Don’t believe everything you read from “Charitable Institutions” (Wind Lobbyists) like Pembina Institute!!!!

Posted: September 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

We see an almost never ending campaign right now from so-called “charitable foundations” stumping for our Green Leader McGuinty and his damaging Green Energy Act  which has basically removed all Democratic Rights from our very own Municipalities!

Editorials and “reports” claiming massive job creation and cheap almost free energy supply by way of Green Solar and Wind installations across Rural Ontario with little or no scientific facts to back them up are now the norm in the mainstream media.

I firmly believe Ontarians to be a w ell educated and more than reasonable people who know the difference between “when something sounds too good to be usually is”!

The following should be a warning to mistrust anything being quoted by groups such as this.

The Pembina Institute: Facts or Fiction?


Posted on 09/11/2011 by MA


by Parker Gallant

Recently someone alerted me to an editorial that appeared in Peterborough This Week titled: “Now for some facts on Clean Energy” by Tim Wohlgemut, co-founder of ClearSky Advisors and Tim Weis, director of renewable energy and efficiency policy for the Pembina Institute.

Reading the editorial I was dismayed that someone would publish the audacious claims of the authors without at least verifying some of the facts. My views on editorial content was always that they were well researched and contained facts and information that might reflect the views of the author(s) but would at least provide the reader with enough information to allow them to form their own opinion. Not so for this editorial.

While the two gentlemen who wrote the diatribe that appeared have reputedly presented “facts” in the editorial there are many facts they omitted. The statement that renewable energy would cost “the average household approximately a coffee and a muffin each month” is one that needs some examination.

Even if those two gentlemen had used the Ministry of Energy’s forecast of a 46% increase over the next four years they would see that “renewable” energy will raise the cost of electricity by the cost of a coffee and muffin for each day of the month not once a month. Our increasing costs are being driven by the addition of renewable energy’s overall costs including; spending on transmission lines, hookup costs, backup generation for when the wind doesn’t blow, the export of much of wind’s energy production in the middle of the night to our neighbours at subsidized prices, etc.

That there are health costs, bird and bat deaths which are non-monetary is also a fact that was ignored and shows no recognition for the value of the people and wildlife affected. Increased industrial wind installations will be followed by reduced property values and the subsequent reduced assessments will cause local tax revenue to fall.

They should also have disclosed their interests upfront!  To wit; The ClearSky Advisors report prepared by them for CanWEA and released in the late Spring carried this sentence under their Disclaimer; ClearSky Advisors is an independent research firm that does and seeks to do business with all stakeholders within the industries covered in ClearSky Advisors research.” CanWEA with 400 plus corporate members sure looks like a good target for Mr. Wohlgemut and his company!

In respect to Mr. Weis and the report he prepared for the Pembina Institute it is worth noting the Pembina Institute released its report July 6, 2011 titled: Behind the Switch,Pricing Ontario’s Electricity Options” a 65-page tome and then posted an interview with the author (Mr. Weis) as if to add a media spin to the report.

Additionally on September 5, 2011 Cherise Burda, Ontario Policy Director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the release of the Ontario Liberal Party’s platform:

“The Liberal platform stays a strong course to phase-out coal and create 50,000 jobs with the Green Energy Act, and its commitment to clean transportation will result in cleaner air and even more clean energy jobs — despite these tough economic times. It’s a win-win approach to protecting our environment and ensuring a strong green economy.”

This Liberal platform on page 43 lists Gideon Forman, Executive Director of CAPE as a Dr. which serves to prove the value of their “platform”. To the best of my knowledge Forman is not a Doctor in any sense yet it is CAPE and many others like Pembina that push the fallacy that wind turbines will replace fossil fuels and save thousands of lives.

Charitable institutions should not be picking sides in any electoral campaign but here we have the Pembina Institute doing just that. Pembina presumably feel they are in good company as on July 14, 2011 they released a joint Pembina Institute/David Suzuki Foundation report titled “Is natural gas a climate change solution for Canada?” The short answer they came up with is; “no” as one would expect and the conclusions are; we should “conserve & shift to renewables”

David Suzuki is on record as saying that gas generated electricity is bad for our health as he notes on his website

“Possibly more troubling are the emissions of fine particulates from gas-fired power plants. Though particulate emissions are about ten per cent of those produced by coal power, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 77 per cent of particulates from natural gas plants are dangerously small. These fine particulates have the greatest impact on human health because they by-pass our bodies’ natural respiratory filters and end up deep in the lungs. In fact, many studies have found no safe limit for exposure to these substances.”

Suzuki is also on record as supporting the Liberals despite his Foundation also being a “charitable” institution.

It seems ironic that the David Suzuki Foundation and Pembina by association and via this editorial, support industrial wind turbines which need to be backed up by gas generation.

One can clearly see the reason why ClearSkys are supportive based on their “Disclaimer” highlighted above but what about Pembina?

The Pembina Foundation for Environment Research & Education is listed on the Canada Revenue Agency as a “charitable” institution and in reviewing their 2010 year end filings with the CRA it becomes clear why they want the largesse to continue.

Pembina show gross revenue of $1.8 million but only $140K (7.6%) of that came from actual “donations”. Some of their money came from government ($64K) but the bulk of their revenue ($1.3 million) came from “other charities”. I managed to track some of these funds down at the Oak Foundation (a huge fund headquartered in Geneva that have handed out over $100 million in grants annually for 2009 and 2010) who show on their 2010 annual report that they awarded Pembina US $484K. Where the other $800K came from is a question for Mr Weis?

The CRA filings indicate they spent most of what they received in 2010 but don’t disclose where it went. It doesn’t show up under the “compensation” heading as the CRA filing discloses only one (1) full time employee who received compensation of $52K. Pembina’s website under staff  lists 52 names so one has to wonder, who is paying these people?

What Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers really need to know is how much the Green Energy Act and the FIT and MicroFIT programs will really cost and we need “facts” that are fully disclosed and present both sides of the picture. It is clearly time for Pembina to come clean on the costs of what they propose and on how and who pay their staff.

Parker Gallant,
September 10, 2011

  1. […] wind turbines delivered to the grid when not needed to meet demand. CanWEA also cite a report from Pembina which co-incidentally was the former employer of Robert Hornung. Mr. Hornung is the current […]

  2. […] also cite a report from Pembina which co-incidentally was the former employer of Robert Hornung. Mr. Hornung is the current […]

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