Wow, a Municipal Mayor has Determined Natural Gas is a Necessity

Back on November 23, 2020 the City of Windsor at their video Council Meeting passed: “Motion 7.1.6 Request that Council pass a resolution calling for the Province of Ontario to move toward phasing out gas-fired power plants”.  The motion came about as the result of a plea by Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance).  The motion called to “phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation by 2030 to help Ontario and the City of Windsor meet their climate targets.” As a result, they became one of the 33 municipalities the OCAA had conned into their way of thinking and endorsed the“gas power phaseout”!

Now fast forward to March 23, 2022 and a gathering of municipal, provincial and federal politicians was held but it was not to discuss the gas power phaseout!

The politicians along with representation from LG Electronics North America and Stellantis were at an event to announce a CAD$5 billion joint venture (NextStar) EV battery manufacturing plant.  The Windsor Star on June 2, 2022 posted an article describing the joint venture and also stated: “The federal and provincial governments have also committed to investing hundreds of millions in the project while the City of Windsor will assemble the approximately 220 acres of land necessary for the plant and some additional servicing of the site.”*  The article went on to note: “The plant will be capable of producing 45 gigawatt hours of electricity and will employ 2,500 people” but doesn’t elaborate how it will produce those 45-gigawatt hours.

As a follow up to the announcement a contact informed me that Enbridge Gas had made a submission to the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) requesting approval to construct two pipelines to supply natural gas and on page 49 of the 604 page submission is a letter dated March 31, 2022 from the Mayor of the City of Windsor, Drew Dilkens, endorsing the $200 million cost of the pipelines to supply NextStar which presumably will allow the new battery plant to “produce those 45 gigawatt hours”.

Now, as Alanis Morissette might say; “Isn’t it Ironic”! 

Looking further at the submissions to the OEB one notes a submission by Elson Advocacy on behalf of ED (Environmental Defence) requesting they be allowed as an intervenor in respect to the Enbridge Gas application.  While ED are an eco-warrior group who frequently act as intervenors in respect to applications before the OEB involving fossil fuel applications this one has a twist!  The letter asks that the OEB also deliver electronic copies of “the pre-filed materials and all other documents in the proceeding be delivered to the following consultant” who is none other than Jack Gibbons of the OCAA!

No doubt Gibbons will shed a tear or two over the turnabout of the City of Windsor who may have suddenly realized without natural gas the city would lose jobs and the benefits of the tax dollars they will receive from NextStar and their employees as well the hundreds of millions from federal and provincial taxpayers helping to create those jobs.

Perhaps the other 32 municipalities who have endorsed the “gas power phaseout” will also come to their senses and the OCAA and Gibbons can rest in peace knowing they haven’t destroyed the livelihood of millions of Canadian workers as they have been trying to do as a (prepare to laugh) charity!

*The amounts committed by the Federal and Provincial governments have not been released.

Eco-Warriors Bubble Up Again

The Narwhal is pushing pumped storage on behalf of Northland Power and dear old Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) is excited.  They are also excited about battery storage.

I took a run at the Northland plans back on November 18, 2013 and didn’t like what it was suggesting at that time.  I wouldn’t think things have changed much except for the increasing capital costs which suggest it would be even worse now than it looked like almost nine years ago.

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!

Ontario Minister of Energy’s Plan Will Save TESLA Owners 25 Cents Per Day

Many of us here in Ontario will remember back in late 2013 Bob Chiarelli Minister of Energy, shortly after a legislative justice committee investigating the cancellation of the TC Oakville gas plant; told reporters the cost’s claiming; “It’s less than a cup of Tim Hortons coffee a year.” The final cost of the cancellation turned out to be in excess of $1 billion but if you do the math over 20 years he probably wasn’t lying!

Fast forward just a bit over eight years later and the current Ontario Minister of Energy, Todd Smith seems intent on adding another TOU (time-of-use) pricing mechanism to reduce your rates; if you happen to drive an EV (electric vehicle) or are a shift worker. The OEB (Ontario Energy Board) provided him with the report he was presumably looking for with some input from IESO! The report did note risks and this one should be of some concern: “A Low Overnight price design may result in more EV owners charging at home and may overload the electricity distribution grid in residential areas, resulting in blackouts and costly upgrades

If the proposed price plan announced in the April 12, 2022 press release becomes a reality, you can charge your EV for only 2.5cents/kWh between 11 PM and 7 AM seven days a week while the current peak rate of 17 cents/kWh will climb to 25 cents/kWh or 47%.  Reputedly this additional TOU option will save those who charge their vehicles $90 annually or 25 cents per day which will be sufficient to purchase a medium sized “Timmies” each week!  One would have thought those purchasing an EV could afford the extra cost of charging their EV at the existing off-peak rate of 8.2 cents/kWh particularly as they receive a $5K grant (our tax dollars) from the Feds.

