Electric Vehicles Demonstrate Inept Governments via Grants, Mandates and New Taxes

Developed countries around the world are literally throwing money at trying to electrify the transportation sector (passenger cars and light trucks). Canada is no exception as at both the Federal and Provincial levels many announcements and articles have displayed how they have handed out grants to manufacturers of the vehicles, batteries to power them as well as charging stations. Depending on where you are around the world EV buyers receive a variety of incentives, including direct grants, tax breaks (no sales or VAT taxes), low-cost charging stations, etc. all  with taxpayer dollars.

Surprisingly despite all the billions of our tax dollars being handed out Canadians are not buying those EV at the same pace as the rest of the world as an article a few days ago noted: “Statistics Canada data show EVs made up one in 14 new vehicles registered in the first half of this year, compared with one in 20 a year earlier.“ The article went on to state China was responsible for 56% of global sales and for Canada to achieve the 60% sales target for 2030 they would have to grow from 55,600 to about 480,000 over six months to hit that target. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact the Canadian Automobile Association lists 80 EV models with an average sales price of $82,000 and, EV lose considerable range in our cold winters?

Two of Canada’s taxpayers smaller handouts

Lion Electric Company: Back onMarch 15, 2021 a joint announcement made by PM Trudeau and Quebec Premier Legault handed Lion Electric $100 million of our tax dollars and labelled it as an “investment”!  The grant they handed out was 54% of the cost ($185 million) of building a “battery assembly plant” in the Laurentians but labelling it as an investment seems a stretch as, if, and when, Lion Electric generate a profit we taxpayers will not be recipients of dividend payments or appreciating shareholdings.  On the latter note it is an interesting exercise to see how the shares have performed since the grant announcement.  Shares in the entity appear to have had an initial value on the NYSE of US$16.31/share on March 1, 2021, and as of November 18,2022 were valued at US$3.01 a drop of 81.54%! Interestingly Lion recently announced their third quarter 2022 results and stated their revenue was up 244% but losses increased by 316%! Quite the investment!

Taiga Motors Corporation: On July 12, 2021, the Mayor of Shawinigan and the Federal and Quebec Governments announced forgivable loans and grants to Taiga which would allow them to manufacture electrically  powered “personal watercraft, snowmobiles, electric motorization systems and battery packs.“ The collective amount was $50 million (40%) towards the $125.17 million cost of the new plant. Car and Driver tested one of the Taiga snowmobile models in March 2022 and while they didn’t disparage it, they suggested you better not stray too far from your base due to their limited miles range (62 miles for the one tested).  The price was also rather startling with the “Nomad” priced at US$19,490 whereas a Ski-Doo or Polaris model would be in the US$10/12,000 range with much higher mileage. Taiga’s initial share price after their launch in April 2021 was $13.25 and it now sits at $4.00 meaning it has dropped 70% and if one looks at their year over year results their losses as of the 9 months ended September 30th were down from $88.8 million to $35.9 million. Can we really trust politicians to create wealth using our tax dollars to electrify our transportation and other sectors?

As noted, the foregoing handouts were small ones, but we Ontarians have been subjected to handouts by the Ford and Trudeau led governments totalling in the billions aimed at the same goal of electrifying the transportation sector (automobiles and light trucks). They handed out $1 billion to Stellantis, $590 million to Ford $518 million to GM and $260 million to Honda meaning $2.368 billion of our tax dollars were committed to ensure we retain some of the jobs we have had for decades in the auto sector. The province and the feds have also been trying to attract battery manufacturers and will supply LG Energy with $1 billion of our tax dollars as well as an unknown amount to Umicore, a Belgian global metals refiner who will build a battery materials facility.

In addition to the foregoing taxpayer grants, the Federal Government also have the ”Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program aimed at handing out $680 million to entice people and companies to build “charging and refueling stations”. They apparently see this as “one of the key barriers to ZEV adoption“ but we taxpayers should suspect its related to the average sale price of those EV as noted above and our concern about them losing range during our cold winter days.

What’s happening elsewhere? 

