LETTER: Create employment with green energy retrofits

From reader Michael Jessen

This letter has been sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Two new reports have come to my attention which I wish to share with you both.

The first is by David Hughes, a renowned energy expert, and written for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

In the report, Hughes concludes: “The $12.6 billion the government plans to spend on the construction of TMX (Trans Mountain Expansion) is counterproductive, as it is unlikely to increase the profits of Canadian producers or result in a revenue stream that will both cover construction costs and provide additional funds to reduce emissions in a meaningful timeframe.”

Now I don’t like to be opposed to something if I don’t have a better idea. This is where the second report comes in.

A new analysis by Rewiring America, an energy policy organization, finds that households would benefit financially from a complete switch to clean energy sources such as solar and wind. More than 40 per cent of energy emissions are determined by appliances in and around the home, according to the report, such as heating, electricity, refrigeration and car use.

The report goes on to state that an aggressive push towards 100 per cent renewable energy would save Americans as much as $321 billion in energy costs, while also slashing planet-heating emissions.

I realize this second report refers to American residences, but I know that Canadian homes would benefit greatly from net zero energy retrofits, solar panels, heat pumps, and geothermal heating where applicable.

Doing this type of work on Canadian residences and business buildings would create employment in local communities, increase government tax revenues, and reduce our country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

I urge you both to champion these report’s recommendations, scrap the proposed $12.6-billion expenditure on TMX and act to reduce energy demand in our country, decrease GHG emissions and invest in the robustness of Canadian communities during this pandemic-caused economic rebuild.

Michael Jessen