The purpose behind the rate reduction for EV drivers appears as an attempt to both reduce our night time surplus and entice people to purchase an EV as the Ford government has been handing out our tax dollars to Ford, General Motors and others to ensure they manufacture some of those EV in Ontario.  Our night time surplus electricity is sold off at the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) to our neighbours in NY, Michigan and Quebec and due to ongoing nuclear refurbishment has not been as high as it used to be.  The result of the latter is the HOEP has climbed from its low of 1.39 cents/kWh in 2020.  As examples, the off-peak HOEP averaged 3.9 cents/kWh in January, 3.5 cents/kWh in February and 3.4 cents/kWh in March of this year or slightly more than the 2.5 cents/kWh now (perhaps) to be offered to people owning EV.  

Based on 2021 sales of automobiles in Ontario it appears the prime objective is aimed at trying to justify the hundreds of millions of Ontario tax dollar grants to the manufacturers of EV and some of their related parts.  2021 new motor vehicles sold in Ontario were 496,529 of which only 9,949 were EV representing 2% of total sales. 

What the foregoing suggests is, to achieve the targets set by the federal government; ie; “half of all new passenger cars sold in Canada to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and reach 100% by 2035” appears to be a pie in the sky dream!

Despite the above however, we should hope the IESO, OEB and Ministry bureaucrats pay attention to the EV penetration in Ontario before we are faced with the potential “blackouts and costly upgrades” or Minister Smith’s legacy will be similar to that of Chiarelli’s but only for 25 cents per week!

The Ford Government Brings us More Promises and More Tax Dollars Down the Drain

It’s become hard to understand exactly why the Ford led OCP (Ontario Conservative Party) seems set on imitating the Trudeau government who are hell-bent on destroying Canada’s fossil fuel sector but, many recent and past announcements and actions by the OCP suggest they are two peas in a pod!

As one example Minister of Energy Todd Smith issued a press release about the taxpayer subsidized ONroute Electric Vehicle Charging Stations recently and the release noted there were 72,655 EV currently registered in the province and “by 2030 one out of 3 vehicles sold will be electric”.  That would represent sales of around 170,000 EV! Presently the currently registered EV represent 0.85% of all vehicles weighing less than 4,500 kilograms in Ontario (2019 stats) and most if not all, received provincial and/or federal tax grants.  One should wonder will this Ford government’s sudden love affair with EV trigger a return of the provincial grant that the Ford government killed when first elected?

Another announcement by Minister Smith in the Belleville Intelligencer had the following quote in an article about his plan to lower electricity rates during the night: “Our government has reversed the trend of skyrocketing electricity prices and given families and businesses more control when it comes to their energy bills,”.  The article failed to note the recent Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) report indicated taxpayers would be picking up $6.9 billion of costs in the current fiscal year associated with his claim. What the foregoing infers is, “the trend”, seems to be; lets increase the provincial debt to burden future taxpayers.

Cheaper Nighttime Rates May Produce Blackouts

The article in the Intelligencer was headlined: “Energy Minister Todd Smith eyes ‘ultra-low overnight electricity plan“, and suggested it was to “benefit shift workers and support EV adoption”. Minister Smith has directed the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) to review the concept of implementing the reduction, “for residents who charge their electric vehicles overnight”! This looks to be simply another burden on future taxpayers with little benefit to those “shift workers” who, if they drive EV, will have to charge them during the day when rates are at peak levels. It will also result in higher rates during “peak demand” times of each day and a further burden on future taxpayers.

