Ontario’s Auditor General Chimes In: Green Energy A Stinker

burnt turbine jpegThe provincial election has been over for a month now and the political parties are sparring in Toronto.  Premier McGuinty has been humbled to an extent.  I give his government 13 months in power before the opposition tries to defeat him.  Politics is a messy business.  We’ll see what happens.

Interestingly enough today the Ontario auditor general released his 460 page annual report to the Ontario Legislature.  In the report he released some of the most damning opinion about the problems of our present Liberal government.  He released quite an indictment of Ontario’s Green Energy Act and the resulting economic calamity that has come from it.  Those wind turbines and solar panels dotting Southwestern Ontario come at a cost.  According to Ontario’s auditor general it was done without the proper planning.

One of the most damning opinions given by the auditor general was regarding the $110 million Samsung deal, which will go to the South Korean consortium over 20 years.  This was in addition to the high FIT premiums, which were paid on electricity generated from solar panels.  Essentially, the Ontario auditor general said this was done with no formal economic analysis to determine whether the deal was sound!

My question is how does that happen?  Can you imagine sitting around a table and approving $110 million worth of tax payers money over a period of 20 years which will essentially change the landscape of rural Ontario and not have any economic analysis behind question?  It’s just totally inconceivable that it could happen in 2011 and it tells the story that this great green energy thrust was built on nothing other than musings and opinions.  It was almost like it was done on a hunch.  Yes, I know that is a bit harsh and surely not true.  However, the Liberal should have been taken to the woodshed for that.  They surely were in rural Ontario.

The Ontario auditor general also said that there would be $220 million a year added to our Hydro bills to pay the premiums generated from green electricity.  Its like crazy head is going on.  It’s all hard to believe, almost like science fiction but it’s all real.

Then there are the 50,000 jobs the Premier McGuinty has been talking about being created by the Green Energy Act.  Of those 50,000 jobs, Ontario’s Auditor General Jim McCarter says that 30,000 of those will be short-term construction jobs.  So it is not necessarily what it seems.

To top it off, the Auditor General also said that neither the Ontario Energy Board nor the Ontario Power Authority were consulted about the agreement between Samsung and the government.  Slamdunk! This is nuts.

I have never really taken a lot of time writing about my opinion regarding green energy in Ontario.  I was always a skeptic based on the Disneyland economics that were being talked about.  However, it is one thing to engage in an economic opportunity, which you deem reasonable and well founded.  There were lots of farmers who took advantage of that.  Some got paid and some didn’t.  I was asked about my opinion of these green energy projects at the time and I said it would depend on whether the government changed its mind or whether the green energy companies had the economic staying power.  At the time it was a bit of a license to print money but really never made sense.  Now Ontario Auditor General Jimmy McCarter is saying the same thing, except its even worse.

If this information had been released before last month’s provincial election, it may or may not have had an effect with the outcome.  If you look at electoral map of Ontario you will see a complete wasteland for the Liberals in rural Ontario.  It’s almost like rural Ontarians knew of the problems with regard to the Green Energy Act.  Yes, there was lots of opposition and it certainly transcended at the ballot box.  However, urban areas did not look at it the same way and maybe even with these new revelations coming from the auditor general, it wouldn’t make a difference.  Needless to say, these allegations are spellbinding, crazy head stuff, something we would not attribute to Western governments.

Something this rotten usually doesn’t have a happy ending.  All the money is gone now.  There is a chance that some of the spending will be curtailed and unfortunately some of that will be on the backs of people who invested heavily in some of these green energy projects.  It is too bad.  Everybody loves being green.  However, the Emperor has no clothes now.  Ontario’s Auditor General has laid out how bad this thing was.  The sad part is, its not going away.  We’ll be paying for this stinker for a very long time.