May 27, 2016

AB, ON “green” energy schemes mimic failed Soviet “command economy” model

Bryan KapitzaRebel Blogger

Something dangerously subversive is happening in Canada under the guise of environmental responsibility: the return of the command economy.

In Alberta and Ontario, NDP and Liberal governments (both heavily infiltrated by environmentalists) are dictating how and what should be produced and purchased.

Alberta's accelerated closure of its few remaining coal power plants by 2030 has resulted, to date, in a $3 billion contractual penalty for taxpayers. The NDP government could have let those existing plants run to their end of their operational life-cycles and avoided this cost, but ideology came first.

In a desperate attempt to gain public support, the NDP even attempted to link health to energy production, stating that coal was a major pollutant affecting air quality of all Albertans. No such evidence exists.

The government’s plan is to have the entire province electrified by 70 per cent natural gas generation and 30 per cent renewable (wind and solar) energy in 14 years.

However, building a power plant is no small undertaking.

Natural gas plants need sources of water to produce steam, a pipeline to bring the natural gas to plant, transmission lines to connect to the grid, and the usual time-consuming environmental impact studies and First Nations consultations. Opposition can be expected at every stage of this process, which, from concept to first-on-steam, can take a decade or more to complete.

That leaves little time for energy providers to present proposals and get approval. Development could be accelerated if reviews were compressed and rationalized, but that is unlikely to happen. The NDP have made the regulatory process as convoluted as possible.

Renewable energy facilities will have to be expanded just as quickly.

Presently, Alberta has no commercial solar generating stations, and wind production accounts for only four per cent of total electrical capacity, impeded by high generation costs. The NDP proposes feed-in tariffs as one solution; that is, the government would sign long-term contracts at above-market prices, to cover the operator’s inability to compete. Recent studies of Europe’s experiment with this approach demonstrate that it doesn’t work.

The situation in Ontario is more egregious.

Residential natural heating is to be phased out and all new homes to be heated by “something” other than fossil fuels by 2030. This commandment is particularly perplexing since residential natural gas furnaces are over 90 per cent efficient and provide heat at a lower cost than any other alternative.

The province’s proposed switch to electric heating will necessitate not only constructing new power plants (most likely natural gas power plants, which are at best 40 per cent efficient), but also upgrading and constructing transmission lines to carry the extra load.

A more reasonable approach would be to retain natural gas heating but encourage improvements in insulation and appliance efficiencies, something that the free market is already doing.

The Ontario Liberals have also proclaimed that the number of electric vehicles to be sold in Ontario is to be increased from only a few thousand a year to 36,000 a year by 2025. This milestone is to be achieved through heavy subsidies, up to $14,000 per vehicle, or enough to comfortably heat the average Ontario home with natural gas for 14 years.

But why should I be forced to finance my neighbour's automobile purchase?

Government should not tell people what to produce or what to buy. Rather, governments can set limits and parameters on undesirables -- such as emission levels -- and then leave it to the private sector to find ways to achieve those goals in a reasonable period of time. Failure to do so then results in penalties.

Alternatively, if governments wish to quickly motivate innovation aimed at reducing externalities such as green house gas emissions, then a gradually increasing carbon tax is acceptable.

But ordering producers and manufacturers to use solar or wind to achieve an arbitrary government target, or abandon natural gas as a source of heating, ultimately stifles innovation.

Subsidies fail because they draw capital away from other areas that may be worth investing in, and attract investment only as long as the subsidy remains.

How Canadian governments of the 21st century can return to the failed economics of the Soviet Union and China of the last century is incomprehensible.


