Opinion Letters

LETTER: Power struggle

Re "What is Brown thinking?" column, Aug. 19

In 2002, there was no power shortage other than the one that was created by the same myth that Jack Gibbons is working on today, that nuclear is our cost enemy. Nuclear power is 24-hour power that services more than 50% of our power and was in the supply mix at 4.3 cents/KWh. The running debt was .7 cents KWh, so without debt, the cost was 3.6 cents/KWh. This power rate kept industry in Ontario. Off-peak power was running at about one to 1.5 cents/KWh at night where industry thrived and our economy flourished to the benefit of all of Canada.

Then Mr. Gibbons and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance promoted the closure of the cleanest coal plants in North America. This ended up driving industry to the countries with the dirtiest coal plants in the world, exacerbating the effects of global warming and Ontario job loss. Coal generation was our backup system for 25% of our hydro stations in Ontario when they ran out of water during dry summer weather. When we are trying to decide where to get out water generation from, we also have to consider the cost of the backup supply, which in Ontario is now natural gas. Natural-gas costs of the cancelled Mississauga gas plant were about 17 cents/KWh. So, you are really running two systems. This is not as cheap as Mr. Gibbons would have us believe.

In Ontario, our water power is only about one cent/KWh, but we are currently paying the U.S.A. to take it. It is being pushed offline by the contract guarantees given to high-priced green energy. We are also paying for the natural-gas backup.

The past business of contracting electricity including natural gas, heritage hydro contracts, wind and solar have all lead to global adjustment charges more than 11 cents/KWh. So, who is right, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown or Jack Gibbons and his 90-member association?

Mr. Gibbons's beliefs, that have been accepted by the premier of Ontario, have been a significant leading force of financial disaster in Ontario. So bad that we have now applied a 25% rate-cost reduction because people cannot afford to pay their bills. The future cost of that reduction amounts to $92 billion that they are suggesting be added to our tax bills.

Mr. Gibbons, I have debated you in the past and found you in error then and find errors in your literature now. I will happily do so again at a convenient time.

Maurice McMillan

Ramara Township 

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