The issue of cheaper rates during the night may also benefit municipalities who have jumped on the “net-zero” concept and have told the province to shut down our gas plants that serve to back up the unreliable and intermittent wind and solar generation.  One wonders if Minister Smith is familiar with the fact that several municipalities such as Ottawa are aiming to convert their transit buses and other municipal vehicles to battery fueled vehicles. Ottawa alone intends to purchase 450 E-buses by 2030 and have a full E-bus fleet by 2036.  One should assume those buses will be charged principally at night and if so, what impact will it have on demand if all 32 municipalities who have told the province to shut down the gas plants convert their fleets?  Obviously, they will also demand they can charge those buses, etc. with those lower nighttime rates too! The City of Ottawa will borrow $400 million from the taxpayer owned “Infrastructure Bank” (a Trudeau led government creation) to assist in the purchase of those buses which further burdens all of Canada’s taxpayers!

Those buses charging at night also may have other issues as some cities who have moved to E-bus fleets have had bad experiences due to sudden fires. Germany has had several flareups in different cities. Recent events where fires broke out are of concern; meaning E-buses will require more stringent regulations such as separate garage stalls further raising conversion costs. Insurance companies have not yet dealt with those issues but will undoubtedly raise their premiums as a result of those events.   

In his push to support EV to reduce emissions Minister Smith ignores the fact the Pickering Nuclear generating station that supplies Ontario with 2,500 MWh every hour of the day will be shut down in 2025!  So far, the ministry has not identified what will replace that emission free power.

The absence of generation to meet demand in the future can be visualized by the following chart Scott Luft recently posted on his twitter page showing demand increasing substantially in the future! 

The plans and targets the current Ontario government has to reputedly reverse “the trend of skyrocketing electricity prices” seem destined to continue throwing our tax dollars down the drain.  A recent report by the Fraser Institute forecasts Ontario’s net debt will reach $503.3 billion or about $130K per household by 2023-24!

The time has come for this government to take action and stop spending money that serves to increase the possibility of a future debt crisis!

PS: Stay tuned for the next plan by the Ministry of Energy to drive up our Cost of Living.

Strange Things that Caught My Eye Over the Recent Week

Should you, as I do, consider recent events to be off the scale of normal, it is worth pondering the cause!  Is it related to the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, the “woke” generation, government bureaucrats or those in political power or perhaps a combination of some or all of them?  Some recent examples:

Planting Trees in Brampton as Part of Two Billion Trees                                                                             

I’m sure most will recall just before the last Federal election in 2019 our PM Trudeau met with Greta Thunberg and promised her we would plant 2 billion trees.  Well, it appears the process, under the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan has finally started according to a press release on August 4, 2021 which contained the following:

Today, Maninder Sidhu, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Brampton East, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, announced $1,280,000 to the City of Brampton in support of the Government of Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over 10 years. This project will see 8,000 trees planted across the region this year and contribute to the rehabilitation of the city’s urban tree canopy.”

Quick math on the cost per tree being planted comes to $160.00 each meaning if Minister O’Regan Jr. continues at this level the total cost to Canada’s taxpayers will be $320 billion for the 2 billion trees. Those 8,000 trees will, eventually, absorb about 174 tons of CO2 meaning the cost per ton of emissions removal is about $7,400. Pretty sure O’Regan could have purchased “carbon offsets” for a few dollars each from former Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney and saved the taxpayers money!

CONFIDENCE IN CHARITY LEADERS HAS FALLEN SHARPLY OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES – WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE SECTOR?

In late June Charity Village released a report that tracked “four research streams that asked about perceptions of charity leaders over time, representing 27 distinct surveys.” The surveys cited go back as far as 2000.  One of the comments in their report stated: “In 2000, 27% of Canadians reported a lot of trust or confidence in charity leaders, but in the Environics Institute’s research, only 8% reported having a lot of confidence in 2020,”. Another finding was, “between 2009 and 2020, confidence in charity leaders dropped by 22 percentage points, compared to only eight percentage points for business leaders, six for union leaders, and three for government leaders.” The preceding findings may (in my mind) be a reflection of the growth in eco-charities who provide no real charitable benefits to those in need and are well funded by domestic and foreign charitable foundations. The former includes many of Canada’s colleges and universities with departments focused on “climate change”! Needless to say, the drop in confidence has resulted in fewer Canadian tax filers donating: “In 2000, 25.5% of Canadian tax filers reported charitable donations, but by 2018 it was only 19.4%.” 

Toyota CEO Agrees With Elon Musk: We Don’t Have Enough Electricity to Electrify All the Cars

Toyota’s CEO at the company’s year-end press conference in mid-December 2020 said; “The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse. The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets…When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline; do they understand this?” 

