Taxpayer responds to Ontario minister on cap and trade

Does the Liberal Party really have the credibility to convince us this is a good idea?

To the Expositor:

Minister Murray – Scientists agree, 2016 the hottest year ever.

Peter Stott, acting director of the Met Office Hadley Center, has said of the 2016 record: “a particularly strong El Nino event contributed about 0.2°C to the annual average for 2016.” If the El Nino effect is removed from the Met Office’s 2016 data, global average temperatures would be essentially identical to where they were in 2014. Global temperatures are dropping as the El Nino fades and statistically, 2016 is in the same region as the previous 15 years.

Minister Murray – events like hotter summers and flooding due to faster spring melts are resulting in higher costs for the people and businesses of Ontario. This is climate change.

Really? And where are the studies to support the contention that extreme weather events like floods are linked to climate change? It has been stated time and again by reputable scientists and by the IPCC that there is no evidence linking extreme weather events to rising global temperature.

Minister Murray – Around the world, action is underway to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Germany is often touted as a sterling example of how to shift to wind energy to reduce emissions. Installed wind generation in Germany has a planned 30 percent load factor. Performance to date is 16.3 percent or about half the expected efficiency. Energy poverty in Germany is a serious issue. To extract themselves from the mess that they are in as a result of the disastrous renewable energy program, Germany now has 23 coal fired power plants under construction.

Japan – 40 coal fired power plants are under construction.

China – 370 plants are under construction and 800 in the planning stages.

India – 450 plants are in the planning stages.

Minister Murray – A cap on emissions will guarantee greenhouse gas emission reductions.

We agree. This will be accomplished by industry moving out of the province or by purchasing carbon credits from California. The people however will be paying higher prices for every product or service that relies on energy. As in my last note, name me a product or service that does not require energy. And please, “putting a price on carbon” is a tax. My suggestion to the minister is to have one of his minions (preferably the one who wrote the article to The Expositor) stand at a gas pump and ask the people if they perceive any difference between the “tax” on the gasoline and the “carbon price” that they are now paying. Enough with the double speak. We will soon be hearing that it all is simply an additional “revenue stream” so how can it be a tax?

Minister Murray – Ontario is reinvesting every dollar collected supporting $8 billion in green projects.

In the real world, “investment” has a very specific meaning. A person or an enterprise takes money and invests it in a project or a fund or stocks with the expectation of a reasonable and positive return. The act of supporting electric vehicles that are far from green, that have limited range, and therefor no one wants is not an investment. It is called a waste of tax payers money.

Minister Murray – The shift to a low carbon economy is a major economic opportunity and the transition will result in new jobs.

We hear this on a constant basis at the Provincial and Federal levels. If one were to check the rhetoric from the Provincial Government at the time the Green Energy Act (GEA) was introduced, similar statements were made. “You will hardly notice a change in price on your power bill!” Well, people are noticing now! “The GEA will result in thousands of high paying jobs as we move to renewable energy sources.” We don’t hear that anymore, but here it is again in association with a low carbon economy. Here is the reality. Ontario’s economy, Canada’s economy, the World economy is reliant on affordable and reliable energy. Reliable and economic energy means hydro, nuclear and fossil fuels. In fact, what does a “low carbon economy” even mean? International trade requires shipping, railroads and trucking for a start, all driven by diesel or heavy fuel. A dispatch office in a warm clime can operate a computer with a solar panel but powering a container ship requires fossil fuel. Where are the reviewed economic studies that define what a low carbon economy is? Any study I have been able to find either try to change how cost/benefit analysis are normally done or they are so full of “econo-babel” that they are not worth reading.

Does the Liberal Party of Ontario have the credibility to convince anyone that they are introducing cap and tax for the right reasons and can they convince the people of Ontario that they are capable of managing the program so that positive results will follow? I can’t see how this would be remotely possible. The Green Energy Act and the resulting fiasco should attest to this point of view. Not to mention the litany of related matters that have contributed to the tanking poll ratings of the Liberal Party in this province.

Shane Desjardins