We are winning at losing

Sometimes when you win, you lose.
The Town of Fort Frances’ recycling program is showing marked success. Each pickup brings more plastic, paper, cardboard, and metal cans to the recycle centre, which, in turn, is prolonging the life of the local landfill.
The recycling program is performing as it was designed, and Fort Frances residents can stand a little taller for their commitment to the environment.
However, one of the consequences of the recycling program is that residents are not buying as many bag tags or making as many trips to the landfill with their garbage. As such, the revenue deficit from the landfill is growing and that burden is being passed on to the taxpayers.
Our success in one program is the cause of financial ruin in the other.
The McGuinty government, in its rush to “green” energy, has committed Ontario Hydro to pay more for electricity generated by wind mills, solar energy, co-gen stations, and other sources than they are selling power to consumers. So when your electrical bill comes along, your rates will appear to be going through the ceiling.
The switch to these new “green” energies is costing every business, industry, and householder more. We’re winning in changing to “green,” but the cost of operations of homes, businesses, and industries is putting everyone at risk.
When someone chooses to create power for the grid, it is not the power generator that has to pay for the attachment to the grid—it is the owner of the grid.
Here in Fort Frances, if you were to put solar panels on your roof, and produce more power than your home would use, you could sell that power to the Fort Frances Power Corp. and they are mandated to provide all the equipment to accept the power.
Electrical consumers in Fort Frances will pay for those connections. Again, the consumer loses even though we are getting clean “green” energy.
In my recent travels west, premium gas in North Dakota was less expensive than regular octane gas. I chose the higher octane rating and discovered my mileage increased by about 10 percent.
I wondered why. Researching on the Internet, I discovered that when ethanol is added, the resulting blend will reduce mileage.
It may burn cleaner, and it may be considered a renewable energy, but in the end it does cost you more to travel. You win and you lose.
Every home in Fort Frances is now connected to a “smart” meter for hydro, and in the future likely we’ll be connected to a smart water meter. We will pay different rates for use of water and electricity at different times of the day.
The McGuinty government has suggested that we do our laundry between 1 and 5 a.m. on a Sunday. I don’t know too many people who want to stay up those hours to do laundry.
But if Ontarians do follow the lead of the premier, electrical consumption will jump and then because of higher demand at those hours, consumers will be charged more.
It probably will be suggested that we only flush our toilets at those hours, too, since that is the period of lowest water usage.
Every car manufacturer is looking to create the “green” electrical vehicle. But when you plug your power cord into the socket, you don’t see the windmills, nor the coal-fired electrical generators, nor the hydro-electric dams, nor the nuclear power stations. You see just a harmless cord.
No person is talking about how you will refuel your vehicle without more power being available.Nor are they talking about the rising rates of electricity in the province.
Will electric cars save consumers money? Will we have to build more electrical generating units to supply this new demand? Of course we will, as taxpayers.
Nuclear power generation may be more costly to create, but those plants deliver power to consumers at rates that are less than coal, natural gas, windmills, and solar panels.
France, Sweden, Norway, and Germany see these sources of electricity as the potential for the future of their nations. But here in Canada, we are choosing the more expensive brands.
Yes, we are winning at losing.

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