Interestingly enough, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla just a couple of weeks earlier noted “Increasing the availability of sustainable energy is a major challenge as cars move from combustion engines to battery-driven electric motors, a shift which will take two decades, Musk said in a talk hosted by Berlin-based publisher Axel Springer.”  Musk also said; “electricity consumption will double if the world’s car fleets are electrified, increasing the need to expand nuclear, solar, geothermal and wind energy generating sources.” In respect to “wind energy” it is interesting to note the Global Wind Energy Council in an article claimed, at the end of 2020 there were “743 GW of wind power capacity worldwide”.  To put that in perspective the Federal Government’s “Canadian Centre for Energy Information” tells us at the end of 2017 Canada’s total electricity capacity was 145,214 MW which is only 145.2 GW! 

As industrial wind turbine’s (IWT) life span is around 20 years we should expect about 50% of those in operation globally will reach their end-of-life in the next 10 years and the rest by the time Musk forecasts capacity must double.   Approximately the same life-span applies to solar panel and batteries for storage. Those politicians and Musk should also understand the USA in 2020 generated 60.3% of it’s electricity consumption from fossil fuels!  I would therefore suggest the “politicians” cited by Toyota’s CEO along with Musk himself have no understanding of what EV will do to the electricity system globally and why both are way off base and have no bearing on getting us to “net-zero” emissions by 2050!

Hydro One submits five-year Investment Plan to the Ontario Energy Board to energize life for communities

Just a few days ago Hydro One issued a press release announcing they had submitted a 5 year plan to the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) seeking approval to spend $17 billion over that time to reputedly: “reduce the impacts of power outages for its distribution customers by approximately 25 per centand “enable economic growth and prepare for the impacts of climate change.” The proposed capital expenditures are about double what they have been over the past several years (eg: 2019 was $1.667 billion and 2020 was $1.878 billion).  The press release claims “If approved, the five-year Investment Plan will have bill impacts below the expected rate of inflation, with the monthly bill for a typical year-round residential customer increasing by an average of $1.68 each year from 2023 to 2027.” Reviewing the OEB’s Yearbook of Distributors to get a sense of how those “power outages” compare due to “defective equipment” the 2015 report states the hours interrupted due to “defective equipment” were over 4.6 million hours and in 2019 (2020 report is not yet published) they had dropped to just under 4.4 million hours.  Since 2015 Hydro One’s residential customer base also increased by 60,000 so hours per customer have dropped.

As a former banker I don’t believe the approximately $2 million the 1,2 million residential customers will cough up at the suggested $1.68 annual increase will be sufficient to pay the interest on the $1.9 billion of new debt (the foregoing additional debt assumes Hydro One will maintain is debt to equity ratio at 2020 year-end levels) they will incur annually.  By 2027 it will be a pipe dream!

Let us all hope the OEB does its job for the benefit of Hydro One’s customer base of which I am one.

Let’s thank our lucky stars Hydro One was not allowed to buy Avista

While on the subject of Hydro One it should remind all that back a few years ago they were intent on purchasing Avista Corporation via an all-cash purchase at $53 (US) per share.  The total cost for the all-cash offer was estimated at Cdn$6.7 billion.  The closing price on Avista’s stock on Friday July 7, 2021 and over three years after the purchase offer was $42.67 (US).  At the time the purchase offer was made Glen Thibeault was the Ontario Minister of Energy and was keen on the takeover saying: “One of the benefits of broadening the ownership of Hydro One was to unlock the potential for precisely this sort of transaction,”.  Thibeault went on to say; “As the single largest shareholder in Hydro One, the Ontario government would benefit from the company’s receipt of additional regulated returns expected to begin in 2019. Those benefits will be above and beyond the proceeds already attributed to the Ontario Trillium Trust as a result of the IPO and subsequent secondary offerings.”

Needless to say, those of us who felt Hydro One should focus on Ontario’s ratepayers were delighted US regulators in the states where Avista operated refused the takeover. Hydro One had planned to borrow $3.4 billion and issue another $1.4 billion of debentures convertible into Hydro One shares which would have, in all probability, detrimentally impacted all of their existing Ontario ratepayers.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, it appears those we elect as our representative politicians often are more influenced by those lobbying them continually such as the “climate change” advocates or they bow to the bureaucrats who are the beneficiaries of our tax dollars for their pay. Combine the foregoing with the “woke” generation screaming and their mainstream media support along with the push for globalization and we should unfortunately recognize what is continuing to happen appears to be the “new normal”!  

