Ontario Canada and Wind Turbine Mistakes

The referenced article does not tell the whole story - perhaps to no surprise, as it is convoluted enough.  First up, review that Ontario was a big builder of nuclear power plants, using a technology uniquely developed in Canada using deuterium, or "heavy water," as the moderator fluid medium.  Those reactors worked remarkably well, and provided steady, cheap power, to amplify the large Canadian share of Niagara Falls hydropower.  

Ontario also had some legacy coal plants, including a large plant at I think Nanticoke, on the North Shore of Lake Erie, with the coal brought in by ship.  That was cheap to operate, but produced air pollution. So it got shut down by the Liberals.  Next up, the expanding industrial and population base in greater Toronto pushed for the building of large gas plants for electricity production, and that need became acute once the nuke plants started going off-line for contemplated rebuilding.  Then the Province cancelled at least one of the very large gas plants at the last minute, causing another billion-dollar-plus hole in the budget, at the pushing of the "greenies," who think that gas is a fossil fuel and thus will cause the end of mankind and all life on earth. 

Meanwhile the greenies pushed Industrial Wind, and a vast number of gigantic propellers  (wrongly described as "turbines," which they are not) to be constructed by syndicates, complete with tax credits and very high tie-in rates, that left the customers (the "ratepayers")  with escalating power bills.  Due to the peculiarities of the Power Buy Rules, the wind power had to be bought first, so if there was a good supply of wind into the system, then the nuke plants went off-line.  The problem with this is that doing that rapidly poisons the fuel core, and it takes as much as three days for the nuke poison elements to decay, and allow the nuke to start up again.  So you ended up with this unstable production platform unable to meet demand, thus rapidly escalating rates, and buys of power from outside to make up for the nukes being down.

Then Ontario got involved in a massively expensive exercise to rebuild the older nuke plants, which project absorbed vast billions, and some of those ended up abandoned, again with vast sunk costs, all piling onto the ratepayers.  The result of that was the departure of high power users in industry, leaving industrial plants abandoned in the countryside, workers left to fend for themselves, and the machinery removed to the USA.  Well, if your industry goes, and the workforce is drawing government unemployment payments, it does not take long for everything to collapse. Meanwhile without all that industry the sunk costs can only be recovered from the civilians, and in the countryside you also have these stranded costs, so rural folks with a small cottage and a refrigerator and some lights end up paying $800/month for their power.  And that is unpayable for old folks on pension, so they get cut off and you have thousands of elderly with NO power, just as you have in Siberia. And that is called "Progress" in Ontario-speak. 

From this complete shambles rose the Conservative Party, a/k/a/ "the Tories." who totally decimated the reigning Liberals, to the point that the majority-government Liberals no longer exist as a Party, and are down to just five seats in the Legislature  (from some 131).  It is the most spectacular political destruction and rout in memory.  All on a single issue - the electricity mess, brought to you by your favorite Greenies.  Lesson: watch out for those people, they are technically and financially illiterate, have no idea what they are doing, and will utterly wreck everything in their zeal to save the planet.  Which they are not going to do with their program, anyway.  What a mess. 

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14 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Ontarians now suffering from forcing wind turbines on the consumers. https://climatechangedispatch.com/ontario-green-act-disaster/

"It is a challenge to give a comprehensive account of its many follies.

A saga that started in 2009 under then Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty, received a full and smothering embrace by his successor, Kathleen Wynne, that subsidized at dizzying multiples the electricity provided by the most inefficient sources, put the small towns and outlying cities of the province under a green iron fist, stimulated both the construction of gas plants and their subsequent abrupt election-inspired cancellation, produced power it had to give away or pay other jurisdictions to take, castrated small businesses, burdened the most impoverished of the province with a choice between power and bread, and then precipitated the greatest slaughter of the Liberal Party of Ontario in modern-day history, cannot be encompassed in a column."

That is one of the most damning paragraphs ever written, I think.  Simply, WOW!

When I was a kid electricity was so cheep that people did not even think about it.  It was like paying for a pizza every month, no big deal.  What changed exactly?  Is there more to it than the green movement?  Did governments realize they had a cash cow that they weren't fully milking and start to rob people via higher electric bills?  Can anyone explain the turning point, as it were?

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1 hour ago, Dan Warnick said:

Did governments realize they had a cash cow that they weren't fully milking and start to rob people via higher electric bills?  Can anyone explain the turning point, as it were? 

Maybe not in so many words, but effectively yes.  Politicians discovered they could win votes by selling "green" agendas.  Green agendas milked the economy, funneling that money to green industries and politicians.  Eventually, milking the economy weakened it to the point where they couldn't pay off a majority of the population, and the scheme collapsed.  That's how democracy works. 

Incidentally, that's also how Trump got elected.  Trump's behavior is a reflection of how pissed off his voter base is over the destruction of their livelihoods.  We can argue about the efficacy of his policies, but the underlying truth is that his voters have legitimate gripes.  Without the insensitivity and active hostility of Obama's policies, there would be no President Trump. 

The moral of the story is that, if we want policies to stick, those policies must actually help people.  We must be willing to listen, learn, and negotiate compromises that address everyone's needs - not just our pet agenda.  I thought this was obvious until I had the following exchange with an intelligent, university student at a prestigious institution:
 

Liberal student: Does Trump care about liberals? (said in a context and with a tone indicating that she just couldn't understand why Trump didn't appear to represent all Americans).

Me:  Is there anything Trump could do that would cause you to vote for him?

