Archive for July, 2007

Environmentalists want clotheslines ban lifted

July 29, 2007

From the Editor

As soon as Dalton figures out how his corporate buddies can make money by allowing people to hang out the laundry he will lift the ban. Until then keep using those dryers. If stories like this weren’t so outrageous they would make me laugh. Oct 1oth send McGuinty his pink slip. I was a Liberal until Uncle Dalton came along. We’ve had some lame premiers but this guy takes the cake.


Canadian press

It’s a simple, functional part of the solution to Canada’s energy addiction: allowing people to hang their sheets, T-shirts and undies outside to dry.

So why, then, is the simple, time-tested concept of the clothesline conjuring such cross-country controversy?

Sure, the sight of a hefty neighbour’s boxers fluttering in the breeze might turn some stomachs – indeed, that’s the main reason some communities draw the line at air-dried laundry.

In Ontario, however, a growing number of environmentalists and municipal politicians are calling on the government to override local clothesline bans – something it could do with the stroke of a pen.

Many are now wondering why the province appears to be dragging its heels on measures that would allow people to harness free solar and wind energy by hanging their clothes out to dry.

This is not a draconian measure,” Stewart said. “It’s not like laundry is a threat to the morals of our youth. All it’s saying is people are allowed to use a clothesline.” The Liberals passed an energy conservation leadership law shortly after their election in 2003 that included a clause that allows the province to abolish local bans on clotheslines imposed by developers through sale agreements and residential associations.

But the Liberals have never taken advantage of the clause, meaning it remains against the law in some aesthetically-minded communities to let unmentionables flap immodestly in the breeze.

It doesn’t make sense at a time when everyone is being urged to change their habits to cut greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy during a hot summer, Stewart said.

“It really is very silly,” he said. “This isn’t a huge thing but it’s incredibly easy to do. It’s not like they need a mandate from the electorate to do this. They could do it tomorrow.”

Environment Minister Laurel Broten would only say Wednesday that lifting a ban on clotheslines doesn’t fall under her jurisdiction.

Phyllis Morris is at the forefront of the “right to dry” movement in Ontario. The mayor of Aurora, a suburban city just north of Toronto, has been on talk shows across the country lobbying for the right to “free the sheets.” Ironically, Morris recently had a Liberal government pamphlet delivered to her door urging her to do a number of things to help the environment – including air-drying clothes.

“I wonder what they’re waiting for,” Morris said about lifting the ban.

“We see it as a freedom of choice issue. I’m not saying people should hang their laundry outside – I’m saying shouldn’t they be able to if they want to?”

“Most people who would choose to do the environmentally sound thing would also be probably concerned for their neighbours,” she said.

“If their neighbours are having a barbecue, get your laundry in before 5 o’clock when they sit down to eat supper. That’s just being a good neighbour.”

“There is much greater public awareness that wasting energy is bad for our future. Clotheslines will soon have social cache as people who do the right thing . . . and the law will hurry along to catch up.” New Democrat Paul Ferreira said by lagging behind public consciousness, the Liberals are leaving green-minded residents “out to dry.”

“When we talk about harnessing wind power and solar power to meet our daily needs, here’s a classic example of how to do it.”

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.Full Story

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Energy Costs Could Rise by 70 per cent if Natural Gas Generation Replaces Coal Plants in Ontario

July 29, 2007

From the Editor

On Oct. 10th vote for anyone but McGuinty and his party of clowns.

The economy of Ontario will be crushed if this man is allowed to continue. A 70% rise in electrical rates will send every major employer running. Affordable power is the cornerstone of the Ontario economy. High rates = high unemployment.

Note: at 8pm tonight the 396 MWs of installed wind capacity were generating a grand total of 18 MWs.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.Turning grain to power; LGS wants to test mix of distiller’s grain, coal

CATHY DOBSON / The Observer
Local News – Saturday, July 28, 2007 @ 16:00

Ontario Power Generation hopes the province will soon approve testing of an innovative fuel alternative at the Lambton Generating Station this year.

“We’re still learning more about it but we think it’s viable,” said LGS spokesperson Susan Thurston.

The coal-fired power plant intends to conduct tests with dried distiller’s grain from a Lambton County supplier, she said.

If the Ministry of Environment gives the green light, five to 10 per cent grain will be mixed with the coal in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon dioxide is still released by burning biomass but when crops are grown a nearly equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is captured through photosynthesis, making biomass “greenhouse gas neutral,” according to LGS.

