Sunday, June 16, 2024

Premier Ford’s Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost, Will the Lights Be On?

Dear Editor,

I have some bad news for Mr. Buck and Mr. Bernard.

I desperately want us to slow down, then reverse, Climate Change by every means possible. We need to adopt Green Energy solutions as quickly as we can. On as large a scale as possible. Proven, safe, planet saving, Green Energy solutions. Like the one Mr. Buck, Mr. Bernard, and the whole Save Georgian Bay crowd have chosen to fight for no valid reasons.

So, I am delighted to provide an update about recent events that should disappoint them terribly. It involves someone Mr. Buck thinks is on his side. I think Mr. Buck’s due for a big surprise.

The Doug Ford Government cancelled a long list of renewable energy projects (wind and solar – approximately 750 contracts) after being elected in 2018. It was a massive unforced blunder. It was impossible to explain, but it may have simply been part of a blanket Ford Nation – Finding Stuff Kathleen Wynne Thought Was A Good Idea In Order To Cancel It – program. No thought. No planning. Just the superficial appearance of action.

Pickering Nuclear provides 14% of Ontario’s electricity. It was scheduled to close in 2014. For nuclear safety reasons. Apparently, it’s best to not let those things get too old without retiring or refurbishing them. $300 million was invested to “prolong their service life”. Allowing for an orderly planned shutdown in 2024. Again – for nuclear safety reasons.

Primarily as a result of Doug Ford’s massive renewable energy blunder in 2018, the Ford Government was forced to apply to extend Pickering operations for another year. Allowing for an orderly shutdown in 2025. No investment to keep them safe this time though. To just run for another ‘year’.

The Ford Government has just applied to extend Pickering operations for another year. To 2026. No investment to keep them safe. To run for another year.

You can probably see what’s happening here. Maybe detect a pattern? With a 51-year-old nuclear power plant originally slated to be decommissioned in 2014? Refurbishing Pickering would likely take 10 years. Much longer to build a new one. (I sourced most of this information from a Globe and Mail article from September 28, 2022).

Because of Doug Ford’s massive renewable energy blunder in 2018, the Ford Government plans to INCREASE the percentage of our electricity supply we obtain from burning fossil fuels. Ontario has been getting 94% of our electricity from emission free sources (mainly hydro and nuclear, with 8% and growing from wind). When Ford was elected in 2018, Ontario had already reduced emissions by about 23% since 2005. The Ford Government plans to take us in entirely the wrong direction. Natural gas fired plants. Increased CO2 emissions. In 2022.

The Globe and Mail article I found much of this information from (October 7, 2022) also said:

According to RMI, a U.S. think tank that advocates accelerating adoption of non-emitting energy sources, gas plants are already being abandoned: More than half of the new ones proposed to enter service in the U.S. in the past two years were terminated before construction commenced.”

“… terminated before construction commenced.” Meanwhile, in Ontario Canada…

There is a small, but genuine, silver lining to the dark clouds here. Obviously not doing any planning and not understanding electricity production has put Premier Ford’s butt in a very serious sling. So much so that according to the Globe:

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) recommended in a report released the same day that Ontario add up to 1,500 megawatts by 2027, largely through expansions of existing natural-gas plants. It also recommended buying 2,500 megawatts of electricity storage, which would be charged at times of low demand and fed back to the grid when needed.” (Emphasis added by me. With glee.)

Well golly gee whiz. I can show the IESO where there’s a proposed 1,000 megawatt clean energy electricity STORAGE proposal already working its way through the necessary approval process! In Meaford! Right here in Ontario!

In my letter (May 5, 2022), I alerted your readers to very credible – and still not refuted – accusations that the “Independent” part of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) name might be mostly for show. Critics including the Ontario Clean Air Alliance have suggested that when Premier Ford tells the IESO to “Jump!” the IESO replies “How high? And where should we land?”

Premier Ford created a huge and fast approaching electricity generation shortfall. He cannot refurbish or build his way out of it in time with nuclear energy. He canned all the renewable energy projects designed to prevent HIS problem from even happening at all. Now, his own Energy Minister and the IESO have at last stated publicly that large scale clean energy storage solutions will be crucial to pulling Mr. Ford’s butt out of his self applied sling. One thing we can all count on. Premier Ford does not leap from his bed every morning wondering what he can take the blame for today.

Consequently, I believe we are about to witness a miraculous turn around in the IESO’s attitude towards Green Energy in general and in Pumped Storage Proposals in particular. I am certain that when that miraculous turn around takes place, Mr. Buck will be one of the most disappointed people in all of Meaford.

Mr. Ford will rightly ignore Mr. Bernard’s debunked fish murder concerns. He has bigger fish to fry. Hasn’t time to wander around Ontario with Mr. Bernard searching for abandoned mine shafts either. Someone will simply explain to Mr. Ford that 96% of the world’s energy storage as of 2019 was pumped hydroelectric storage. Mr. Ford knows he can’t possibly wait years for batteries to become a viable and safe alternative. No matter what Mr. Bernard of Meaford believes about batteries.

Probably in bad taste to quote yourself, but seriously?

Who expected this much intrigue in their electricity production?

Bruce Mason, Meaford

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