Norway: A recent article; “Norway Became an EV Paradise, Now It’s Imposing a Weight Tax and Bringing  Back the VAT“ noted upcoming legislation in Norway will rescind most of the favourable benefits that have made it the country with the highest EV sales per capita. The new legislation will remove the many perks granted to EV buyers displayed in a graft posted in an article a few months ago. The VAT in Norway alone will add 25% to the purchase price of an EV and the weight tax another 2/3%.  As that occurs, we would expect, the 78 % EV sales have so far represented in 2022, will fall, as they will cost considerably more than a new ICE vehicle once those new taxes become legislated.

United Kingdom:  It appears the UK has recently become  concerned  the net zero target may well lead to “five fuel taxes: fuel duty, vehicle excise duty, landfill tax, the carbon price floor and the emission trading schemedrying up according to an article in the Financial Times!  As a result of that concern a “tax vacuum” will be created during a time when the country is running significant deficits so, as a start, they plan to charge EV owners with the vehicle excise duty.  Grants being handed out are also on a downward trail as purchase grants for new EV have been reduced from £5,000. to £1,500.

Targeted EV sales in Canada

The 2022 Federal budget expanded the push to electrify the transportation sector in Canada requiring 20% of all vehicles sold in Canada to be EV by 2026, 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035. In addition, the budget extended the $5,000 per vehicle grant to help achieve those targets. Annual new auto sales in Canada vary between 1.5 million to 2 million so by 2035 at the low end $7.5 billion of our tax dollars will possibly wind up supporting those “mandated” sales. The other issue relates to lost sales taxes etc. from ICE vehicles as outlined in a January 17, 2022 article, published by the CPA (Canadian Professional Accountants), noting: “The federal government collects nearly $6 billion per year in gas and diesel excise taxes, not including the GST or HST on those purchases. Add in provincial fuel taxes and over $16 billion in annual government revenue that will disappear once Canadian drivers are weaned off the gas pump. It’s enough to rip a large hole in public finances.“ It is worth pointing out the CPA article was using 2021 data and the price of both diesel and gasoline have climbed considerably since then meaning the revenue lost added to government grants will increase taxpayer costs to over $30 billion annually.

Conclusion:

Looking only at the Trudeau led government’s plan to electrify the transportation sector in Canada demonstrates their inept ability to govern the country responsibly due to their insane belief Canada’s emissions reduction from the transportation sector will impact the climate. Not a chance!

The Federal and Provincial Governments Hit Us with Luxury Taxes to Heat Our Homes  

As winter approaches one can’t help but notice the increasing number of articles pointing out how energy required to heat our homes has become a significant and concerning news issue. The articles point out the cost of natural gas, furnace oil and propane have increased along with the numerous taxes levied on them by the Federal and provincial governments and is driving up fuel poverty.

Here in North America, we have been observing the panic ensuing the UK, Germany, and other European countries as their move to green their energy supply to meet the elusive “net-zero” target has darkened the future for households and businesses.  They have discovered without fossil fuels to back up intermittent wind and solar many countries will see from 40 to 60% of households experience “energy poverty” and many businesses face closure through bankruptcy or via movement to countries with lower energy prices. Employment will no doubt rise, and inflation will continue it’s upward move!

Fortunately, North America hasn’t been as badly affected as Europe, however, it will not be an easy winter for many Canadian households and particularly those depending on fossil fuels to keep their house warm in our cold winters. While Canada has not experienced the incredible increases Europe has, in the price of those fuels, we nevertheless have been affected negatively by much higher market prices of natural gas, furnace oil and propane despite our abundant supply of those fuels in the form of oil and natural gas. We have also been negatively affected by increasing taxes levied by the Federal government and sales taxes increasing as they are applied to the increased costs of those fuels.

In Canada approximately 50% of all households (6 million) heat with natural gas, 7% with furnace oil (850,000 households) and just over 1% (150,000) with propane. As all of those are fossil fuels or derivatives; the Federal “carbon taxes” apply, as well as provincial and federal sales taxes. We should note the latter (sales taxes) are also applied on the Federal carbon tax, so they become “a tax on a tax”! The carbon tax is currently set at $50/tonne and is scheduled to rise to $65/tonne on April 1, 2023 and will continue to rise annually reaching $170/tonne in 2030.

