Friday, April 29, 2016

Groundhog day in Ontario

The Globe and Mail was our paper of record this past week.

Adrian Morrow got the news out on a grandiose plan being hatched by the mind, such as it is, of Glenn Murray, the latest wrecking ball unleashed on the province of Ontario by the voters of Toronto Centre.

Morrow's initial article is here; the follow-up here, and some words from me on the two here.

Globe columnist Jeffrey Simpson had an outstanding column, Why a carbon tax is better than cap-and-trade, but it is behind the paywall. In the column Simpson wrote:
[government] keeps and spends it to encourage or subsidize activities that will reduce emissions. Fundamentally, governments that adopt this approach think they can do a better job than the market in driving change.
They prefer a cap-and-trade system among companies, rather than a carbon tax, because the carbon price is hidden, as opposed to being evident at the pump. Of course, consumers will eventually pay as companies pass along the costs of the cap-and-trade system, but consumers won’t find it easy to trace the price increase, which suits politicians.
In the emerging outlines of what the “spend the money” provinces have in mind, the shape of future troubles can be seen. For example, governments of all stripes, when given a large source of new revenue, will inevitably allow partisan considerations to influence how it’s spent. Ministers will listen to entreaties from their caucus, each member of which will want money spent locally. They will also want to spread the spending around geographically.

If the cartoon fits...

The Toronto Star (a.k.a. Liberal Pravda) supported the idea the cap-and-trade is the choice of central planners and influence peddlers by writing in support of the concept in Cap-and-trade best way for Canada to reduce emissions.

The proponents of cap-and-trade are generally the same people that push wind and solar and they do so because of the same intellectual limitation - they forget the end goal. The end goal is lowering global emissions, and demonstrating you can lower your own stupidly will not contribute to that goal.

Finally, a Globe editorial gets some facts wrong in an editorial that gets the overall message exactly right, in Coming soon: Ontario’s green energy fiasco, the sequel:
this week’s leaked document on its upcoming greenhouse-gas strategy suggests Kathleen Wynne’s government has not learned from her predecessor Dalton McGuinty’s mistakes. Glen Murray, a minister with more enthusiasm than knowledge, is in charge of the environmental file; last time around, George Smitherman was the designated enthusiast. Ontarians should be worried.
The goal of any carbon-reduction plan should be to reduce emissions as much as possible at the lowest cost possible. Canada doesn’t need an economic revolution; it needs simple but clear incentives, like carbon taxes, for companies and people to reduce carbon use.
But what Mr. Murray is working on sounds like a Leap Manifesto. It’s not a plan to dramatically lower emissions while screwing up the economy as little as possible. It reads more like a blueprint to meddle as much as possible, to get government’s hands on as many levers and in as many pockets as possible, with climate change as a pretext. 
...A decade ago, this is exactly how the province’s $170-billion electricity fiasco started. It’s Groundhog Day in Ontario, and the Wynne government still hasn’t seen its shadow.

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