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Mixing biomass products with coal is still in the experimental stage, Thurston said. LGS needs to establish if it’s technically, economically and environmentally advantageous to use biomass co-fired technology.

“We continuously look at the possibility of using different types of fuel,” she said.

Mixing various types of grain products with coal is already a well-established practice in several European countries.

Overseas, the fuel is blended with up to 20 per cent biomass, according to information provided by Lambton Generating Station.

Biomass is used to describe any organic material made from plants and animals and used as an energy source.

When certain organic materials are combined with coal to make electricity, carbon emissions are lower.

Biomass fuels provide only about three per cent of the energy used in the U.S. today, but that’s expected to change as concern for the environment increases.

In 2006, OPG’s Nanticoke Generating Station began tests that involved mixing coal with wheat shorts, a byproduct of the milling process.

More extensive testing is taking place at Nanticoke this year to provide detailed energy and environmental data, said Thurston.

Dried distiller’s grain is the biomass fuel of choice for LGS because it can be bought locally, she said.

Meanwhile, Premier Dalton McGuinty repeated his pledge this week to shut down Ontario’s coal-fired plants by 2014, even if it means paying higher electricity rates.

A new report predicts that energy costs could rise as much as 70 per cent if natural gas generation replaces the four coal plants. But McGuinty said that’s the cost of cleaner air.

“The single greatest contributor to greenhouse gases in the province of Ontario is coal-fired generation so we’re going to do something about that,” he said.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.

Bruce County to Get up to 3000 Turbines

July 28, 2007

From the Editor

Anything less than a complete moratorium on wind farms in Ontario is unacceptable. The corporations will smile at you while they take over rural Ontario. Heading full speed ahead back to “Feudal Times” where you are reduced to a Serf on the land you once owned and controlled.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.Serfdom is the socio-economic status of peasants under feudalism, and specifically relates to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery seen primarily during the Middle Ages in Europe. Serfdom was the enforced labour of serfs on the fields of landowners, in return for protection and the right to work on their leased fields.

Serfdom involved work not only on fields, but various agriculture-related works, like forestry, transportation (both land and river-based), crafts and even in production. Manors formed the basic unit of society during this period, and both the lord and his serfs were bound legally, economically and socially. Serfs were labourers who were bound to the land; they formed the lowest social class of the feudal society. Serfs were also defined as people in whose labour landowners held property rights.

The Bruce County Federation of Agriculture is calling for measures to protect the county’s tourism industry, farming operations and municipalities from the rapidly developing wind energy industry.

“Recent studies in other countries have shown that large wind generating areas and tourism are not compatible. It would be a shame to lose the gains we have made in tourism by not having planning in place to make sure our tourism industry stays vibrant,” federation president Robert Emerson told Bruce County council’s agriculture, tourism and planning committee on Thursday.

The committee was looking at wind energy policy as part of the county’s five-year review of its official plan and because of concerns raised by residents and the industry over the lack of adequate regulations.

Committee members later approved 15 recommendation that chair Charlie Bagnato described as a beginning of more policies to regulate wind energy development.

The recommendations include one calling on developers to provide clearer information about shadow flicker and noise and a provision for a complaint protocol, so members of the public can make their concerns known to the developer and the county.

There was no proposal to change setbacks from built-up areas, which municipalities can set at anywhere from 400 to 700 metres. However, there were recommendations that the planning department conduct further research on the density of turbine development, cumulative impact of wind turbines in an area and the effect of cold weather on wind turbine operation.

Bagnato said more policies will be included once that information is received.

“The overall updates they made today will be helpful in the short term . . . but we’re suggesting now is the time to take a long-term view of the whole issue as it affects county tourism, county agriculture and we’re identifying some real important agricultural issues,” said Emerson.

Emerson held up the example of Grey Highlands, which has designated certain areas suitable for wind energy development and prohibits it in visually sensitive areas. It has incorporated those regulations into its official plan.

“This is fair to all concerned because then wind prospectors will know where they can develop their wind parks and farmers will know if their land is eligible for development,” Emerson said.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith agreed with Emerson’s suggestion of looking into protecting natural and tourist attractions from wind energy development.

Chris LaForest, head of planning for Bruce County, noted the proposals by Grey Highlands still need approval by Grey County.

Emerson cautioned against rushing into new regulations to satisfy the demands of the wind energy industry. He noted the transmission capacity for new wind energy won’t be available until 2011 and the recent announcement of up to 3,000 megawatts of wind energy coming from Bruce County within the next 10 years would require between 1,500 and 3,000 wind turbines.

