February 14, 2011
If it takes investing in 21st Century green power at an added cost of a few bucks more per household each month, and sucking up our own failure to pay for past mistakes, perhaps it’s time to start paying these debts forward. I will leave you with a final question: What do you imagine our grandchildren might implore us to do if they could? – Paul McKay
As a citizen and a parent, I am appalled by your plan to build new nuclear projects. I implore you: do not pour any public money down this radioactive debt-hole. Please give real support to our growing green energy industry. I urge you to remove all caps on cleaner and greener energy sources in your energy plan. I also urge you to require that all new nuclear projects compete on a level playing field, by not allowing cost overruns to be passed on to ratepayers and taxpayers. – Tania Szablowski, Toronto resident, in a letter to Premier McGuinty.
You can send a letter to McGuinty too! Click here: http://www.cleanairalliance.org/letter_to_dalton2
Order leaflets/postcards opposing the Darlington Newbuild: http://www.cleanairalliance.org/get_involved_order_pamphlets
Learn more about the province’s plans to build new reactors at Darlington: http://stopdarlington.org/
Greenpeace has produced a special video for our special non-Environment Minister Peter Kent. It is a spoof on the eHarmony dating service. We call it Polluter Harmony or pHarmony.
Funny… And you can send the minister an email.
You can see it all at www.polluterharmony.ca
Here’s the answer by Paul McKay
When the old Ontario Hydro effectively became bankrupt in 1999, about $30 billion in stranded debt was shifted to different government ledgers. Virtually all of it was due to unrecoverable nuclear costs. This was originally supposed to be paid down by 2012. But since 1999 Ontario ratepayers have made $36.3 billion in cumulative payments on this stranded debt -- yet $27.6 billion remains to be paid. Someday. Somehow.
$27.6 billion. How many in Ontario know of this debt, or what it means, or how it will be dealt with? It is all but invisible to the public. Our politicians want to keep it that way. Yet the press remains lazily indifferent to this serial negligence while devoting acres of outraged ink to microscopic payments paid to "solar baron" farmers who put up their own money to put Pv panels on their barns.
This stranded debt, more than any other single fact, tells us that our "public" utility is anything but publicly accountable, and that all the price signals in Ontario's power "market" are dangerously distorted because this lurking, $27.6 billion ice-berg of hidden debt is not treated as a generation cost.
So we have a perverse optical illusion: more than half of Ontario's energy comes from nuclear plants which appear far cheaper than they are, while new renewable projects appear far more expensive than their secretly-subsidized main rival.
Birds living around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident have 5% smaller brains, an effect directly linked to lingering background radiation. Smaller brain sizes are thought to be linked to reduced cognitive ability. The effect was most pronounced in younger birds, particularly those less than a year old. That suggests that many bird embryos did not survive at all, due to the negative effects on their developing brain.
By Helen Caldicott And Dale Dewar
Port Hope is the deep dark underbelly of the Canadian nuclear industry, representing dangers that so far, have escaped sufficient scrutiny and cleanup.
Nuclear shipment angers municipalities
City of Montreal officials have joined critics from across Quebec and Ontario in condemning a decision to allow a huge shipment of radioactive waste to travel through the St. Lawrence Seaway.
A Commons committee intends to grill members of the Canada's nuclear regulator and Bruce Power over plans to ship used radioactive generators through the Great Lakes. http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/02/06/17176581.html
Justice for the environment - denied http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/media/release/bruce-power-scheme-ship-radioactive-nuclear-waste-dangerous-precedent
First Nations in the Great Lakes watershed are accusing a federal government agency of ignoring the rule of law by approving the shipment of nuclear waste through their territories without even notifying them.
Jaitapur's French-built nuclear plant is a disaster in waiting, jeopardising biodiversity and local livelihoods
The global "nuclear renaissance" touted a decade ago has not materialised. The US's nuclear industry remains starved of new reactor orders since 1973, and western Europe's first reactor after Chernobyl (1986) is in serious trouble in Finland – 42 months behind schedule, 90 per cent over budget, and in bitter litigation. But India is forging ahead to create an artificial nuclear renaissance.
Pelham has joined other municipalities in urging the Ontario government to mothball coal-fired power stations. Jack Gibbons of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance asked town council Monday to pass a resolution supporting its "coal must go" campaign. It asks the government "to direct Ontario Power Generation to put its coal plants on standby reserve and only operate them if they are absolutely needed to keep the lights on in Ontario."
Animated short on the impact of depleted uranium weapons and the international campaign against them, produced by the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons and IKV Pax Christi.
Seizing on what President Obama called this generation's "Sputnik moment," the federal government has begun an effort to slash the cost of solar power by 75 percent and reclaim America's lead in the fast-growing global industry. The effort, called SunShot, aims to make photovoltaic solar power as inexpensive as electricity from plants burning fossil fuels by the end of the decade. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Friday the U.S. government would refocus its existing solar programs, which costs about $200 million a year. He also announced $27 million in new funding for companies exploring new solar technologies, including three in the Bay Area.
Ontario has already attracted more than $16 billion in private sector investment in the clean energy sector, and over 20 companies have announced plans to set up or expand operations in Ontario. In 2003, Ontario had 19 polluting coal units and no solar projects online. Today more than 2,900 solar projects are feeding electricity into Ontario's grid, eight coal units have already been shut down and by 2014 all coal units will be closed. Ontario's long term energy plan forecasts 10,700 MW of renewable energy - wind, solar and biomass - by 2018. This is equivalent to meeting the annual electricity requirements of two million homes.
The Ontario government has called a stop to any offshore wind power projects in the province’s portion of the Great Lakes, until further scientific study is done. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/ontario-stops-offshore-wind-power-development/article1904138/
Estimates by the non-profit Conference Board of Canada suggest Ontario has the potential to develop about 2,000 MW of offshore wind power.
The latest round of proposed contracts from a California utility for 250 MW of solar PV projects comes in below the price of natural gas.
We hear it every day: "Solar is too expensive." Well, not according to the California utility Southern California Edison.
Just because you’re not using it doesn’t mean it’s not costing you. Phantom power can lurk in any corner of your home.
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Tel: 416 926 1907 x 246
625 Church Street, #402
Toronto, ON M4Y 2G1
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