Friday, June 8, 2012

Toronto Star's John Spears In Campaign to Discredit Ontario's Auditor General

John Spears' latest at The Toronto Star, Ontario auditor-general’s green energy report was flawed, critique says, begins:
A report by Ontario’s auditor-general that blamed renewable energy projects for pumping up electricity prices was flawed, according to a critique commissioned by two environmental groups.
Environmental groups is arguable: they are Environmental Defence and Pembina.

Pemina's Tim Weis tweeted this moring: "Auditing the Auditor's claims about Green Energy in Ontario [and provides a link to an Environmental Defense page that didn't function - I assume this]

Pembina's Weis links to ED entry quoting ED's Dr. Rick Smith (zoology). The entry at ED is titled "A Few Questions for Ontario's Auditor General...", but the single question implied is not even at a sophomoric level: "Did you look for all the facts"

The ED post quotes Pembina's Weis:  " appears the Auditor General’s office did not even compare the cost of new clean energy with the cost of new polluting energy."

The report they purchased, which John Spears' dutifully presented an article for, is from the Bridgepoint Group: "Renewable Energy Facts: Ontarians have a good deal"  The Executive Summary claims the Auditor's report, "abstained from comparing the current renewables scenario to other realistic scenarios with mostly conventional sources, thus reaching incorrect conclusions about the negative impact of renewables on energy price and jobs."  The report contracted by Pembina's first citation in rebutting the Auditor is:
Results from a Pembina Institute study show that electricity prices would continue to rise from 2011 to 2020, regardless of whether the new capacity is supplied by renewable or natural gas generation. The price increase is due to a mounting need to replace and maintain ageing supply and transmission capacity, not due to renewable technology generating the supply.
The referenced Pembina report claims building 40GW of supply will be expensive any way we do it - to meet peak demand of 25-27,000MW
Probably true, but as I wrote at the time, "It is an act of self-delusion, or deliberate deceit, to claim wind capacity would need to be replaced in order to meet demand requirements."

The report also states that the Auditor's "report overstated the amount and nature of backup required for wind power."  
Provided the data that is available, that is simply a stupid, stupid, statement.

I've read through the Spears article a couple of times, and I can't figure out where he claims a statement in the actual Auditor's report is flawed.
The message I see is in a timed media campaign to discredit the Auditor General, The Toronto Star is an active participant.

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