite their value of $1.5/2 million each.   I would request whomever is appointed by the new Premier to the Finance Ministry portfolio to recall those instructions and allow MPAC to reassess IWT at their current values over the terms of their contracts.  This would immediately benefit municipalities (via higher realty taxes) that originally had no ability to accept or reject IWT.

If one does a quick addition of the foregoing one will see the benefit to the ratepayers of the province would amount to in excess of $2 billion dollars which co-incidentally is approximately even more than the previous government provided via the Fair Hydro Act.

Hmm, perhaps we didn’t need to push those costs off to the future for our children and grandchildren to pay!

Now that I have formulated a plan to reduce electricity costs by over $2 billion per annum I can relax, confident that I can indeed handle the portfolio handed to me by the new Premier of the province.”