Having read several articles, the decision was made to determine how households will be affected in the upcoming winter months; by reviewing both the cost of the fuels (natural gas, propane, and furnace oil) and the taxes applied on them at their increased market price.  According to the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) “Historical natural gas rates“ have increased 115% from late October 2021 to late October 2022 whereas NRCAN (Natural Resources Canada), suggests furnace oil has increased by 57.5% and propane by 20% over the same timeframe.

Because our household uses natural gas it is relatively easy to review a monthly bill from the past 2021/2022 winter to determine how much it will increase should we consume the same amount for a 2022/2023 winter bill.  I will leave it to other households heating with furnace oil or propane to review the potential upcoming costs to heat their home this coming winter!

It is worth pointing out; in Ontario* the OEB set price adjustments (natural gas only) on a quarterly basis, so the year-over-year comparison may be modestly affected!  If our household consumes the same amount of natural gas the fuel costs and the associated taxes levied will result in our monthly bill increasing by approximately 74.5%.  Fuel costs will represent 29.6% of the upcoming bill and taxes 30.7% versus 33.2% and 26.7% in the prior year should all the other related costs remain static. 

Please note the foregoing discloses despite those fuel costs climbing considerably; Federal and Provincial taxes will climb faster!

One should take note when Ontario published their March 31, 2022 financial results, sales tax revenue had increased $3.8 billion from 2021 and were $2.8 billion over their forecast and surely played a role in allowing them to claim a budgetary surplus of $2.1 billion. Obviously, a lot of that revenue came from taxes on our energy bills and one should assume the Federal government also benefited greatly via their various tax levies on those fossil fuels we consumed to heat our homes.

It is apparent our two levels of governments seem to believe it is a luxury to heat our homes using fossil fuels based on their continuing levels of increasing taxation.  Time for them to recognize heating our homes during our cold winters in Canada is not a luxury!

*67.2% of Ontario households heat with natural gas.

Energy Poverty Set to Balloon, Not Just in Ontario

We here in Canada have been observing the tragedy hitting the UK and Europe with their skyrocketing energy costs and many here have not even noticed what we are going to experience this winter. It shouldn’t be as bad as Europe but we should be prepared for the shock that will impact many of our households!

Our jump in costs to heat our homes will not be the multiples of three- or four-times last years costs as Europeans will experience but they will be pretty nasty despite our abundance of natural gas, oil and their derivatives such as furnace oil and propane. While our household is heated with natural gas and our small cottage with propane the cold weather hasn’t descended on us just yet but we’re pretty sure its just around the corner.

What impacts Ontarians, and most Canadians, is the inclusion of the Federal and Provincial taxes and the increased price of the above-mentioned heating fuels since the start of this year.

Curiosity piqued; a review of our household’s natural gas and propane bills came to mind. After reviewing them both I discovered, from a late December 2021 natural gas bill, the “carbon tax” levied by the Federal Government coupled with the “HST” (the provincial sales tax plus the federal sales tax) together represented 36.5% of the total bill and for the late January 2022 propane delivery it represented 33% of the bill.  Please note both of those bills came before the “carbon tax” had increased to $50/tonne on April 1, 2022 and is scheduled to increase by another $15 on April 1, 2023!

The other ongoing issue is: for some time, a large percentage of Canadian households have indicated via quarterly surveys they are only $200.00 a month away from bankruptcy.  In the latest survey they have reiterated that point and noted: “Moreover, more than half of Canadians say they’re concerned about the impact of rising interest rates on their financial situation and their ability to cover all living and family expenses in the next year without going further into debt.”

It sure appears the $200 a month will soon disappear and drive more households into “energy poverty” based on the increased costs of natural gas, furnace oil and propane. In Ontario (approximately) 3.6 million homes heat with natural gas, 350,000 with furnace oil and 100,000 with propane. The following chart shows price increases (approximate) for the above over the first 9 months of 2022:

Prices:

Natural Gas at the start of 2022 was 18.0529 cents/M3 and by the first of October 2022 was 36.0901 cents/M3 for an increase of 100% since Jan. 2022.

