Green New Deal Deja Vu, Repeating Ontario’s Green Folly

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What the Democrat’s energy plan will do can be seen by looking north.  The Liberal Party of Ontario, Canada passed the Green Energy Act (GEA) in 2009, a limited version of the American Democrat’s Green New Deal. Even without the extremist goals of the Democrats, the Ontario plan was a total disaster; energy prices, bankruptcies, taxes, and debt exploded.

The Ontario GEA called for priority and obligatory purchase of green energy projects and streamlined regulatory and approval processes of green energy projects. By comparison, the Democrat GND calls for “massive mobilization … complete phase-out of fossil fuels, fracked gas and nuclear power … replacing non-essential individual means of transport … eliminating fossil-based fertilizers … it will be necessary to electrify everything else, including transport, heating, etc.”

The radical Democrats also call for massive social engineering. Justice warrior mania runs through it: “corporate takeover … exploitation … people of color … just transition … human right … harm on communities of color … WWII-scale mobilization … WPA-style public jobs program.”  The Democrats piggyback on the UN IPCC report demand for “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society … a mandate that connects the dots between energy, transportation, housing, and construction, as well as health care, living wages, a jobs guarantee, and the urgent imperative to battle racial and gender injustice.”

The Ontario Province debacle has lead to debt of CAD $345 billion (US $257 billion), larger than 146 countries. Every Ontarian is saddled by a CAD debt of $23,000+ and climbing.  Not all of the debt burden is energy-related. Fifteen years starting in 2003 of Liberal Party rule were marked by large yearly deficits, bookkeeping chicanery, blunders, and scandal.  But Ontario Auditor General pins the costs of going green at CAD $170 billion over 30 years. The Ontario Debt Clock keeps on ticking.

The promises made to get the Ontario GEA passed are familiar:

• Ontario has set high aims and high goals and does want to be a North American leader in the area of renewable technology … we anticipate in the first three years approximately 50,000 jobs will be created. 

• The Green Energy Act would help to create jobs in a wide range of areas …  as well as at least $5 billion of investment in infrastructure and expenditures.

• The Liberals gave substantial evidence that the cost of electricity would only raise one percentage point per annum.

• The GEA is a movement; it has checks, balances, and has been carefully thought out.

• The head of Environmental Defence Canada, Dr. Rick Smith, asked whether this would lead to higher prices; “No. Not at all.  Ontarians won’t even notice any impact on their electricity rates.” 

The political Opposition grossly underestimated the looming disaster, saying that rates would increase a catastrophic 15%. Not even close. The off-peak and on-peak electricity rates were 4.2 & 9.1 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009 and doubled to 8.7 & 18.0 in 2016. As for job creation “mostly short-term subsidized jobs for workers installing wind turbines and solar panels … while the few jobs that have been created are mostly temporary, the high prices it foisted on consumers are permanent.”  GEA resulted in hundreds of wasteful energy contracts, baseless claims about job creation, low energy yields, and the necessity of dumping power on the export market at a financial loss.

The Liberal Party was massacred in the June 2018 election, losing 51 of 58 seats. With only 7 seats they did not qualify for official legislative status, are restricted in speaking in the legislature, and get no public funding.  In December 2018 the Green Energy Repeal Act was passed, but the cost of the folly is crushing debt for decades in Ontario. Price increases are baked in for years to come.

Chris Kemble is a freelance writer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin