Letter to the Editor, Ontario Farmer, November 10, 2015
Perhaps a better question for Editor Paul Mahon to have asked in his “Who owns wind?” editorial (October 27) is: Who owns Ontario? The people, or the wind power corporations?
Right now, the SOLD sign on Ontario has Big Wind’s name on it.
Mahon says four parties “agree” to every wind power project. False: the Green Energy Act (designed by the wind power lobby, for wind power corporations) removed local land use planning powers (and overrode 20 other laws designed to protect Ontario including the Heritage Act and the Clean Water Act). The result is that communities can’t say “no” even though the power projects industrialize formerly quiet communities. And, while Ontario citizens are allowed to appeal under the law, the legal test set is almost impossible to meet. Ontario’s interests? Sold to wind power corporations.
Other serious concerns about wind include the fact that, as two Auditors General have said, there was never a cost-benefit analysis done for Ontario’s wind power program. We know the power these projects generate is produced out-of-phase with demand; that means, expensive wind power shows up when it’s not needed, and Ontario sells it off at a loss on the power market. At the same time, Ontario’s electricity customers pay for the difference, while also paying for “spilled” hydro, steamed off nuclear power, and idling gas plants, because Big Wind gets first rights to the grid. Ontario’s interests? Sold to wind power corporations.
Landowners are caught between the archaic “do what you want on your own land” policy espoused by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, and the clear need to consider neighbours and communities at large in decisions to allow installation of huge, noisy wind turbines on their property. Landowners often fail to consulting lawyers before signing the complex lease agreements, and are thus unaware of financial repercussions and the loss of property rights.
But the biggest concern is what wind power development is doing to the environment. We’re told it’s necessary to “save” the environment, at the same time as power projects are being located in important bird areas and fragile environments like the Oak Ridges Moraine or the South Shore of Prince Edward County, and killing bats (crucial for agriculture) by the hundreds of thousands. Worse, because wind power is intermittent, it must be backed up by a traditional power source, which in Ontario is natural gas—thereby adding to greenhouse gas emissions, not reducing them. Again, Ontario has been sold to Big Wind.
Mahon says we may never know whether wind power was a good idea. I think we do right now: with $40 billion and counting invested in it, while health care budgets are cut and electricity bills rise dramatically, utility-scale wind power has not helped the environment, or the people of Ontario.
Who owns the wind? Who owns Ontario? Not us: the province has been sold to wind power corporations.
Wind Concerns Ontario