Furnace Oil at the start of 2022 was 138.4 (C/per litre) and by the first of October 2022 was 207.1 C/per litre for an increase of49.6% since Jan. 2022.

Propane at the start of 2022 was 109.9 (C/per litre) and by the first of October 2022 was  139.9 C/per litre for an increase of 27.3% since Jan. 2022.

As is obvious the costs of the above three fuels have all increased will above the rate of inflation and have no doubt played a role in helping to drive it up. Those increased costs will negatively impact many households in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada this coming winter along with the increased taxes that will make those bills more damning!

Hard to believe this is happening in a country with an abundance of natural gas and oil but our governments (Federal and Provincial) seen determined to stop the use of fossil fuels while grabbing increased taxes on their use and helping to create “energy poverty”*!

Households that spend more than twice this value on home energy services, can be said to experience high home energy cost burdens. For purposes of policy discussion, CUSP uses this 6 per cent threshold of home energy cost burden to define households that experience energy poverty.”

NB: Please note CUSP is the Canadian Urban Sustainable Practitioners and the “6 per cent” references after-tax household income!

Perhaps Voters Should Demand IQ Tests for Anyone Running for Public Office

Numerous events recently have caused yours truly, and hopefully many more, to wonder; are we are being led by elected politicians, federally, provincially and municipally with IQs (intelligent quotients) that would easily qualify them for a place in the “Dumb & Dumber” cast of the movie of the same name!  Those politicians take it upon themselves to direct bureaucrats; responsible for managing public services (entities paid with our tax dollars), to do what they are told. The bureaucrats do as they are told as they are well paid with lots of perks so they don’t “pushback” no matter the stupidity of the directives!

Let’s have a look at a few issues related to mankind’s need for “energy” firmly under control of politicians. Energy, until recently, has caused the world to become a better place; reducing poverty, climate related deaths, increasing lifespans, and damage from weather anomalies i.e.; not “climate change”!

Ottawa is a Great Example of Municipal Idiocy

With municipal elections just around the corner, Ottawa’s Mayoralty Candidates are having “eco-debates”!  The candidates include Bob Chiarelli a former mayor of Ottawa and when he was Ontario Minister of Energy is famous for suggesting the $1 billion cost associated with moving the planned Oakville gas plant was the cost of a Tim Horton’s coffee. It should come as no surprise the debates relate to the city councils approved; “Energy Evolution”, an 86 page document forecast to cost $57.4 billion and will reputedly transition Ottawa to a “net-zero” city by 2050. With a population of about 1.1 million that represents a cost per resident of about $52K or more than $200K for a family of four. An earlier article about Ottawa’s plan to get to “net-zero by 2050” strongly suggests it was written by Pollution Probe a group dedicated to convincing us all to abandon our use of fossil fuels to achieve the COP-26 targets. As if to exacerbate the push to spend those billions of dollars the City of Ottawa contracted Innovative Research Group to conduct a survey* that seems destined to produce favourable results for the Ottawa politicians due to the skewing of the questions. Perhaps Pollution Probe also had a hand in generating those survey questions?  It would be great if those municipal politicians running for mayor or council took the time to look at what has happened in the UK or Germany where energy prices have skyrocketed due to their push to “green” the electricity sector. This winter they plan to control the temperature households set to heat their homes! It seems apparent research isn’t something those seeking reelection or election to the City of Ottawa have bothered to do!

Province of Ontario Demonstrates Provincial Idiocy

From all appearances it seems almost conclusive the Premier Ford led government is simply carrying on with what Ontario experienced under the McGuinty/Wynne led government which brought us an almost tripling of the cost of electricity in the province.  While Ford did cancel the GEA (Green Energy Act), it is obvious they are still committed to eliminating fossil fuels completely which affects reliability and will surely drive-up generation costs. 

