Jack Gibbons, Chair, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, the “coffee and a donut” guy tells lies
The eco-charities and those who run them such as Jack Gibbons for some reason believe whatever they say should be accepted as the truth. Prior articles noted how Gibbons and his side-kick Angela Bischoff (two of the three staff at OCAA) are running around the province (hope it’s virtual) convincing naïve city and town council members they should pass recommendations slanted to their beliefs. Those councils are to write Premier Doug Ford to tell him to close all of our gas plants and to purchase all the power we need from Hydro Quebec.
One recent announcement from the OCAA website was in respect to the City of Toronto. The OCAA’s website declared: “Last night [March 10, 2021] Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council passed a resolution requesting the Government of Ontario to develop and implement a plan to phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation as soon as possible.”
The OCCA with Gibbons at the helm have in the past vilified coal generation and claimed responsibility (as have many others) for having them shut down while he advocated for gas plants. Gibbons has also pushed (unsuccessfully so far) for closure of Ontario’s nuclear plants but now gas plants are in his headlights so he wants to shut them down. One should assume nuclear will be on his agenda in the future should he be successful in his current endeavours.
When campaigning to close the coal plants Gibbons used a report received from the OMA (Ontario Medical Association) which claimed 1,800 premature deaths in Ontario were caused by air pollution based on a report prepared by a company appearing to be located in Pennsylvania. The OCAA in 2015 issued an 88 page backslapping report on their reputed success and it contains much about Gibbons belief in his wonderous abilities noting: “Gibbons was shocked and delighted by the report’s finding that total coal-plant emissions could be reduced by up to 83% by replacing coal with combined cycle natural gas generation at a cost to the average Ontario residential consumer of $1.86 per month – as Gibbons framed it, the cost of a coffee and a doughnut a month to avoid the enormous health impacts previously outlined by the OMA.”
The outcome of closing the coal plants found Ontario adding wind and solar to the energy mix under the GEA (Green Energy Act). Because of the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar, gas plants were added to the system to ensure Ontarians had electricity when demand peaked. The result was electricity rates more than doubled and the Gibbons “coffee and a doughnut” claim became a daily cost for most ratepayers and for businesses the “coffee and a doughnut” cost became an hourly burden! Had rates climbed by only $1.86 per month we would have been delighted.
Gibbons presumably didn’t notice the increased electricity bills that the rest of the province’s ratepayers were experiencing and one should wonder why? It is very unclear how he earns a living as the OCAA’s charitable status allows one to view their financial statements which show gross revenues of $134,997.00 for their year-end September 30, 2019 and nothing allocated for compensation. One should wonder; who is actually paying Gibbons and his two other staff members?
Another interesting characteristic of Gibbons is his penchant to beat up on anyone who might disagree with his claims and he does this wherever he finds a media outlet willing to publish one of his diatribes. That is evident as the Toronto Star and several of their related newspapers recently published an op-ed penned by him. He beats up on an individual* with a much better understanding of how the energy sector functions in Ontario then he will ever admit to but such is the makeup of an eco-warrior!
Now returning to Toronto City Council’s actual “resolution” it becomes obvious how Gibbons obscures facts much as he does with his past claims. The resolution actually passed by Toronto’s Council was not as OCAA suggested as they ignored the very significant amendments made to the original resolution. Obviously, Gibbons didn’t hesitate to make his usual spurious claim!
The actual motion by Toronto City Council they passed was as follows:
“1 – Motion to Amend Item moved by Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Carried)
1. City Council request the Government of Ontario to develop and implement a plan to phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation as soon as possible to ensure that Toronto has a clear path to achieve our climate action goals, taking into consideration the need to balance the cost to taxpayers, the need to have flexibility of supply and the need to have system reliability during the refurbishment of the Darlington and Bruce nuclear power stations.
2. City Council adopt the following new recommendations:
City Council request the City Manager to report to the Executive Committee by the end of 2021 on the gas-fire-generated electricity used and produced by the City of Toronto, and its agencies and corporations, and on a plan, including financial impacts, of phasing out the use of gas-fire-generated electricity.
City Council request the City Manager to report to the Executive Committee by the end of 2021 on the extra costs that will appear on taxpayers electricity bills as a result of the phase out of gas-fire-generated electricity.
City Council request the City Manager to consult with Toronto Hydro and the Ontario Energy Association on the impacts of phasing out the use of gas-fire generated electricity and report back to City Council through the Executive Committee by the end of 2021.”
As is obvious the “resolution” carries the requirement to have all the FACTS by the end of 2021 not “as soon as possible” as implied by the OCCA! Those facts will surely bring council to the realization; without gas plants “system reliability” will be a pipe dream despite the lies put forth by Gibbons.
It is past the time to call out the eco-warriors who are responsible for severely damaging Ontario’s economy!
*The individual is Ted Gruetzner who spent 10 years with OPG and was a senior officer for four of them.