No Sales Without Proof of Benefit
Businesses do it, home-makers do it, consumers do it, why can’t our highly paid ‘Public Servants’ do it?
The Green Energy and Economy Act and the wind turbines which it imposes upon unwilling communities was sold to us as a means of reducing CO2 emissions and providing competitively priced ‘renewable’ energy.
The Auditor General of Ontario revealed (5) in his 2011 Report on Renewable Energy the astonishing fact that none of the three agencies which are responsible for providing us with affordable and reliable electricity had done a proper cost/benefit analysis; the report states, no independent, objective, expert investigation had been done to examine the potential effects of renewable-energy policies on prices, job creation, and greenhouse gas emissions. The government cheated on research for the Green Energy Act.
It comes as a surprises that the Government and its Ministries, our ‘Public Servants’, which are responsible for protecting our interests and spending our money wisely, bought the Wind Industry sales pitch hook, line & sinker, without the least due diligence. After all, these are highly paid and highly qualified professionals, aren’t they?
What is even more intriguing is that this pattern is repeated everywhere Wind Power is mandated by the authorities.
In Europe, where the population has more environmental rights than in Canada, as they benefit from the protections and access to justice provided by the Aarhus Convention, we find the exact same lack of due diligence and putative unquestioning belief in the sales-pitch. In 2012 the Aarhus Compliance Committee ruled that the EU is NOT in compliance with its implementation of their renewable energy scheme either.
And today this media release by the European Platform Against Wind (EPAW) an organization that regroups 608 associations of actual and potential victims of windfarms from 24 countries.:
EU renewables programme: unlawful?
Legal recourse accepted by EU Court of Justice
The Court of Justice of the European Union has accepted the recourse presented by the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) (1). The 608 associations composing the platform are hailing this as a first victory in their fight towards holding the European Commission accountable for the catastrophic results of its energy policy. The rights of European citizens have been violated, they claim, and at long last justice will be done.
The Commission has failed to conduct technical studies calculating how many tonnes of fossil fuels will really be saved by the hundreds of thousands of wind turbines it wants to force onto rural populations and on avian and marine life.
“As it turns out, various independent engineers estimate there will be no savings at all (2), so the people are more than justified to seek redress,” says Mark Duchamp, the conservationist who runs EPAW.
The Aarhus Convention (3) requires that programmes that will affect the environment be elaborated with the participation of the public in a transparent manner. This means that Europeans should have been fully informed of the benefits of the EU renewable energy programme, as well as of its costs and undesirable impacts.
“Instead”, argues Duchamp, “the Commission has been parroting the claims of the wind industry without verifying them.”
For instance, the European windfarm policy is based on the idea that any electricity produced by windfarms would save the amount of fossil fuels that would be necessary to produce it by conventional means.
“This erroneous claim, promoted by the wind industry, has been adopted by the European Commission without due diligence”, accuses Duchamp. “Had they done their homework, they would have discovered that fossil fuel power stations, forced to ramp their production up and down to balance the erratic production of windfarms, are burning more fuel in the process, like a car leaving the highway and getting caught in city traffic. And if you add all the other factors which the Commission did not investigate, in the end there are no net savings of CO2. Some engineers even suggest that the net overall result could be an increase in fossil fuel consumption.” (2)
This aspect of EPAW’s recourse to the Court of Justice shows how important it may be for the future of Europe.
“If windfarms are not helping to save on our consumption of fossil fuels, then they have no raison d’être and should be scrapped,” adds the conservationist. “Indeed, the collateral damage they cause is unsustainable, from people’s health to birds and bats, from subsidies to growing public debt, and from fast-rising power bills to the wholesale destruction of jobs (4). These aspects of the EU programme have not been assessed either, and were certainly not communicated to the public in a transparent manner. It is a serious violation of the Aarhus legislation, and we expect the Court of Justice to rule that the extension of the programme beyond 2020 has no proper authority.”
On June 19, 2013, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) released a white paper entitled “Evaluating Voluntary Consumer Adoption of Green Pricing Programs.”
The IER analysis examined information gathered from 31 utility companies across the U.S. that offer “opt-in” green pricing initiatives as a way to expand the use of renewable energy sources. IER’s analysis found that:
“…customer willingness to pay for Green Pricing Programs is directly correlated with the ability to pay and afford the added costs of a program which offers no immediate tangible benefit in exchange for a promise of future environmental gain.
According to IER’s examination of the data, consumers evaluate the benefit of Green Pricing Programs along economic lines. Such direct economic consideration must often take precedence over the indirect ideal of greater renewable energy production.”
What a novel idea! Evaluate the cost/benefit of a purchase, investment or policy, do your due diligence. Businesses do it, home-makers do it, consumers do it, why can’t our highly paid ‘Public Servants’ do it? Is it likely they behave this way when spending money in their private lives? Hardly!
One wonders what reasons they have for not doing it when spending our money.
On June 20, 2013, the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) wrote to all Ontario MPPs advising that the McGuinty/Smitherman wind power fantasy will cost citizens $40 billion in increased electricity and tax bills over 20 years.
“Let’s turn off that $40 billion tap that is flowing to noisy spinning turbines in Ontario’s once peaceful countryside. Let’s use it to pay for practical green transit systems and caring community hospitals,” said Manning (Garth Manning is Chair of CCSAGE – ed.). “Ontario has become occupied territory…occupied by the Big Wind developers. Let’s get our Ontario back.”
No more sales without proof of benefit!
(1) – Case number T-168/13, accepted by the Court’s Registrar: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C2012-68/Communication_with_Communicant/frComm_AddInfo22Mar13/2_EPAW_to_CJEU_2013_final_APPLICATION.pdf
(2) – http://epaw.org/documents.php? click “the backup problem” in the right margin.
(4) – http://epaw.org/documents.php? see studies etc. classified by subject in the right margin.
(5) – Page 91, 2011 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario, © 2011, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, ISSN 1719-2609 (Print), ISBN 978-1-4435-7283-5 (Print, 2011 ed.), ISSN 1911-7078 (Online), ISBN 978-1-4435-7284-2 (PDF, 2011 ed.)