False green friends: Ontario’s environment, economy, and government don’t need ’em

Ontario’s long term energy plan currently includes a significant commitment to natural gas, an expensive, carbon emitting fossil fuel. Wind turbines, even more expensive, exist to make this fossil component publicly palatable. However, environmental concerns aside, the fossil component has proven to be both economically and politically disastrous. The provincial Liberal government lost its majority a year ago because of local community opposition to wind turbines, which to repeat are little more than (expensive) PR for gas. The Liberals only narrowly escaped losing power altogether by cancelling two planned gas-fired plants, due also to local community opposition.

While the cancellations were the right thing to do, they have proved extremely expensive.

Ontario could pursue an even cleaner electricity strategy, while avoiding all of this rigmarole, by expanding the capacity at Ontario’s nuclear plants. The communities that host these plants actually welcome more reactors. That is because nuclear plants represent stable, prosperous, quiet employment. Unlike wind turbines, nuclear plants occupy relatively tiny patches of territory. And unlike gas plants, nuclear plants do not rely on an energy source that so regularly and frequently explodes.

The gas component of Ontario’s long-term energy plan is applauded by the self-styled “green” lobby. This crowd does not care that natural gas, their preferred fuel, dumps literally millions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, into the air every year. Nor do they care that it is so horrendously expensive that power supply contracts with gas-fired generators are secret. And nor do they care that gas has proven to be so politically embarrassing to the government.

Ontario needs to stop listening to the “green” lobby. As recent developments have proved, nobody can afford to follow their cockamamie and hypocritical advice.

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