Political Promises, High Electricity Costs, Climate Change, EV and Line 5

I was invited on the Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM today and the above title suggests some of the topics we covered. You can listen to our discussion on Sauga 960’s Marc Patrone Show starting at 1:03:25 of the podcast of his July 6, 2021 show by going here:

Another Broken Political Promise

Back in April 2018 Doug Ford, the then recently chosen leader of the Ontario PC Party promised “to cut hydro bills by 12 per cent if he wins Ontario’s spring election, saying it would be on top of a rate reduction from the governing Liberals, whose plan he has repeatedly criticized. The Progressive Conservative leader said Thursday that he would cut rates through a variety of measures that would save the average ratepayer $173 a year.”

So how has that promise turned out?                                                                             

A recent report from the C. D. Howe Institute titled; “Power Surge: The Causes of (and Solutions to) Ontario’s Electricity Price Rise Since 2006” reminded me of Premier Ford’s above promise. I decided to measure his promise against actual results from our personal Hydro One bills.

A quick calculation of our June 2018 bill indicated all-in costs on the Hydro One bill we received were 15.06 cents/per kWh (kilowatt hour) after being granted a rebate of the provincial portion (8%) of the HST and a further discount under the “Fair Hydro Plan”.  Collectively the two reductions represented 34.5% of what our bill would have been.  Without discount(s) costs would have been 22.6 cents/kWh!

Fast forward three years later to June 2021 and all-in costs were 14.99 cents/kWh or a drop of 0.07 cents not the 1.8 cents/kWh of the promised 12% reduction.  The strange thing about the latter bill however is on the actual calculations the amount deducted is referenced as the “Ontario Electricity Rebate” (OER) and if added to what we paid would have raised the price to 18 cents/kWh.  On page 1 of the bill however, there was a dollar amount cited (Total Ontario support) that was 3.5 times the amount of the OER and if added to what we were required to pay would have increased the costs to 25.5 cents/kWh or 12.8% more than the 22.6 cents/kWh of June 2018. 

What the foregoing suggests is the Ford government has done nothing to reduce the cost of electricity since elected and instead is simply burdening taxpayers at the rate of 10.6 cents/kWh (25.5 cents/kWh minus 14.9 cents/kWh) for electricity consumed by residential and (perhaps) other ratepayers.

In respect to the foregoing the C. D. Howe report contains the following about the taxpayer burden: “As system costs – particularly in energy generation – have continued to rise, the Ontario government has increasingly turned towards taxpayers to keep total bills down. The most recent estimates from the Ministry of Finance show the cost of subsides rising to a staggering $6.5 billion for the 2021/22 fiscal year – or nearly 3.5 percent of total government expenditures. To put this number in context, that same budget proposed to spend $5.8 billion in taxpayer dollars on long-term care.“

Premier Ford left Greg Richford in the portfolio for three years and this suggests he accomplished nothing other than burdening taxpayers with debt! With the advent of Todd Smith as the new Minister of Energy, taxpayers and ratepayers should hope he will somehow start the process of fixing the mess.

The time has come for the Ford led Government to recognize that taxpayers and ratepayers are normally one and the same individual!

Who gets the carbon credits for recycling wind turbine blades and other burning questions?

As a climate change “realist” this past week has been what I would term, over the top. It seemed there is total confusion about what we should do and what we should avoid to push for net-zero emissions and move to the “circular economy”.  Some examples:

Industrial Wind Turbines are not yet part of the Circular Economy          

Cement giant LafargeHolcim and GE’s renewables wind turbine unit are teaming up and the purpose is “to explore the recycling of wind turbine blades.” The main objective of the partnership is to focus on “circular economy solutions”.  The same article notes one of the largest companies producing IWTs, Vestas, in early 2020 said it was aiming to produce a “zero-waste turbine” by 2040.  If one gives some thought to the Lafarge/GE team you conclude recycling fiberglass, etc. blades should result in the handing out of “carbon credits”! Both of those team members would presumably want them as they both are facing rising costs associated with “democratic” governments punishing them with a carbon-tax due to their emissions. The proponents of renewable energy from wind turbines must now be wringing their hands in confusion as they had pushed the concept that energy produced from them was emissions free but refused to admit their manufacturing generated emissions and that the blades were not recyclable.  It should also be noted that cement if it was a country would reputedly “rank fourth in the world as a climate polluter.”  IWT, based on many research papers could, “warm the surface temperature of the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius, with the largest changes occurring at night when surface temperatures increased by up to 1.5 degrees.”  So, will those carbon credits be shared or will they both be rewarded with the carbon tax we consumers are paying now and in the future?

