Thursday, March 21, 2013

Comments on Gas Plant Scandal: Before and After

I try to abide by a policy of maintaining my more cold air blog for strictly original content, and this post will primarily quote others ... but it is likely more inspired by my personal experience than most cold air creations.

The events surrounding the natural gas generating stations are currently the focus of The Standing Committee on Justice Policy.  In The High Costs of Ontario's very provincial electricity debacle I provided a brief background, and noted how future costs of the relocated plant would be altered by increasing renewable generation (and different levels of natural gas pricing); in terms of estimating costs today I stated, "the most credible estimate of the cost of relocating the plant is $733 million, as presented by Bruce Sharp."

Bruce Sharp was amongst the first called by legislative committee (March 13th).  I followed the news but only really became agitated, anew, seeing a tweet from The Star's Rob Ferguson, regarding the Oakville mayor's appearance at the committee:

This is the kind of small town lie big town mayors tell - at least where I come from, which happens to be the area involved in the placement of what would become the Oakville Generating Station - when it is built 100's of kilometers east of Oakville.

I'm not a fan of the Oakville location, due to the adjacency to schools and the exceptionally small probability of an accident at the generating station - but the most likely "health and safety" cost would be too small to measure.

A tweet later that day, from Bruce Sharp, would knock some sense into me:

Seeing it put in that, numerate, way, I recalled a letter I was copied on; one that my father sent to Premier McGuinty 29 days before the plant cancellation was announced.

Today, as longstanding Mississauga mayor McCallion is regaling the legislative committee with her practiced ability to revise history to tell a tale - perfected in legal battles surrounding the personal enrichment of her family members as a former greenbelt, to the west of Winston Churchill, was eliminated -  is a good time to point out that before the cancellation debacle, analysis already showed the negative impact of the plant would be virtually nil.
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2009 2:11 PM
Subject: Clarkson Gas Turbine Power Station
Please disregard the representations of Mississauga South delegations with respect to the proposed power plant.
In recent decades, the Starch Company in Port Credit has disappeared, the refinery in Port Credit had a fire and was dismantled, the four stack power plant on Lakeshore Road was demolished and the refinery in Clarkson has all but shut down. Hundreds if not thousands of good paying jobs have disappeared. There is no evidence to suggest that the air quality in Mississauga South has improved one iota.
If this airshed is stressed, it is stressed by the QEW, the 403, the myriad of automobiles, the redundant stop signs all over the place which stop not only cars but buses, commercial vehicles, etc. The airshed is stressed by pollution imported from our neighbors with every south wind. It is stressed by furnaces, barbeques, fireplaces and other gas fired devices. In brief, all of the things that were found in the environmental study of the Clarkson airshed some years ago. Similar circumstances exist across the GTA.
More recently a group represented by a Doctor from Lorne Park, aided and abetted by the MP for Mississauga South, the MPP for Mississauga South and the Mayor of Mississauga have endeavored to have the proposed power plant cancelled on the basis of a sheer perversion of the facts in studies with which they purport to be familiar. Reports of a petition to this effect have been circulated with varying claims of support. I have been unable to access the petition but judging from the signs claiming our health will be in danger from the proposed turbine many, if not most, of the supporters do not reside in the area in which the initial Clarkson Airshed Study was done.
A couple of local politicians shamelessly jumped on a bandwagon with no foundation beyond the concerns of a Doctor who from his hystrionics in the Mississauga News has managed to frighten his neighbours because he knows the latin names for body parts. According to the phone book, he lives on Elite Road in Lorne Park, an ironic coincidence. Reported in the National Post, house prices in the Clarkson/Lorne Park/Sheridan Homelands area had the largest decline in the GTA for the first half of this year.

I'm sure your Government would concur that we need cheap, green, reliable power. Similarly, there can be no question that we need good paying jobs, if for no other reason than to replace those we have lost in this constituency.
If we stick to these priorities, we need not concern ourselves with depositions from the mistakenly frightened herd.

C. R. (Ray) Luft

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