Beyond the announcement OPG would be adding a 300MW SMR (small modular reactor) which may be in service in 2028 at the Darlington site we have seen nothing from the current Ontario government aimed at ensuring we have a reliable supply of electricity in the future!  With the approximately 3,000 MW of the Pickering Nuclear plant scheduled to close by 2025 the Ford government (via his Minister of Energy, Todd Smith) is pushing the Pathways to Decarbonization (P2D)” which fearfully, doesn’t seem to project reliability. The latter is concerning, as via a recent directive Minister Smith “asked IESO to evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas-fired generating stations in Ontario and to develop an achievable pathway to phase out natural gas generation and achieve zero emissions in the electricity system.”  From all appearances the directive has led to the upcoming (September 19, 2022), Ontario Energy Conference “Navigating to Net Zero” classified as “Ontario’s Energy Transition”!  According to the page describing the conference a key issue is; “Energy customers are demanding clean energy solutions with some urgency” but doesn’t disclose who those “energy customers” are. My (personal) guess would be they are not small/medium sized businesses or households suffering from inflation but may include eco-warrior charities like Environmental Defence, David Suzuki Foundation, etc. etc.  In reality, it appears to be simply Ontario’s politicians complying with the wishes of Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault; famous for his actions when he was an eco-warrior climbing on the roof of former Alberta Premier, Ralph Klein’s home and scaring his wife as well as his criminal action of climbing the CN Tower!

It is worth noting that IESO had previously been asked by Minister Smith to evaluate the phaseout of natural gas and their report indicated the cost to eliminate it by 2030 would be $27 billion and raise electricity prices by 60%.  Interestingly on the page with the link to the foregoing report IESO note; “Did you know that natural gas provides just 7% of Ontario’s electricity needs, but on the hottest summer days can provide up to 30%?”  This was a clear message from IESO that without natural gas, Ontario would have to increase its generation considerably to ensure reliability and prevent blackouts.

A clear message about vulnerability totally ignored by Minister Smith and the Ford Government!

Only a Few of Many Examples of Federal Idiocy

Looking back to August 19, 2021 and viewing a video of Trudeau announcing one of his handouts before the upcoming election is an interesting exercise! At the press conference in BC he promised to provide funding “to support the training of 1,000 new community-based firefighters and the purchasing of new equipment to continue to fight the impacts of climate change across the country”. A question presented to him asked about inflation and the Bank of Canada possibly loosening inflation controls and his response was: “You’ll forgive me if I don’t think about monetary policy”!  We should also suspect his Minister of Finance and Deputy PM, Chrystia Freeland, is of a like mind so, spending our tax dollars on the “net-zero” pledge requires no thoughts about the consequences on Canada’s future despite the federal deficit having reached $314 billion in the year that had just ended on March 31, 2021.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently visited Canada with the presumed hope Canada might be able to supply some natural gas via LNG shipments but all he got was a promise that maybe, sometime in the future, we might be able to supply Germany with “green hydrogen” generated by IWT (industrial wind turbines) out of Newfoundland. An article out of Germany however about the latter titled“Will rescue come from Canada?”casts serious doubt on that possibility as the following from the article notes (from the Google translation):  “So does this prove the feasibility of LH2 imports from Canada? The technical possibility may be given. However, the profitability is more than questionable. If you look at the whole supply chain: wind energy – electricity – electrolysis – liquefaction – ship transport – distribution – storage – generation in fuel cells – feeding into the grid – then you have to be very skeptical. It would be maddeningly expensive. Maybe then the LH 2 tax will be introduced in Germany and the kilowatt hour will ultimately cost one euro.” This was the best PM Trudeau could offer as the Liberals have stifled the generation of fossil fuels and the pipeline that would have brought them to export terminals.

The Trudeau led government during their reign in Canada have continued their efforts to achieve “net-zero” crippling our natural resource sector, advocating for EV to replace ICE vehicles by subsidizing their purchase and increasing the carbon tax on gasoline and diesel fuels. He and his minions such as Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, despite having some of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world, have refused to allow the building of the infrastructure needed to export our oil and gas resources!

TheBuild(ing) Back Better” advocacy pushed by the WEF (World Economic Forum) has become the recent version of the former communist “Five Year Plans” by the Liberal Government and enshrined in past budgets of the Trudeau government. It appears they haven’t realized Russia abandoned those Five Year Plans many years ago!  Canadians are now experiencing the results of those plans with inflation climbing, record Federal Debt, taxes rising and investment fleeing the country despite Canada’s abundance of resources.  It sure appears “Building Back Better”, by eliminating Canada’s exploitation of our natural resources is cripplingly us and harming those citizen’s who are not members of the elite’s of the Canadian Liberal Party.    