Swiss CO2 law defeated at the ballot box means no carbon tax for the Swiss  

The Swiss held a vote on a CO2 law, based on the “polluter pays” principle,”. It targeted “road vehicles, air traffic, industrial emissions, and the renovation of buildings. Those who cut their CO2 emissions would have benefited from exemptions.” Presumably those who didn’t “cut emissions” would pay an emission tax. Switzerland’s government now has a problem as they have committed to the EU they would cut their emissions. 

It was interesting to note “Urban cantons including Basel, Zurich and Geneva voted in favour of the bill.  But 21 of the 26 Swiss cantons struck it down.”  One should suspect had Canadians voted on the recent move by the Trudeau led government to impose the increase to $170/tonne on emissions the outcome may well have turned out similar. Most large urban community voters seem to fail to realize the outcome will drive the cost of living up as the “carbon tax” climbs whereas the rural communities have a much better understanding of basic economics!

Interestingly the nay side “argued that Switzerland will not make a critical difference to global climate efforts since the real game-changers are China and the United States when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions” which many sane Canadian voters also understand.

So, the question is; when will Canadian voters be given the opportunity to vote yay or nay to the carbon tax?

Meteorologist Says Snow in June In Line With Historical Snowfall on Avalon                                          

The forgoing story about snow in Avalon, Newfoundland June 10, 2021 caught my eye due to having recently watched a video with Natural Resources Minister, Seamus O’Regan doing the introductory speech in a video at the launch of the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF).  As an aside, OCAF is proposing to spend $57.4 billion tax dollars to make the City of Ottawa achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050. In the opening welcome from O’Regan he opined about last winter stating, “average temperatures of 10 degrees higher than normal in the height of winter” in parts of Labrador suggesting it was caused by climate change. What he failed to say was average winter temperatures in Newfoundland and Labrador can swing widely by as much as 30 degrees so 10 degrees hardly seems unusual. Nevertheless If you’re pushing the “net-zero” theory to justify handing out tax dollars to groups like OCAF you may only want to present information that is one-sided.

The question someone in the media should ask O’Regan is; do you think snow in June is caused by “climate change”?

Centre Block renovation to take until at least 2030 to complete, cost up to $5Billion                     

Another article that caught my eye was once again all about Ottawa and referenced how the renovation associated with the Peace Tower and Centre Block was not only going to cost taxpayers $5 billion but would also not be completed until 2030 or 2031.  One of the strange issues arising out of the renovation had nothing to do with the $57.4 billion the City of Ottawa wants to spend to make the city reach “net-zero” as the Peace Tower and Centre Block are owned by the Government of Canada. The article noted:

It’s being promised by PSPC (Public Services and Procurement Canada) that the renovation will result in transforming the “largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter” within PSPC’s portfolio of federal buildings into a carbon-neutral facility with significant reductions to energy and water consumption.”

I’m sure PSPC has numerous properties emitting “greenhouse gas” but probably none of them are places where so many politicians are present so perhaps, as taxpayers, we were aware of where the largest “carbon emissions” emanate from; when parliament actually sits. 

Putting aside the fact that our parliamentarians spew “greenhouse gas” one wonders why PSPC didn’t look for alternatives to spending all those tax dollars?  Was the only choice to spend $5 billion to make it “carbon-neutral” or perhaps they should have considered buying some of those California “Global Emission Offset Credit’s” priced at US $20.32/tonne for June 2021? $5 billion would buy a lot of those “offset credits”!

