Notley and Wynne's "green energy promise" paying dividends

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Notley and Wynne's "green energy promise" paying dividends

Postby Bill Whatcott » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:21 am

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference with Albeta Premier Rachel Notley (left), B.C. Premier Christy Clark , Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne , Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall at the United Nations Paris climate change summit Monday, November 30, 2015. The earth's temperature remains unchanged, but the amount of taxpayer's money that went up in smoke providing a podium to these politicians is quite extraordinary.

Russian hackers exposed the "Climategate" scandal being foisted on us by ideologically driven, left wing, scientists at the East Anglia Climate Institute in 2009. Thanks to the hackers we know the activist scientists at East Anglia were falsifying data to make the earth appear to be warming up more than what it actually was. We also know the earth was warmer in the middle ages than what it is now, long before petroleum was discovered. We also know thanks to the hackers the earth's alleged warming has plateaued since 1997. Hence, it seems to me the climate hysteria promoted at this year's Paris Climate Summit is based on nothing.

On the other hand when governments drink the "climate kool aid" and start showing real "climate leadership," real consequences that actually hurt people start becoming a reality. Spain's "green energy" campaign was launched around 2005 and resulted in the newly elected socialist government mandating the closure of all of Spain's coal plants and replacing inexpensive and realiable coal power with more expensive and less reliable solar and wind energy. Thanks to Spain's "climate leadership" the socialist government spent (mostly borrowed) a wopping 67 billion dollars on "green energy" and by 2010 satellite images showed that Madrid was noticably darker at night than what it was five years earlier. The Spanish government pushed the country to the verge of bankrupcy investing in windmills and solar panels while promising "millions of good paying green jobs." Inspite of a Herculean effort that verged on fanatacism, the socialist government was unable to deliver the inexpensive and reliable energy needed for Spain's industrial sector and as a result most of Spain's industry was either forced to close or left the country. For all the Spanish socialist government's efforts to create "millions of green jobs" and fight so-called "global warming," Spain's temperature remained the same, but unemployment went up from a low of 8% in 2006 to 26% in 2013, seven years into the largest "green energy" initiative ever undertaken by a national government. In 2013 the newly elected conservaive People's Party government reversed Spain's "green energy" course and ended government subsidies for wind and solar power and started promoting Spanish coal and exploring off shore oil and gas opportunities. As of 2015 the government reopened a few coal plants and Spain's devastated economy is slowly coming back to life, with a slight drop in unemployment now at 22%.

Here in Canada, roughly the same thing happened in Ontario. The Ontario Liberal government decided to become a "green energy" leader and Ontarians were promised "good quality, well paying, green jobs." If Ontario drank the kool aid and shut down their coal powered plants and embraced carbon taxes, a "climate catastrophe" would be averted and Ontario's "green ecoonomy" would boom. Once again Ontario's temperatures are unchanged, but Onario's debt ridden economy is not.

Ontario's coal plants are shut down, taxes are way up, including on fuel. Unemployment is also up. The so-called "good quality green jobs" never came to Ontario, though there are big ugly (made in China) wind turbines all over Ontario's countryside. The low paying solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing jobs are all in China, but even in China the "green companies" are on life support. Chinese assembly line workers can make solar panels and windmills at a fraction of the cost of Canadians, but with massive state subsidies Chinese producers overproduced wind turbines and solar panels and flooded the world market with their product in the mistaken belief that western power consumers would forever remain enamored with expensive and less reliable "green energy." As a result the manufacturing of solar panels and wind turbines is not viable anywhere and the few companies that existed outside of China have mostly went bankrupt and the Chinese ones are needing government bailouts and consolidation in order to avoid bankruptcy themselves. I guess the Ontario Liberals never thought to ponder how they were going to attract "good paying green jobs," to Ontario, when most of the world's manufacturers of solar panels and windmills are nearly bankrupt in the, highly subsidized, low wage, and not very strict regulatory environment in China.

While the "green jobs" never came (and never will come) Ontario's auto manufacturing jobs that were once plentiful and well paying are gone too. Because of Ontario's "green energy" policies, Ontario is more poor. Ontario has the most exensive energy in North America and this hurts their consumers and is a major factor in driving away their once bustling manufacturing sector. But at least Ontario's Premier Kathleen Wynne received lots of accolaides at the Paris Climate Conference and was called a "climate leader."

The well documented harm done in Spain and Ontario by eschewing God given and highly efficient sources of energy such as coal and petroleum, didn't seem to dissuade the new Alberta socialist NDP government from following a similar path. For the Alberta NDP their "green" madness seems even more insane than Ontario's and Spain's, as Alberta's best employer and greatest source of revenue is oil and especially the much maligned oil sands. Alberta's NDP Premier Rachel Notley flew to Paris to be a "climate leader" too and it is clear only a few months into her term that she already has the credentials to brag that she is indeed a "climate leader" (at least in the eyes of the Paris talking heads). While the real climate in Alberta is about the same (cold) right now, the business climate isn't. Notley's government is set to double the province's carbon tax by 2017, impose tougher royalties on the oil industry and put a cap on oil sands emmissions which will essentially mean a government mandated limit on production.

Notley has done a number of things to wreck her provincial economy apart from her so-called "climate leadership;" a massive minimum wage hike, massive deficit spending and a two percent income tax hike right in the midst of crashing oil prices and a severe recession has driven up her unemployment rate and caused a number of Alberta businesses to downsize, close, or leave her province altogether. However, Notley's "climate leadership" is set to be a real death blow to her economy. Her ambitious "green plan" will close Alberta's coal powered plants, impose (made in China) wind turbines across the province's countryside and through carbon taxing, royalty taxing, and government mandated growth capping, insure that Alberta's oil industry will never be able to competitively produce a barrel of oil again. So far 100,000 Albertan's (mostly from the oil industry) have lost their jobs since Notley came to power. No doubt this destruction of Alberta's energy industry earned Notley accolaides at the Paris Climate Summit as a "climate leader."

None the less, I would argue the most relevant (but not very relevant) leadership shown by the Alberta NDP Party to date has come from the Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd. In the absence of any real plan coming from the Alberta government to build a pipeline to transport their mostly landlocked crude, or to lower taxes and royalties to breath life into their stuggling oil industry in the current low price environment, or any plan to reduce the stifling regulations hampering oilsands development; McCuaig-Boyd showed a little leadership this week while addressing an energy producer's meeting. McCuaig-Boyd's "leadership" consisted of an inadvertant, honest assessment that Alberta's economy is a mess and suggested the 100,000 newly unemployed Alberta energy workers could migrate to British Columbia to find a job. Now of course such a suggestion from Alberta's Energy Minister isn't much in the way of leadership and BC has many of the same problems as Alberta. The truth is nothing signicant in the way of mines, plants or energy infrastructure has been built in BC for the past decade either. Stifling government regulation, high taxes and an aggressive environmental lobby that resorts to endless court actions and civil disobedience insures nothing new gets built in BC. Therefore there are few good paying jobs in BC's natural resource and energy sectors.

Nevertheless, at least McCuaig-Boyd's advice to Alberta's 100,000 unemployed energy workers is closer to reality than what Notley is proposing with her fantasical "green energy job plan" and I suppose it is possible for an unemployed oil sands worker who was making over $100,000 a year to be able to land a $12 hour job as a barista at a swanky coffee shop in downtown Victoria. There he can serve the government funded climate activists their lattes as they whale watch and congratulate themselves for throwing the said worker out of his former job. This could indeed be McCuaig-Boyd's way of introducing the former Alberta energy worker to his new future in Canada's "green" economy.

Bill Whatcott
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Bill Whatcott
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