We should all find it fascinating a couple of months ago PM Trudeau was in Nova Scotia for a staged presence once again handing out $255 million of our tax dollars with $125 million destined for wind projects and $130 million for battery storage.  While making the announcement he was standing in a farmer’s field and in the background were several wind turbines that were totally dormant. We should doubt Trudeau actually noticed how those IWT demonstrated their intermittency and unreliability!  

The foregoing event occurred shortly after Trudeau displayed his new haircut patterned after Jim Carrey when Carrey stared in the movie series, Dumb & Dumber.  Now isn’t that ironic in how his new haircut and those dormant wind turbines enunciate how incredibly incompetent our current crop of elected leaders appear!

The time has come for politicians to take off the blinkers and do basic research before accepting what the eco-warriors incorrectly see as the end of the world unless we achieve “net-zero” emissions.

*Full disclosure:  I completed the survey twice using my e-mail address without pushback so eco-warriors from Pollution Probe or others may well have completed it dozens of times.

Norway and Canada, Hmm, Which One Benefits from Net-Zero Targets?

Norway, in respect to “energy” is very similar to two of Canada’s provinces and the two provinces are Quebec and Alberta.

Similarities to Quebec

Norway are more similar to Quebec than Alberta as almost all of their electricity generated is hydro power and much of it is exported to the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the UK. In 2020 Norway generated 154.2 TWh (92% hydro) and exported 20.5 TWh.  Quebec has also been blessed with hydro power and in 2020 Hydro Quebec generated 202.7 TWh and exported 33.3 TWh to the USA. 

Another similarity is both Quebec and Norway have embraced EV (electric vehicles) and Quebec have pushed sales via grants (including the Federal grant) and in Norway’s case by a stack of other incentives including free parking, approval to use bus lanes, etc. In addition, buyers pay no taxes as the following chart illustrates. One should find it humorous that the “scrapping fee” is identical in the chart but perhaps Norwegians have figured out how to deal with those EV batteries at end of their life?

Cost of EV versus ICE Automibles in Norway

In 2021 plug-in (EV + Hybrid) sales in Norway represented 90% of all auto sales. In Quebec EV sales were 9% of auto sales and the only province in Canada who beat them was BC whose EV sales were 11.6%. Quite the difference from Norway but the chart certainly shows why!

Yet another recent occurrence in Norway has led to the creation of another similarity to Quebec. it’s related to the lower snow and rainfall in the current year meaning Norway may reduce Its electricity exports to the countries with whom they have interties which are; Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Finland and the Netherlands. As noted in a recent article just several days ago, “reservoirs in Norway are less than half full, even though the average for this time of year is 74.4%.”

While Quebec doesn’t appear to currently have the “reservoir” problem Norway’s experiencing they nevertheless ask their consumers to reduce consumption during peak periods which occur during winter because most Quebec households heat their homes with the “emissions free” hydropower. In Quebec’s case they have firm contracts with US energy companies guaranteeing them supplies so it’s Quebecers who are affected rather than buyers of their electricity. Perhaps Norway is concerned all those EV owners will want to charge their batteries so to hell with the other European countries that will be in a power shortage come the winter?

Similarities to Alberta

Norway’s similarities to Alberta are related only to the fact they produce oil and gas and export much of it.  In Norway’s case they have eleven (11) gas pipelines to Germany, the UK, France and Belgium and also have an LNG terminal as well as a number of oil pipelines. Pretty well all of these pipelines emanate from the offshore Norwegian continental shelf where Norway mines it’s oil and gas. Their access to oil and gas has benefited them to the extreme particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia/Ukraine war!  To wit: “In the last months of 2021, the value of Norway’s oil and gas exports amounted to more than 100 billion kroner (€10 billion) per month. That is almost three times more than in the same period in 2020. In the course of the year, production of oil increased to 102 million standard cubic meters and natural gas to 113 billion cubic meters.” Norway’s world ranking for oil and gas reserves are respectively 22nd (13th in annual production) and 17th (3rd in annual production).