You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2016-05-29 18:25:39 -0400
It is not just CBC.It is is also CBS in the USA.Nothing bad to report.
Don’t wake up the sheep.
commented 2016-05-29 13:03:59 -0400
That electric car is one hot looking car. Too bad it is a piece of crap … expensive crap.
commented 2016-05-28 10:30:13 -0400
Read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins and you’ll see what these gangsters are up to.
commented 2016-05-27 14:24:16 -0400
Bill Elder, I think we may have had the same Prof, mine at U of A in the 70’s. Your analogy to being a little pregnant was my exact same that I said to my Prof, followed by his exact same words of “and moving on…”
commented 2016-05-27 14:18:51 -0400
All this while freezing hospital budgets, cutting doctors’ income, and cutting back on funding for treating autistic children. Anybody want to know what pure evil looks like? Well this is what it looks like… Thanks Ontario voters…
commented 2016-05-27 13:56:23 -0400
If you think things are bad now, wait but a few years if we are lucky enough to even survive this absurdity. I would like to hear the platitudes flowing from the mouths of our resident trolls then, when our regions become our Venezuelas, and Canada becomes a Third World Country, controlled by a despotic World Order. The energy policies adopted by our governments are bleak and based on “feel good” ideology and deceitful information. Actual truthful scientific information slowly emerges, but rarely gets by the corrupt propagandist MSM, and the leftist lemmings are all too willing to suck up the green lies and half truths. We made a dire blunder here in Alberta, but I’m hoping that such a groundswell of anger forms here with the moronic NDP policies, that we are able to save ourselves before its too late. Big subsidies to buy electric cars in Ontario to support a doomed energy policy that will eventually collapse. Wait till the fools buying these soon to be lemons try to sell or trade in their electric jalopies. Better get out the lube cause guess where you are going to get it. What is the matter with the water in Ontario?? How can you keep letting yourselves succumb to the idiot premier and the certain doom that is upon you?? This surely must be what a terminal cancer patient feels , a slow erosion of the “body” followed by certain death.

Alberta- stage 1 cancer
Canada- stage 2 cancer
Ontario- Stage 3 cancer (one foot in the grave)

I was chastised for vulgarity and profanity so I did my best to quell that—your welcome

commented 2016-05-27 12:45:36 -0400
I would say to Wynne Notley and Trudeau; How many Wind Turbines do you estimate it would take to re charge all your electric car battery’s and what would be the cost, taking into account the fact that we have to pay full price for the Wind Turbines, even when they are not working.
commented 2016-05-27 12:22:15 -0400
More and more lefty marxist vermin posting on the site.

Great news – the media party must be in a panic – yes the same media party the CBC controls by paying out bribes from their $1.4 BILLION in annual taxpayer confiscated cash to the others like CTV, CanWest, Torstar, etc to control the media party narrative.

It’s not news by the media party in Canada, it’s instructions on what to think – liberal agenda fraudulently turned into Canadian values.
commented 2016-05-27 12:07:25 -0400
Kanada’s command economics – don’t get me started.

Back in the day when I was a college freshman in my first real economics class our prof pronounced Canada’s economic system to be a “mixed economy” – neither command or demand but a bit of each. In those days you could challenge the prof’s assertions without fear of flunking (questioning presumptive dichotomy was actually encouraged then). I asked how you could have a “little” government command in markets – that was like being just a “little” bit pregnant, or a little bit deceased – if there is any government intervention in the supply-demand chain then it is a de-facto command economy. I said that the current commodity supply control and price-fixing by government marketing boards was a distinctly soviet application of command economics. He said: “it only effects some markets.” I said “like food, water, energy and fuel – what’s left?”

He said; "our government calls this a “Mixed economy” and that’s the answer required on the exam, but as you get into the markets yourself you will be working in a controlled command economic structure and a heavily taxed and regulated supply chain where profit is based on finding demand in niche markets get there first and profit before they are regulated and taxed into marginal profitability." “So the soviets won the cold war after all” I said. “I appears so” he said, "now if we can continue…….
commented 2016-05-27 11:35:30 -0400
This New Age Religion of Environmentalism & the “Religion of Peace” need to be completely expunged from western society!! This is nothing more than Grand Fraud by satanic lunatic Libtards!!
commented 2016-05-27 10:52:27 -0400
I really enjoyed how Fildebrandt told it like it is in the Alberta Legislature with Wynne and her groupies, the Non-Democratic Party, present. Also how these groupies reacted to the W/R tactic, which is the same as they use as activists.

Then there is the regressive liberal MSM coming to Wynne’s and her Alberta lapdog’s defence, excoriating the W/R for telling the truth in the legislature and representing their constituents. Totally predictable.