“Once these units are up and running . . . the citizens of Bruce County will be left to look at a wind park of industrial proportions for the rest of their lives,” Emerson warned.

Emerson also is concerned that wind turbines are not being fairly assessed. He worries that will result in municipalities collecting less in taxes.

Wind turbines are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation at $40,000 for each megawatt of electricity they are rated to produce. The standard 1.5 megawatt turbine worth $2.5 million dollars is assessed at $60,000. A farming operation of the same value is assessed at $500,000.

“To me these large wind turbines have been given a sweet heart deal by the province . . . there’s no fair comparison at all to agriculture. We see it having a detrimental affect on the whole county assessment,” Emerson said.

LaForest said he sees the updates to the county official plan passed by councillors on Thursday as a first step to setting policy for wind energy. Final approval will takes place at a meeting of County council on Aug. 2.

By Don Crosby

The Sun Times

28 July 2007

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.

Pugwash wind project damaging says Elizabeth May Leader of the Green Party

July 26, 2007

From the Editor

I thank Elizabeth May for getting involved. Yes 500 meters is too close to homes. Here in Bruce County Ontario the setback is a mere 450 meters. The people here asked for a 1km setback at an OMB hearing, but in the end, after a 7 week hearing the OMB agreed with both the MOE and Enbridge that 450 meters is a safe distance. It is not.

Elizabeth May is all for wind power but not when it’s forced upon those residents living near giant windfarms such as the one proposed for the Gulf Shore.

The leader of Canada’s Green Party feels wind energy has great potential but is concerned when a company like Atlantic Wind Power chooses the wrong site because it runs the risk of discrediting renewable energy.

“We don’t want anything that stands in the way of the effective uptake of wind energy, but when you choose the wrong place and are not sensitive to local concerns it’s a real mistake,” May said. “Shorelines, where people have a lot of cottages, are not a good place. I haven’t gone and measured it myself, but the Pugwash beach is very much up against the 500-metre limit and that’s an unreasonably close spot.”

While the Green Party supports wind energy as a renewable energy source, May said the party also stands for grassroots decision-making.

Atlantic Wind Power Corporation plans to erect between 20 and 27 110-metre high wind turbines on the Gulf Shore near Pugwash. Project opponents want a two-kilometre separation between their properties and the proposed project, but the Municipality of Cumberland recently passed a bylaw setting the distance at the greater of 500 metres or three times the height of the turbine.

May believes the health concerns being raised by Gulf Shore residents are more than fear-mongering.

“Anyone who objects to wind farms because they’re ugly I’m not really impressed with, but as a health issue if you’re going to be that close it’s going to affect the quality of your life,” she said.

By Darrell Cole

Amherst Daily News

25 July 2007

60 Hours of Wind Power in Ontario

July 25, 2007

I tracked the wind farm production from 1am on the 23rd of July 2007 until noon July 25th 2007.

At 9am today the four wind farms in Ont. with a total capacity of  396 MWs were producing zero MWs of electricity.

Over the 60 hrs. they produced a total of 1140 MWs. or 19 MWs per hr. which is about 4.8% of the plated capacity.

Many of those hours no electricity was produced and many more were in the 1 to 8 MW range.

The best production was on July 23 between the hrs. of 1am and 6am., the very time when power consumption is at its lowest.

Even though we may not require the power between 1am and 6am we must still buy it at a premium price.

Wind power started as an experiment and has since turned into, thanks to Enron, an investment scheme that has cost taxpayers billions and ruined the lives of the people living near the wind farms.

Wind Farms Fail Once Again in Ontario

July 24, 2007

From the Sygration website

Ontario Generation for 2007-07-24

All power production in Ont today. Once again wind fails. 400 MW capacity producing next to nothing.The graph starts at 1am. McGuinty is too stupid to be the leader of this province. I don’t have much faith in the other parties either. They have all become corporate puppets.

This is your province and your country please get involved. It is your children and grandchildren that will ask you why you were so apathetic.

click on the link to view the “Great Saviour” wind power stats for today. Be sure to click on pic to enlarge it.

sygration-ontario-generator-report

Cuba-trained US medics graduate

July 24, 2007

This is off topic but very important. The municipality of Kincardine with the help of Bruce County and spearheaded by the McGuinty govt decided that filling rural Ont. with wind farms is a good idea. IT IS NOT.

In the meantime 45% of our residents have no family doctor. They continue to starve the healthcare system while handing out billions to the energy companies. Cuba has its problems yes, but if such a poor country can make sure everyone has a family doctor then one must ask. What is wrong with Ontario and Canada in general.

