Nickel a KWH

Poor, stunned, Scheer really had no clue what to do during the election. Leave aside the abortion and the gay marriage hit jobs, the poor bugger had no counter for the climate hysteria whipped up by Trudeau, McKenna, Greta and Lizzie May. He lacked the courage to actually take on the bogus, not ready for policy, “science” which underlies the “climate emergency” and he really had no coherent, simply stated, policy of his own. Now a decade of non-stop climate hysteria with very little push back has left us in the invidious position that to win votes a party has to hew to climate orthodoxy.

Sigh.

However, there is nothing which demands that a political party accept orthodoxy when it comes to addressing the much hyped emergency. So here is a suggestion for the Conservatives, rather than debating the finer points of a pointless carbon tax or a cap and trade disaster or how many windmills will fit on the head of a pin, why not come out with a positive program which treats reducing carbon emissions as a happy by-product.

Canada has an abundance of hydro electric power. In BC, if you ignore the emissions costs of the components of most electric vehicles, you can actually drive essentially emissions-free all the way back to the generation of the electricity. We have that much hydro and are building more.

Quebec is a hydropower powerhouse as well. The problem is the grid and the distances involved in getting power to the people.

The solution to that problem is nuclear. A few, relatively small scale, nuclear plants of modern design and safety, could mean cheap, abundant, baseload power was available throughout Canada and in Canada’s North. Add a nuclear station at Fort McMurray and you radically reduce the emissions of that key energy asset.

But for the Conservatives to sell the program they need a slogan, I would try “Nickel a kilowatt hour” but, “Nickel a kilowatt” is snappier if less accurate, (though more accurate than labelling carbon dioxide “carbon”).

Electricity so cheap you would be foolish not to run your car on it and heat your house with it. Instead of raising energy prices with punitive taxes to reduce demand for “dirty” energy, why not drop the price of clean energy to essentially zero and see the demand soar as people voluntarily switch to so called cleaner alternatives.

Canada has lots of uranium. Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin is lousy with the stuff. We have significant expertise in building small, safe, nuclear reactors. Along with the reactors we’d also look at developing more hydro power and building, if not a national grid, then very strong regional grids to meet increased demand.

“Electric Canada” is a positive way to respond to the “climate emergency” and it even has the merit of being useful during the coming, sun driven, cold period which is far more likely than global warming.

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6 thoughts on “Nickel a KWH

  1. John Cross says:

    First, I am actually in favour of a well regulated nuclear industry. However I am not entirely convinced that we can actually have an industry well enough regulated. The problem is that the potential for damage is so large that it changes the way a normal business operates. For example, if a regular factory has a catastrophe and a couple of people die and some property is damaged and this is all handled through standard tort or similar practices. Nuclear has the potential for much more damage. Imagine what the effect of a radioactive cloud drifting over Vancouver would be. (And we can debate the merits of heavy water moderated reactors, but my point remains).

    Second, since you brought it up Jay, what financial theory do you feel is strong enough to base policy on?

  2. Dwayne says:

    Canada has decades of experience running reactors, and a proven product in the CANDU reactors. No reason not to do this, other than an irrational fear that “something could happen”. Ontario has had functioning reactors in operation for since the 60s, and I don’t recall seeing one reported incident. If that isn’t good enough, I don’t know what is.

    True zero carbon emission energy, just waiting to be exploited.

    • John Cross says:

      Dwayne, unfortunately engineering is littered with “irrational fears” that turn out to be true. For example the Fukushima plant was built in the 60’s based on the accepted scientific knowledge at the time and had a good safety record.

      So, a CANDU reactor that is built well, operated well and maintained well is not a guaranteed risk free system. The question is whether the risk is acceptable. If it is maintained well and operated well then it may be an acceptable risk when balanced against accidents that can mess with the human gene pool. Unfortunately in my experience when money gets tight maintenance is one of the first things to go. And if power was needed it would be tempting for the operators to dial the system up to 11. Even something as simple as an upgrade in the operating system can lead to problems.

      So as I said, a little extra caution is probably in order. For me, that would be a regulatory watchdog with real teeth and a mean attitude.

  3. Jay Currie says:

    John, nukes have a remarkable safety record. I share your concern about a cloud of radioactivity drifting over Vancouver, but Canadian reactors have a fantastic safety record so I am not all that worried.

    (On financial theory, it would be lovely to have one which actually worked. Real world, finance ministers and central bankers are pretty much making it up as they go along. This is unlikely to turn out all that well. But we seem to do OK running deficits and printing money to cover them. My own sense is that this will lead to a systemic failure and that we should be cutting deficits and paying down debt, but how boring is that? The current financial policy, rather than theory, in Canada and the US is growing employment and, to a degree, GDP. That seems to be popular even if it is wrong. But it is a very good and very real question which I might examine at length in another post.

    Dwayne, my point exactly. We are quite good at reactors and building a bunch of them could drive down energy prices and, happily for the greenies, clear the devil CO2 as a byproduct. What’s not to like?

    • John Cross says:

      A little bit of a cop out Jay. You want to delay any policy on global warming until all the details are nailed down yet you are happy to have financial policy made with little to no theory what-so-ever. Fair enough, but lets knock off any discussion about how the theory of AGW is not developed enough for policy.

  4. […] a real energy policy with the objective of reducing families’ energy costs would be a real differentiator. Taking a harder line on illegal immigration and fraudulent refugee […]

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