PwC to add 100,000 jobs in US$12 billion strategic revamp

An article in the Financial Post last week stated “PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing US$12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.” The article went on to note: “The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment” and went on to state; “The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends across its operations.” ESG was a creation of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which was founded by the German economist Charles Schwab.  ESG is fully supported by the big four audit firms as it will allow them to increase their audit bills and some of those funds will presumably result in hiring more staff with those (whatever they are) ESG audit skills. It will also allow the big investment firms like Bloombergs, Brookfield, etc. to make lots of money trading those carbon credits that many firms will be required to purchase due to regulations and “Acts” imposed by government bodies at all levels.

My question is related to the foregoing imposition of ESG!  ESG imposition seems destined to make the very rich even richer and those in the middle and poorer classes poorer and is that it’s objective?

A bird stands in the way of India’s green goals  

India has so far escaped the need to impose carbon taxes but they do seem concerned about “climate change” so have been handing out contracts for more coal generation as well as wind and solar generation. This article indicates they have received push-back from the Wildlife Institute of India on the latter contracts and they were successful pushing for buried transmission lines in order to save an endangered bird known as the “great Indian bustard”.  The Supreme Court ruling supported the Institute but now the developers are crying because burying the transmission lines will reputedly increase costs to them by $4 billion.

The question I would have for the Canadian judicial system is why in most cases when similar objections were raised by opponents of wind and solar generation in Ontario and elsewhere did the rulings handed out favour the developers and ignore wildlife proponents?

IESO and OEB join forces to support innovative projects to help meet province’s growing energy needs

The IESO (independent Electric System Operator) and the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) recently issued a Press Release announcing they have formed a new partnership. The partnership “would test the capabilities of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in providing services at both the local and provincial levels.” The DER resources they want to test are identified as: Some examples include rooftop solar panels, battery storage units and demand response devices, such as smart thermostats, that help reduce or shift consumers’ electricity usage.”  While industrial wind turbines are missing from the examples one should assume they are part of the mix as approximately 600 MW (megawatts) of their capacity are already part of the DER!  Ontario’s ratepayers have already experienced those “innovative projects” (sarcasm intended) which caused electricity rates to jump over 100% creating energy poverty while driving energy dependent businesses out of the province. IESO will also subsidize those “innovative projects” via their Grid Innovation Fund (GIF) while the OEB will provide “temporary relief” from regulatory guidelines.

My question is; why is the Minister of Energy allowing this to happen when the outcome has already been clearly demonstrated?

Conclusion  

From all appearances it appears confusion reigns supreme throughout the world when itcomes to the question of “climate change”, and the myriad ways governments and their regulators are dealing with it.  It is time realism is deemed important in respect to the global movement to effectively increase energy poverty and for governments to respect scientific opinion that has been tossed aside by the super-rich out to increase their wealth while harming the rest of mankind!

The time has arrived for governments to answer our “climate realism” questions!

ENERGY EVOLUTION: OTTAWA’S COMMUNITY ENERGY TRANSITION STRATEGY

City of Ottawa plans to spend $57.4 Billion to get to net-zero by 2050 and Carney is helping them

On April 24, 2019 the City of Ottawa passed a motion declaring a “climate emergency” and only two councilors voted against it.  Interestingly one of the “No” votes came from Rick Chiarelli, 2nd cousin of Bob Chiarelli, former Ontario Minister of Energy who during his term of service was a big fan of renewable energy which caused electricity prices to rise over 100% in the province.

Passage of the motion led to the appointment of councilor Scott Moffat as Chair of the City’s Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management. Moffat presumably accepted the position with his belief in the reputed and upcoming “climate emergency” motion he supported.

As an outgrowth of the “climate emergency” declaration, the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), a registered charity with assets of $178 million (CRA 2019 filing) launched the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF).  The official launch occurred May 14, 2021 and was moderated by Diana Fox Carney, who happens to be Mark Carney’s wife. 

As yet another coincidence, it was earlier announced on May 3, 2021, by Eurasia Group, “the world’s leading political risk research and consulting firm” (their claim), that “Diana Fox Carney, a widely respected expert on global climate and energy policy, will be joining as a senior advisor. At Eurasia Group, Fox Carney will work closely with Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, who helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, to bolster the firm’s growing climate and energy practice. Most Canadians and particularly Ontarians will recognize the “Butts” name as it was he who; “behind the scenes”, influenced former Ontario Premier, McGuinty in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) driving up electricity prices in the push for wind and solar generation.

