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This is the second in a series of releases designed to introduce our new Campaign platform for 2013-14.
Electricity is generated in Ontario from three main fuel sources; nuclear (57%), hydro (22%) and natural gas (15%). All of these forms of generation are encumbered by numerous government rules and regulations. The production and distribution of natural gas products allows elements of competition and choice for Ontarians, however the same cannot be said for hydro, nuclear, wind, solar and coal.
In Ontario, electrical energy is supplied to consumers primarily through government-mandated monopolies. Current and past governments have built an unsustainable, subsidized, high cost, and inefficient mix of cherry picked solutions for power generation and distribution. As a result, citizens are forced to pay higher prices for power, with no alternative options.
The recent Speech from the Throne highlighted "conservation (as) the cheapest source of energy available." Someone should notify the government that conservation does not heat homes or run computers. In fact the province frequently produces more electricity than it needs; it cannot be stored, so it is sold usually for less than the cost of production. That makes a joke out of conservation. As a result, Ontario subsidizes our neighbouring States and Provinces who buy our surpluses cheaply to the detriment of all of us.
Also in the Throne Speech, the Liberal government reiterated its determination "to end coal-fired energy generation," which produced cheap, reliable and abundant electricity. They tout this as "the single largest climate change initiative currently underway in North America." The use of coal has to a large degree been replaced by solar and wind generation, which is neither cheap nor reliable. Ontarians are already paying to save the planet from global warming, even though the evidence that the planet is in danger is highly conjectural. This extra cost burden places manufacturing in Ontario at a huge disadvantage compared to neighbouring jurisdictions, a legacy of Dalton McGuinty.
The Ontario Libertarian Party believes that people should be free to invest in power generation and energy transmission facilities, without coercive incentives from the government. Introducing competition to the energy industry is the key to sustainability. The competitive and innovative free market should be allowed to select the most affordable and environmentally friendly method of electrical generation. Individuals and communities should be free to choose their electricity supplier.
In the short term, Libertarians would stop subsidizing all forms of electrical generation and risky energy programs. We would alter legislation to deregulate power generation and transmission, inviting the market to do what it does best – innovate and reduce costs.
Longer term, Libertarians would allow electricity prices to vary as market forces demand. When demand and price are high, there is no greater incentive in a free market for competitors to find efficiencies in generation and transmission that would benefit everyone.
Libertarians would stop exporting surplus power cheaply while buying expensive power from alternative energy suppliers. Ultimately we would seek to sell off Ontario Power Generation in order to reduce the provincial debt and work to establish a free and unregulated market in electricity production.
The Ontario Libertarian Party has been a registered political party since 1975. We advocate free markets, property rights, limited government, and voluntary interactions within communities between individuals and groups. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org