submitted 1 month ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

When Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith publically decried an independent regulator's decision to force a fossil fuel giant to pay for new household gas connections, he argued it would drive up the cost of new homes and delay construction. But internally, senior officials in Premier Doug Ford’s office noted the decision would create a “magnitude” of costs for Enbridge Gas and developers, internal emails reveal.

Officials made the observations in late December, hours before the government announced an unprecedented decision to overrule the Ontario Energy Board. The intervention came soon after the independent energy regulator ordered Enbridge Gas on Dec. 21 to stop passing down the costs of new natural gas connections to homeowners on their monthly bills.

In a 147-page decision, the board told the fossil fuel giant that, starting in January 2025, it would have to ask developers to pay these costs in full and upfront or risk paying it themselves. The board considered how climate change is forcing an energy transition that will likely make natural gas useless and financially unviable, or “a stranded asset.” Despite its name, natural gas is a significant contributor to the climate crisis, as it is made up mostly of methane, a heat-trapping chemical compound and powerful greenhouse gas.

But internal records released through freedom of information legislation to Environmental Defence, an advocacy group, and shared with The Narwhal, reveal how high-ranking staff in Ford and Smith’s offices, as well as the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, discussed a public relations strategy around overriding the regulator’s decision with legislation that would ultimately put homeowners on the hook for the costs.

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 1 month ago

Just Drug Fraud looking out for his rich buddy's interests.


[-] [email protected] 8 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Yet another example of a government more interested in the profits of a company than in the welfare of its citizens or their future.

Yes, this decision could add costs to development of houses. Guess what - it could also drastically reduce them, if new development forgoes ANY enbridge, saving time on utility install, plus the installation of the natural gas lines into the house.

Another great journalistic article from the Narwhal.

EDIT: I wasn't going to add this, but the OEB actually examined enbridge's cost and found that the cost to developers is minimal.

this post was submitted on 19 Apr 2024
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