Clean power, at what price?

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - Garth Franklin, Dun­ve­gan

The Edi­tor, Time on my hands, thanks to the rain. Re­spond­ing to the Fraser In­sti­tute’s ivory tower desk jockey ar­gu­ment for can­celling ex­ist­ing re­new­able power projects. One day about 10 years ago, I heard of this F.I.T. (Feed in Tar­iff) pro­gram.

With two south-fac­ing sited roofs tak­ing up no valu­able land or cre­at­ing any eye­sores, I said, “Right, just the job.” Right off the hop was $25,000-$30,000 of soft cost ap­pli­ca­tion fees, ba­si­cally non-re­fund­able bribes to the O.P.A. to make sure I as a se­ri­ous player. Then half a mil­lion of my own money, not tax­pay­ers’s money. Then a con­tract signed in good faith be­tween two busi­nesses. Can­celling coal, which ev­ery­body under the sun said was a good thing, re­quired re­place­ment power, in fact, even more with in­creas­ing power use (read “you”).

One op­tion was an­other nuke at Dar­ling­ton for bil­lions of dol­lars and vul­ner­a­ble to ice storms, ter­ror­ists, etc. while giv­ing the profit and jobs to large for­eign en­ti­ties and South­ern On­tario work­ers or guar­an­tee­ing a good re­view to many, many small gen­er­a­tors who put up the costs and over­runs out their own pock­ets thereby cre­at­ing a much more ro­bust sys­tem at no cost to you while gen­er­at­ing money spent in your own stores and com­mu­nity lo­cally. You want clean power, so which did you want? 1. Me pony­ing up the cost for a lo­cal sys­tem or 2. You pay­ing for an­other ra­dioac­tive waste maker? 3. Fir­ing up an old coal burner? 4. Try an­other bil­lion dol­lar nat­u­ral gas boon­dog­gle if you could

get a pipe­line to it. Be care­ful what you wish for.

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