Canada must be for Canadians first and and must not be handed over to the corporations. It will be your children and grandchildren that suffer because of your apathy.

Please comment

 

Cuba-trained US medics graduate

 

By Michael Voss
BBC News, Havana


Cuban doctor (file image)

Students were offered tuition, textbooks and accommodation

Eight US students are to graduate from a medical school in Cuba where they have spent the past six years training to become doctors.

Their studies were fully funded by Cuba’s communist government.

Under the deal, students must return to their communities in the US to offer low-cost healthcare.

The students came to Cuba as part of a deal agreed between President Fidel Castro and members of Washington’s Congressional Black Caucus.

The stories of the six medical students are something of a propaganda coup with Cuba, a poor communist Caribbean island, providing free training to medical students from its arch-enemy, the US.

Foreign policy tool

Under the plan, Cuba offers students from deprived backgrounds full scholarships – including tuition, textbooks, food and accommodation.

The single condition is that they must return to their respective communities and provide cheap healthcare to those who cannot afford full-price healthcare.

Senior members of the Cuban government are expected to attend Tuesday evening’s graduation ceremony in the capital.

According to the Cuban authorities, more than 80 young US students are currently receiving training at the Latin American Medical School in Havana, whose qualifications are recognised by the World Health Organization.

In recent years, Cuba’s free healthcare system has become a key foreign policy tool for winning hearts and minds in the developing world, particularly across South and Central America and parts of Africa.

The government has sent tens of thousands of Cuban doctors abroad to help some of the world’s poorest communities.

It also trains large numbers of foreign doctors on the island.

According to the official newspaper, Granma, there are currently more than 5,000 medical students from 25 countries studying in Cuba.

Ontario Wind Farms Produce Small Amount of Power

July 23, 2007

Ontario has about 400 MW of wind capacity. The Govt and the Media keep telling you how many homes the wind farms will power. Wind production figures are second from the bottom of page. The graph starts at 1am.They are not telling you the truth. It’s that simple. You can never depend on the wind to produce power when required. Therefore the question is, can it even be considered a power source?

The reality is that in this book put out by the Independent Electricity System Operator — which I think is a government body, part of the old Ontario Hydro — it says, under an asterisk at the bottom, “For capacity planning purposes, wind generation has a dependable capacity contribution of 10% of the listed figures.” So of the 354.6 megawatts that Minister Cansfield talked about today, according to our own Independent Electricity System Operator, we really only have 35 megawatts, if you consider 10%.
dalton-mcguinty-promised-in-his-liberal-platform/

The Govt plans to trash rural Ont. hoping to get your vote before you, Joe Public, catch on. You lose every time a new wind farm is constructed and the people near the wind farm lose big time. Stand up for your neighbor and he will stand up for you.
Click the link to view the graph.
sygration-ontario-generator-report

"Globalization, Electrical Energy and Multilevel Governance"

July 23, 2007

 From the editor

Enron may be gone but their policies live on.  

Presentation to the Globalization, Multilevel Goverance
and Democracy Conference, Institute of
Intergovernmental Relations, Kingston, Ontario, May 3,
2002.
Alexander Netherton
Simon Fraser University

Paradigm Shift, Changes in Policy Communities and Networks
PParadigm shift: from Keynesian to neoliberal P Emergence of global and regional policy communities and regulatory regimes
P New internationalization /continentalization of energy politics – ususal question centres on policy convergence
P Paradigm shift => changes in policy community and network (Perl and Coleman)
P Is there a shift in the nature of governance?
P Internationalization of the US regulatory model and energy regime to Canada
P Is this “multilevel governance”?
Introduction : Argument in Brief
Multilevel Governance in an Intergovernmental Region?
PQualified Yes
P Literature on “multilevel governance” searches
for supranational institutions
P North America dominated by intergovernmental
form of market integration
P US domestic regime share’s paradigmatic assumptions with, but is clearly dominant over international regime, CDN domestic regimes
PUS (dominant state’s) domestic policy regime
emerged as pivot in regional (Canada-US)
reorganization/restructuring
P Some predictable and other surprising changes to
process of governance
P A BC view of North American integration?
Introduction : Organization
Plan of Presentation
PTheoretical framework: Paradigm change =>
change in policy process
P Global origins of North American sectoral multilevel governance (SMG)
PRegional origins of SMG
P Centrality of SMG in paradigm shift
P Characteristics –policy community/network
P Present Summary / Conclusions /suggest
questions/ strategy for research
Globalization : Paradigm Change
New Policy Regimes (formal/informal rules) / Epistemic
Communities / Issue Networks
PInternational Energy Agency IEA /OECD energy
supply and investment regimes
P World Bank : privatization, anti-corruption and
development world capital market in
infrastructure for development & reconstruction
P World Trade Organization (WTO) :GATT and
GATS energy as commodity (Triad supply) as
service (transnationals)
P Kyoto Protocol / market and regulatory regimes
to reduce global warming
PUN World Commission on Dams (energy and
social contract)
P New technologies (gas turbine, point of use
technologies, chip)
Globalization : Policy Regime Changes
Complete Restructuring of Energy Sector
PEmerging global energy (and infrastructure)
transnationals that can work within and between
global regions (Hydro Quebec,Enron, others)
P Postwar utility: vertically integrated monopoly
(VIM) : energy production, transmission and
distribution in one firm P Neoliberal idea: divide VIM into different functionally specialized firms
P New functionally specialized firms form an energy sector that is integrated by a market
P All firms/markets within energy sector would need arms length regulation
P New organization provides opportunity structures for transnational investment

