Poor Brad Duguid. Three days into his new job as Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and he’s stuck with the blame for the $10 billion bill that his predecessor George Smitherman left behind for Ontario electricity ratepayers.

When government and industry talk about green energy, what they mean by green is the green stuff that will be going into the pockets of special corporate and government interests.

In a dramatic move yesterday, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty struck a green electricity deal — allegedly the biggest of its kind in the world — that will transmit a subsidy worth as much as $10-billion into the hands of a Korean state enterprise and corporate giant Samsung.

Green economics is a wonderful thing, except for consumers.

The subsidy means that over the next 25 years Ontario electricity users will pay 50% more for the wind and solar electricity produced under the Samsung deal than they would buying the same power from conventional sources. In return for the subsidy, the only thing the average consumer will receive is a warm and fuzzy feeling for having saved the planet from global warming.

With a start like this, it is going to be hard to live up to his name and “do good” for Ontarians.

But not to worry, the Toronto Star is in your corner spouting nonsense.

What’s not to like about a $7 billion investment that will bring four new manufacturing plants and 16,000 jobs to Ontario, as well as supplying 2,500 megawatts of clean energy?

Plenty, according to the provincial opposition parties.

The Conservatives dumped all over the agreement signed yesterday between the Ontario government and a Korean consortium that includes the giant Samsung corporation. They called it a “sweetheart deal” and “a massive multi-billion-dollar giveaway to a foreign-based conglomerate.” The New Democrats described it as a “backroom deal.” The Greens said it was “shocking.”

If this reaction sounds overwrought, it is. As Premier Dalton McGuinty pointed out yesterday, the Samsung agreement is similar to past deals that lured foreign investors to Ontario and away from competing American jurisdictions. As an example, he cited the subsidy to Toyota to put an auto assembly plant in Woodstock.

The aim, said McGuinty, is to make Ontario “the place to be for green energy manufacturing in North America,” and the Samsung deal provides the “critical mass” to achieve that goal.

The horse has already left the barn on this one. Such reactive,  interventionist, industrial policy is doomed to fail.  Assembling wind turbines and solar panels using foreign technology is not the way to prosperity. This is simply bad public policy.

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