Ontario Premier threatens opponents of new (green) energy projects

I recently read an unsettling report of an apparently contradictory move by the provincial government of Ontario to force the development of so-called green energy developments in the province of Ontario.

While promoting his Green Energy Act, Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, made it clear that he will no longer accept “Not In My Backyard” (also known as NIMBY) arguments from opponents of new green or renewable energy developments. So long as “safety” and “environmental” concerns are addressed, he will not stand for opposition to new energy generation projects.

going to find a way through this new legislation to make it perfectly
clear that NIMBYism will no longer prevail when it comes to putting up
wind turbines, solar panels and bio-fuel plants. …

We need those jobs. We need clean electricity, and we need to assume our full responsibility in the face of climate change. …

new law will uphold rigorous safety and environmental standards, but
once those standards have been met, we intend to assert the greater
public interest in clean, green electricity and the jobs that come with
it, …

will no longer be able to reject wind turbines, solar panels or
bio-fuel plants because they don’t like them. We can’t allow interests
to oppose these simply because they don’t like them.” …

Rejection can only be based on a failure to meet safety and environmental standards,” McGuinty said.

a society, as an economy, either we’re committed to clean, green jobs
or we’re not. I say we are, and we’ll take the necessary steps to
ensure we move in that direction.”

For those who may have missed it, this new policy direction comes from the same government that has actively cultivated the input and encouraged the NIMBY-ism of numerous anti-coal groups over the past several years. Additionally, the McGunity government was elected at least partially on its promise to summarily close any and all coal-fueled generation in the province regardless of the jobs lost,
regardless of the costs imposed on utilities and their rate-paying customers, regardless of the fact that the coal industry has and continues to address environmental concerns that are raised.

Several articles noted that McGunity avoided specifics on what “hammer” he intended to use to force the development of these new projects.

The ACC has openly and repeatedly supported the development of any safe and clean domestic energy resources. Quite simply put; we need it all. However, some might reasonably question whether this new policy of forcing green development in over the protest of local residents is contradictory or hypocritical given the McGuinty governments active role in denying and opposing the development of North American coal resources.

More on McGunity’s proposal

18. February 2009 by Jason Hayes
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