Globalization Electrical Energy

The Importance of Large Hydro, Clean Coal and Nuclear Technologies within a Future Framework on Climate Change

July 23, 2007

From the editor
All the environmentalists better take a hard look at this. Looks like wind power is just to create carbon credits. Here comes big Hydro Dams, Big Coal Plants and Nuclear. We need to join forces and take back our electrical system.

T h e e 8 ‘ s r e c o mm e n d a t i o n s
Flexible Mechanisms under a future international framework on climate change must guide investments towards low
greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting options.
International institutions and national governments are increasingly looking to the private sector to invest in development
projects, especially in the case of climate-related initiatives.
To promote private sector involvement, the Flexible Mechanisms must not restrict the types and sizes of technologies and
projects that can be implemented to fight climate change and promote sustainable development.
The e8, an international group of leading electricity companies from the G8 countries, has undertaken small demonstration
projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in the Kingdom of Bhutan and on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
One of the most important lessons from these projects is that Flexible Mechanisms can play a major role in reducing GHG
emissions if large-scale electricity generation projects are permitted and indeed promoted.
The CDM process presents several barriers to project development. As a result, most of the projects registered to date are:
1. Projects targeting gases (HFC, N2O, CH4) with higher global warming potential than CO2 in order to generate a high
volume of CO2 credits and revenue so as to be financially attractive, and;

2. Small- or medium-size low cost energy sector projects.
Barriers to the deployment of large-scale electricity generation technologies should be eliminated in order to promote the
development of projects that will make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and increasing access to electricity.

Large-scale electricity generation technologies that should be further promoted by the CDM include:
Large hydro plants – As of December 2006, the CDM Executive Board (CDM EB) had approved only 17 hydroelectric
projects over 15 MW out of 456 CDM projects, of which only a few have installed capacity in excess of 100 MW. The
European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS) has placed certain restrictions on the recognition of projects
exceeding 20 MW. Credits from hydroelectric projects exceeding 20 MW are only recognised if the projects comply, in
particular, with the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams. Such restrictions have limited the potential
of large hydroelectric projects to contribute to the efforts invested in reducing GHG worldwide. Large hydroelectric
generation projects can support sustainable development and achieve significant reductions in CO2 emissions, and
should thus be fully recognized by the Flexible Mechanisms.
Other large renewable projects – Introducing more renewables in the future energy mix when and where it is
appropriate, will help to ensure security of supply along with the reduction of CO2 emissions. This type of project
should continue to receive strong support through the future framework process.
Large efficient coal power plants – The relative low cost and abundance of coal will ensure that coal-fired electricity
generation will continue as a significant source of electricity generation. Opportunities for improving the efficiency
of coal-fired generation and reducing GHG emissions include implementation of supercritical and other clean coal
technologies, and carbon capture and storage. With the development of appropriate baselines, the reductions in
CO2 emissions associated with these new technologies can be verified and should be recognized by the Flexible
Mechanisms.
Nuclear power plants – Internationally, there is growing recognition that nuclear generation will have to be expanded
to mitigate CO2 emissions while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Although the international climate change
agreements do not expressly prevent a project developer from proposing such a project to the CDM EB, no nuclear
projects have been presented to date. Nuclear generation must be recognized by the Flexible Mechanisms as a carbon free
source of electricity.

E8 website