On the launch day of May 14, 2021 the OCAF issued a press release announcing a: “$21.7M investment from the Government of Canada to bring Carbon Down and Community Up“.  As one would expect the press release carried words of wonder from Ministers Seamus O’Regan and Catherine McKenna on how those tax dollars would help save the world from the climate emergency while creating jobs and making life better for our kids and grandkids.

The City of Ottawa’s plan to get to net-zero by 2050 consists of 101 pages and starts with a “Thank You to Our Partners”. The report states; “The city extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to almost 200 public and private stakeholders representing more than 90 organizations” in discussions and technical workshops! One of those listed is Pollution Probe (a charity) who have been pushing environmental issues for several decades.  The interesting issue in respect to the City of Ottawa’s plan is it appears to have been created by Pollution Probe. When you link to the plan in PDF format it suggests it was PP’s creation not the City!  Also interesting is in the list of OCAF’s appointed advisors one finds an individual by the name of Chris Henderson.  If one looks at Pollution Probe 2020 GALA webpage the moderator for one of the sessions was Chris Henderson.  Coincidental, or is Ottawa’s “net-zero” plan a creation of PP rather than City officials?

The official OCAF online launch with Diana Carney as moderator took place on the same day (May 14, 2021) as the $21.7 million in tax dollars were announced.  The video recording of the launch is just over one hour and included presenters; Seamus O’Regan, Catherine McKenna and a few others including Councilor Moffat!  O’Regan waxed on about temperatures last winter being 10 degrees higher than normal in Labrador as a sign of the climate emergency but if he bothered to investigate history, he would have noted average winter temperatures in Goose Bay, where he grew up, vary by as much as 30 degrees from a low of -30 C to 0 C in January. Ottawa MP McKenna screeched she want’s Ottawa to be the greenest capital ever!

Reverting to the PP plan it is interesting to see the following:  “Financial analysis indicates that cumulative community-wide investments from 2020 to 2050 total $57.4 billion with a present value of $31.8 billion.” To put that in perspective the $21.7 million taxpayer dollars just awarded to the City is 0.4% of the investments reputedly needed and those investments are 14.5 times the City’s current annual budget of $3.94 billion. As one should suspect the plan recommends complete electrification of everything and utilizing renewable energy in the form of solar and wind (lowest power density of energy sources).  From the plan: 

The model indicates that the minimum results required to meet the 100% scenario under the electricity sector are:

• Solar photovoltaic (PV) reaches 1,060 MW by 2050 (approximately 36 km2 of solar PV47 mostly on rooftops)

• Wind generation reaches 3,218 MW by 2050 (approximately 710 large scale turbines)”

The proposal to have 1060 MW of solar panels (40% of what Ontario currently has) and 3,218 MW of wind turbines (60% of what Ontario has currently) to supply Ottawa with the power needed to achieve net-zero by 2050 is a dream Ontarians have already suffered though. Residents in Ottawa should get ready for electricity prices to more than double every 10 years.

The 101-page plan says absolutely nothing about the toxic elements in those 1060 MW of solar panels that will require disposal in 15/20 years when they reach their end of life and need to be removed from the 36 square kilometers of rooftops they will cover.  Interestingly enough, many will have to be removed and replaced before we even reach 2050.

The same concern should be considered in respect to those “710 large scale turbines” whose life cycle is about the same as solar panels and will be 160 metres in height as compared to the 98 metre height of the Peace Tower. I presume Catherine McKenna would welcome solar panels on her roof and one of those industrial wind turbines near or at her residence if she really wants Ottawa to be “the greenest capital ever”.

The OEB yearbook of Distributors for 2019 indicates the hourly peak demand for Hydro Ottawa in the summer was 1,348 MW and winter peak was 1,257 MW, By 2050 or sooner those peaks will double or triple. What that could mean is residents and businesses will be faced with rolling blackouts similar to those experienced by California, Southern Australia and were partially to blame for the Texas blackout. Those three regions have opted for unreliable and intermittent wind and solar generation although Texas hasn’t gone quite as far as California and SA have.

Those of us in the rest of Ontario should insist Hydro Ottawa be disconnected from the grid to ensure only the City of Ottawa is affected by blackouts or brownouts in the future.  Let them spend the $57.4 billion but only use the tax dollars generated by those living in Ottawa and the rest of us can sit back and watch what happens when politicians are eventually accused of harming those who voted for them.