The Ministry of Energy was in Thunder Bay yesterday, ostensibly to consult with the public and gather input for the Long term Energy Plan (LTEP) review currently underway. The public sessions were held between 7pm and 9pm, a few hours after the closed-door-by-invitation-only session held in the early afternoon to which only ‘Industry Stakeholders’ were invited. Not even the media was allowed into that session.
It is never a good thing when when politicians and ‘Industry Stakeholders’ meet behind closed doors.
It also puts into question the sincerity of their desire and willingness to actually listen to, or implement, any public feedback.
The public session was structured in exactly the same fashion as the Public Cons held by wind developers, where the public is spread out in a large room and where one cannot hear all the questions, answers and opinions. It is a very cunning adaptation of the Delphi Technique and allows the proponent/Ministry to present its agenda as the result of the ‘public feedback’. When no one knows what everyone else said and the proponent is the one ‘compiling’ the input and determining what the ‘consensus’ was, it is easy for the developer/Ministry’s desired agenda to be presented as the consensus and any dissenting opinion presented as a minority opinion – and who can prove different?
The Ministry had the usual glossy posters carefully designed to present simplistic and comforting messages to the public. Of particular interest was a poster which purported to analyze the cost/benefit of the various forms of generation in the Province. No provenance or reference was provided for the data on which the chart was based, nor of course were any of the underlying assumptions set out. It was not surprising to see that ‘renewables’ were portrayed as being a good choice, with their ‘levelized cost’ being competitive or cheaper than other forms of generation. Particularly egregious was the cost of hydro-electric generation which was presented as being higher than ay other form of generation other than nuclear. No one could tell LSARC where the data the chart was based on came from, though they didn’t deny that it might be based on the EIA’s data and that it ignored the caveats and assumptions which were part of that EIA report. MP Bruce Hyer also took exception to the chart as did other members of the public.
Two earnest members of the Ministry’s Public Relations department directed the public to speak with polite mid-level bureaucrats that regurgitated the party line and professed ignorance of any of the issues surrounding the GEA, FIT, the REA process or wind development in general in Ontario. The Ministry representatives also professed ignorance of the lessons to be learned from the European experience – except when it supported their position. Needless to say they had never heard this recent news from the UK, the poster child of renewable development zealotry:
Thursday, Aug 08 2013
Ten years too late, it’s good riddance to wind farms – one of the most dangerous delusions of our age
By Christopher Booker
The significance of yesterday’s shock announce-ment by our Energy Minister John Hayes that the Government plans to put a firm limit on the building of any more onshore windfarms is hard to exaggerate. Continue Reading…
The air must be rarified indeed at the Ministry that they can exist in such a selective vacuum after 4 years of letters, meetings and protests.
Then again it is very difficult to educate or convince someone whose job depends on them not understanding…
Same stuff, different day