Canada’s oil and gas reserves respectively rank; 3rd (4th in annual production) and 18th (6th in annual production) in the world however, Canada’s principal market for both is the U.S.  The latter is unlikely to change as it is almost impossible to get pipelines approved and built due to control by Federal regulations and certain provincial politicians such as those in BC and Quebec as well as the Biden administration in the US who in his first day as President, cancelled the Keystone pipeline. Canada also doesn’t have an LNG export terminal yet built, meaning gas is for Canadian consumption only or sold to the US via pipelines far below market prices.  US buyers convert it to LNG for sale to European and Asian countries at much higher prices. Canada also imports oil and gas for our eastern provinces as the one and only LNG terminal in Canada operates for import purposes only.  Canada’s eastern oil refineries use mainly imported oil including a small amount from Norway with the highest imports from Saudi Arabia.

Due to Canada’s almost complete lack of pipelines to ports on both its Atlantic and Pacific shorelines we were, and still are, unable to achieve the benefits current world prices for both oil and natural gas could provide! We could have assisted European and Asian countries in obtaining those energy supplies if we had those pipelines but all except one of those planned were cancelled by the Trudeau government.

A recent editorial in the Sun newspaper chain referencing the lack of Canadian pipelines stated; “Estimates are this costs the Canadian economy $15 billion annually in discounted oil prices and $9 billion annually in discounted prices for natural gas.” Collectively the value of those two exports (two of Canada’s top three exports) in 2021 were US$97 billion but they could have been US$24 billion or 25% higher which could have gone a long way to, increasing revenue for oil and gas companies while producing additional taxes to service debt and (slightly) help reduce the Federal deficit. 

Our politicians do this to Canada, a country 30 times larger than Norway, and watch them generate huge benefits from fossil fuels allowing them to reduce their debt while increasing benefits for their citizens while our leaders harpoon our economy!

The question is; why is our Federal Government under leadership of Justin Trudeau and his minions so intent on destroying the Canadian economy by pushing the “net-zero” emissions agenda?  Canada represents 1.6% of global emissions which China and India will replace in a couple of months.

Wind Missing When Needed

Following is a screen shot taken on the IESO website and the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) shown on it is a reflection of what Ontarians would experience on a regular basis should our natural gas plants shut down as pushed by the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance).  The combination of the HOEP and the GA (Global Adjustment) comes to $293.49/MWh or 29.3/cents per kWh and getting close to what many European countries pay due to their move to renewable energy.  It should be recognized the 29.3 cents doesn’t include distribution or other costs so my guess is the all-in cost would be up around what residential ratepayers in Germany are currently paying. Germany is now firing up their coal plants in order to survive the upcoming winter as their gas supplies have been severely impacted by the Russia/Ukraine war and Russia has reduced the transmission of natural gas via their pipelines.

Most European counties anticipate electricity shortages over the next two years so we should expect the same here in Ontario should we shut down our gas plants as desired by the OCAA and the 33 municipalities who have endorsed their closure.

Industrial wind generation’s peak on August 2, 2022 came at the hour ending at 1 AM when they produced 1,927 MWh (39.3% of their capacity) but at the hour ending at 6 PM when peak demand hit 20,561 MW they managed to only generate 258 MWh or 5.2% of their capacity. Hour 4 when peak demand was lowest for the day at 13,796 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro but, wind turbines ran at 26.2% of their capacity generating 1,283 MWh when it wasn’t needed.

The ups and downs of wind generation were particularly visible this day demonstrating their inability to deliver power when it was actually needed. 

The time has come for the politicians and the eco-warriors citing the purported benefits of those industrial wind turbines to acknowledge their uselessness and how they do nothing more than add costs to our electricity and tax bills and must be backed up with natural gas plants!

Tracking the Evolution of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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

Here it is:

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

Just say no to Rio target

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Letter to the Editor December 20, 1996

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

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

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

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

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

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy.”

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

Greenhouse gas emissions, Canada, 1990 to 2020

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

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

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

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!

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

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

India and China ramp up coal production

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

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

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

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

New Zealand’s plan to tax cow and sheep burps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: