The Ontario government is using a $7 billion climate action plan to turn its electrical grid upside down in an effort to transition from fossil fuels to green energy.
Ontario’s shift to green energy, critics say, will almost certainly force citizens to change their way of life, including how they heat their homes and workplaces, what homes they purchase and the types of vehicles they drive.
The 57-page Climate Change Action Plan, which was discussed by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet Wednesday and stamped with the “Cabinet Confidential,” explains in elaborate and intricate detail the transition strategy from 2017 to 2021.
The scheme will doll out $3.8 billion for new public grants, rebates and subsidies to transition buildings off natural gas and affix them with solar power panels to help fill the void made by natural gas.
An electric grid entirely dependent on solar panels and other green resources, analysts note, could actually damage the grid beyond repair.
Solar power risks providing way too much or way too little energy to fill demand. Therefore, replacing an electric grid powered mostly on fossil fuels with one powered only by green power, which provides unreliable amounts of power at unpredictable times, makes the power grid more fragile.
Natural gas, nuclear power, as well as other traditional fossil fuel sources, analysts argue, offer relatively predictable amounts of energy, which allow companies to provide more energy to a larger number of people.
The greenie program will be administered by a Green Bank, which will help finance the program’s goals.
The Climate Change Action Plan will usher in massive amounts of government spending for the promise of an absolute fossil fuel-free future. The costs will be steep, and the rules plenty.
The government will hand out more than $280 million in incentives to people for electric vehicles – which includes $14,000 per vehicle produced. It will also include up to $1,000 for the installation of home chargers.
Natural gas provides 76 percent of Ontario’s heating, so a shift away from the cleaner-burning fuel will require the entire population to move from one energy source to another within less than five years. The government plans on using rooftop solar panels, which will be available with rebates, to help fill the void.
If the plan were not expensive enough, officials are also promising to subsidize any increased electricity costs for homeowners. The cost to Ontario’s tax base is likely to be astronomical.
“We are on the cusp of a once-in-a-lifetime transformation. It’s a transformation of how we look at our planet and the impact we have on it,” reads a letter attached to the plan and signed by Wynne. “It’s a transformation that will forever change how we live, work, play and move.”
France instituted similar plans in 2013, banning hydraulic fracking due in large part to objections from environmentalists. Still, the country is dependent on roughly 40 percent of natural gas imported by France’s two utilities, Électricité de France and Engie, from the U.S.
French government officials announced a ban on natural gas exports last week. The country’s energy minister, Segolene Royal, mirrored Ontario’s positions, saying the country planned on transitioning to more conventional fuel sources.
“I’m going to examine legally how we can prohibit the import of shale gas, and in any case, these businesses will have to shift towards other markets to import only conventional gas,” Segolene Royal, France’s energy minister, told lawmakers Tuesday.
Analysts criticized the energy minister’s move at the time.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard D. Kauzlarich, for instance, told The Daily Caller News Foundation May 11 the ban didn’t “make economic sense whatever the political objective the Minister is trying to achieve. I expect that this will not be a quick decision and that French industry will push back.”
A similar storm is shaping up in Ontario, as insiders in the province’s auto industry and Ontario officials continue to haggle over what the new climate action plan will do to auto sales.
Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid argued the auto industry was likely to feel lots of pain as a result of the plan, while Environment Minister Glen Murray lambasted the auto industry for attempting to stymie the plan.
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