July 28, 2020

The Task Force for Resilient Recovery and the return of the Green Energy Act

The Task Force for Resilient Recovery and the return of the Green Energy Act

Back in May, Canadians for Affordable Energy published a blog regarding the public return (he never really left privately) of Gerald Butts to Ottawa as part of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery. 

Last week, the Task Force came out with its preliminary report – and advised that a final report will come sometime in the fall. 

The newly released report is made up of ‘5 Bold Moves for a Resilient Recovery’. These “bold moves” are exactly what you would expect from green ideologues like Butts and his pals.

In fact, many of the recommendations bear a striking resemblance to similar ‘bold moves’ made by the Green Energy Act of Ontario back in 2009. Butts was a key driver of that disaster of a green dream (which resulted in energy bills increasing by 70% from 2008-2016) as was Bruce Lourie - another member of the Task Force. 

Let’s take a look at some of the ominous similarities: 

The Green Energy Act (GEA) promised to prioritize green energy in the Ontario power grid. It indeed did just that, and Ontarians are still paying the price. The GEA designated access to transmission and distribution systems to renewable energy sources despite these sources being inconsistent in meeting the needs of consumers. 

When there was too much solar energy or wind power and nowhere for it to be stored, we sold that energy at a discounted price. Thus, Ontario residents were not only massively subsidizing the generation of green energy in the first place - they then paid an additional subsidy to other jurisdictions, such as Michigan, to take the energy created “off our hands”. The price tag appeared on energy bills as a tax called the Global Adjustment Fee. 

Specifically, back in 2016, Ontarians who were paying $100 in energy usage were actually paying $23 dollars for energy and $77 dollars in the Global Adjustment Fee - the hidden tax used to pay for the green energy and associated mess-ups. 

One recommendation in the Task Force’s Report (‘Go big on growing Canada’s clean energy sectors) bears striking resemblance to the Green Energy Act. This recommendation advocates for the acceleration of “investment” (another word for subsidy) in a renewable power grid so Canada can be powered by “clean electricity”. Ontario’s Green Energy Act’s “investment” in renewables ballooned costs on energy bills. 

These plans only ever result in dramatically higher costs, which are then passed down to the consumer. Prioritizing ‘clean’ energy is always expensive - as Ontario has demonstrated. Pretty soon all of Canada - not just Ontario- can pay the Global Adjustment Fee to fund this green agenda.  

Here’s another ominous similarity between the Green Energy Act and Resilient Recovery’s recommendations: the former promised Ontarians 50,000 “green jobs”. What the Ontario Liberal  government failed to mention was that most of these jobs were temporary and the number did not account for jobs lost due to high energy prices. Even then, hardly any materialized, and those that did were on the back of public subsidies. So much for a new green workforce!

The Task Force for Resilient Recovery is also peddling the promise of a future of green jobs. Though the numbers are not specific yet, another recommendation from their Report (to ‘Invest in Climate Resilient and Energy Efficient Buildings’) includes promises of the creation of a building retrofit market that will “sustain jobs”. But Ontario’s Green Energy Act resulted in lost jobs due to high costs. 

Government sponsored green and renewable energy only create more debt and higher costs for consumers - jobs will inevitably be lost through these efforts as prices rise.

The recovery recommended by the Task Force has a current price tag of $49.9 billion over 5 years (although there are caveats to allow for more spending along the way). The Green Energy Act was estimated by the Auditor General to have cost the province of Ontario $170 billion over 30 years. Don’t these industry leaders and activists have any sense of the costs Canadians are facing? Has the task force already forgotten Canada’s debt count of a trillion dollars? 

Ontario residents are still paying for the Green Energy Act today. If Trudeau takes the recommendations of Resilient Recovery, all Canadians will be paying for a bigger mess for many years to come. This task force makes resilient a bad word. They should be the task force for a ridiculous recovery.