Lawrence Solomon: Northern Ontario’s gain may come at Southern Ontario’s pain

(February 22, 2011) Energy Probe executive director Lawrence Solomon writes in today’s Financial Post about how politically correct green power projects could kill a multi-billion dollar mining development.

Cliffs Natural Resources, one of North America’s largest miners, wants to make an $800-million investment in Northern Ontario and Premier Dalton McGuinty, with an election expected later this year, wants to clinch a deal for the 500 jobs that would result.

Only one problem: McGuinty is also attached to green power and the soaring electricity rates that it causes – a deal breaker for Cliffs. In Quebec and Manitoba, Cliffs explains, it could get power for its project – a 300-MW ferrochrome smelter — at half the cost or less.

To keep Cliffs’ smelter in Northern Ontario, McGuinty is negotiating ways to give the mining giant relief. Only one problem: All of the options on the table would be especially burdensome for southern Ontario voters.

One option reported to be under discussion would see a portion of the provincial grid hived off to create an industrial north zone. The south zone would be treated more as a green zone, to have the province’s politically correct southern voters bear the lion’s share of the costly “smart-grid” additions to the grid. Smart-grid additions have no economic justification – they merely support large-scale wind and solar generation, which also have no economic justification. Cliffs understandably doesn’t want to bear the burden of supporting these so-called green projects, which hold no benefit for an industry that requires reliable power. Other options involve various subsidy programs, such as guaranteed lower rates for the smelter, paid for by higher rates for southerners.

The smelter is needed to meet China’s soaring demand for ferrochrome, the component of stainless steel that gives it a chrome-like appearance and makes it corrosion-resistant. The smelter would form part of a larger project that would first process chromite ore from Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, a mineral-rich wilderness that is thought to contain commercial quantities of platinum, palladium, nickel, copper and diamonds as well as having the continent’s largest deposit of chromite ore. The chromite ore would then be transported to the smelter by road and rail in a mining-transportation-smelting project involving 1300 jobs and an ultimate investment of $2-billion to $3-billion.
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of
Energy Probe and the author of The Deniers.


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3 Responses to Lawrence Solomon: Northern Ontario’s gain may come at Southern Ontario’s pain

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Lawrence Solomon: Northern Ontario’s gain may come at Southern Ontario’s pain | Energy Probe --

  2. We, especially as a satelite of the USA, are in the most severe economic recession in almost
    100 years.
    We already have more than enough generating capacity in Ontario.
    Wind turbines and solar ,due to their miniscule output and intermittent nature, fail at the conceptual level. If anyone is incapable of grasping that, then the Euopean experience proves it.
    How then can it possibly be in the public interest to spend 20 billion dollars in order to double the cost of basic power?
    If our government is clearly working against their own constituents, then who are they working for?
    The “Green Party” shares these qualities with Comunism. It is an international movement.
    It is an intellectual constuct of arrogant elitists. It’s goal is to irriversibly replace our values, our economic system, our “rights” to controll our properties and neighborhoods and the content and focus of our educational and leagal systems. In short it is a malignant cult and
    in my opinion, a real threat to everything we’ve built up and fought for since Magna Carta.
    WAKE UP !

  3. Sean Holt says:

    Obviously Jack your government is working for industry! Specifically CHINESE INDUSTRY!

    Unfortunately, they [government] are not collectively intelligent enough to realize they have been and are being royally HAD!

    First, The Green Energy Act Alliance bribed curious George Smitherman into believing their “green energy, green jobs” fantasy mostly produced in China, then China convinced Dalton to not only educate her citizens here for FREE on our dime, but now to subsidize the mining and refining of OUR resources for her [China’s] use!

    We send our jobs and resources to China, then we pay to educate her citizens then we heavily subsidize her green energy tech we don’t need.

    So… How does ANY of this help Ontario’s economy or environment?

    Short answer to the long question: IT DOESN’T!

    WAKE UP indeed!

    We’re screwed!

    Sean Holt.

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