Wind energy opponents are praising an idea to scrap the province’s deal with Samsung.
Monica Elmes, spokeswoman for Chatham-Kent Wind Action, said she agrees with Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s pledge if his government is elected in October.
“I think it’s good news for all of Ontario’s taxpayers,” she said on Thursday. “It’s a little out of control with our rising electricity costs.”
The deal was signed by Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government and Samsung in January 2010 to provide green energy, with the company to build generating plants and factories.
Elmes expects it will become an election issue.
“I think it has to be,” she said. “People need to realize that our government has to be accountable in its energy policy.”
The group is calling for further studies and a moratorium on all industrial wind development. Elmes said critics of scrapping the agreement need to consider the long-term, noting “it’s better to get out now.”
However, Chatham-Kent Essex Liberal MPP Pat Hoy said there would be serious ramifications if the deal was overturned, likely including demands for compensation.
He also believes it could scare away other companies.
“This is a reckless action,” he said.
Hoy said the agreement is between Samsung and the government, not a political party.
He also said there is a misconception that the province is giving $7 billion, when it is actually the company investing that amount.
“They are in that agreement to create up to 16,000 jobs and 2,500 megawatts of green power,” he said.
Hoy said green energy isn’t responsible for rising electricity costs, but rather much-needed investment in power infrastructure.
He said medical professionals have stated there are no health hazards associated with turbines and noted he also has personal experience.
“(There’s) a wind turbine on my neighbour’s property,” he said. “It is as close to my house as you can legally put it, and it doesn’t bother my wife or I at all.”
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