Liberal Student:  No

Me: Then he doesn't care about you; that's the cost of your intransigence.  Also, remember that Obama spent eight years intentionally impoverishing conservative voters.  Those voters watched their families and communities suffer, and in the depths of their hearts they're righteously furious.  They hired Trump to defend their homes and families against all threats, foreign and domestic, and liberals have firmly established themselves as enemies.  Y'all's insensitivity created the monster that is President Trump, and now you must suffer him for a time.  If we're lucky, things will go back to normal once his voters have their pound of flesh. 

Liberal Student: *Stunned silence*

 

In the future, I may shorten my response to such questions to, "Is that not how democracy works?"  Or maybe I should go with an incredulous, "You didn't see that coming?"  What do y'all think? 

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16 minutes ago, mthebold said:

In the future, I may shorten my response to such questions to, "Is that not how democracy works?"  Or maybe I should go with an incredulous, "You didn't see that coming?"  What do y'all think? 

You just keep on doing what you're doing.  It's just fine by me.

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3 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

"It is a challenge to give a comprehensive account of its many follies.

A saga that started in 2009 under then Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty, received a full and smothering embrace by his successor, Kathleen Wynne, that subsidized at dizzying multiples the electricity provided by the most inefficient sources, put the small towns and outlying cities of the province under a green iron fist, stimulated both the construction of gas plants and their subsequent abrupt election-inspired cancellation, produced power it had to give away or pay other jurisdictions to take, castrated small businesses, burdened the most impoverished of the province with a choice between power and bread, and then precipitated the greatest slaughter of the Liberal Party of Ontario in modern-day history, cannot be encompassed in a column."

That is one of the most damning paragraphs ever written, I think.  Simply, WOW!

When I was a kid electricity was so cheep that people did not even think about it.  It was like paying for a pizza every month, no big deal.  What changed exactly?  Is there more to it than the green movement?  Did governments realize they had a cash cow that they weren't fully milking and start to rob people via higher electric bills?  Can anyone explain the turning point, as it were?

And what @Walter Brecker did I quote or say to score your downvote?  Rather rude by itself with no explanation, don't you think?

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And yet, even with the obvious examples like this, California keeps on trying to go completely green. I don't see completely green feasible until our technology with stored power gets a LOT better. That battery in Australia? I understand it will power the grid for about twelve minutes? Well that'll be a great help, for twelve minutes....lol, then its back to the polluting energy sources to carry through and keep supplying steady, reliable power for everyone. 

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54 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

And what @Walter Brecker did I quote or say to score your downvote?  Rather rude by itself with no explanation, don't you think?

A scan of Mr. Brecker's involvement on Oilprice shows onluy four downvotes.  Nothing else.  No postings. Nothing. 

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5 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

A scan of Mr. Brecker's involvement on Oilprice shows onluy four downvotes.  Nothing else.  No postings. Nothing. 

Maybe he just needs a big green hug! Don't know what else it could be.  What were his other downvotes related to?

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32 minutes ago, SERWIN said:

And yet, even with the obvious examples like this, California keeps on trying to go completely green. I don't see completely green feasible until our technology with stored power gets a LOT better. That battery in Australia? I understand it will power the grid for about twelve minutes? Well that'll be a great help, for twelve minutes....lol, then its back to the polluting energy sources to carry through and keep supplying steady, reliable power for everyone. 

Not really.  California, if it wanted to, has two potential sources of meeting such power shortfalls.  One is obvious:  new nuclear plants, which, if built, would provide stable, reliable power in quantity.  The other is an investment in high-mountain water retention projects, which would have the potential of releasing hydropower on demand.  I don't see California doing either, with the result that industry will continue to flee California, leaving behind the bills for the Greenies' fascination with so-called "Green energy," which in reality is unstable, highly variable, and exceedingly expensive industrial wind and industrial solar installations.  As there is no plausible way to pay for those other than to sock it to the consumer ratepayers, so that is what gets done.  

California's follies include the complete destruction of Owens Lake, with its contributions to the water table and as a long-established stop-over for migratory fowl. Commandeering of resources for their voter base, wrapped in the mantle of righteous sanctimony, is a long-standing California tradition.  Instead of building complementary infrastructure to support the population that has moved in to what is in essence an arid dustbowl, California simply rapes and pillages the countryside, including neighboring States, all for their own enrichment.  Plunder eventually runs out, and you are left with rock and desert.  Not a pleasant prospect, to be sure. 

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10 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

Maybe he just needs a big green hug! Don't know what else it could be.  What were his other downvotes related to?

They were three consecutive downvotes on posts I had made on one issue, all recorded within three minutes.  So you are in good company. We have both incurred Mr. Brecker's opprobrium.  Oh, well.

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1 hour ago, mthebold said:

Incidentally, that's also how Trump got elected.  Trump's behavior is a reflection of how pissed off his voter base is over the destruction of their livelihoods.  We can argue about the efficacy of his policies, but the underlying truth is that his voters have legitimate gripes.  Without the insensitivity and active hostility of Obama's policies, there would be no President Trump. 

 

Although generally true, it is not the whole picture.  Remember that the hollowing-out of the US manufacturing base, largely the area in the interior, the "Great Heartland" including Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois, started with the Clinton Administration. Bill Clinton probably did more to wreck America than any other President in history.  This reality is not much appreciated by the public and neither by, so far, most historians.  Clinton put the USA on the path of trade deficits, industrial relocation, chronic structural manufacturing unemployment, and relative wage-level collapse.  The impoverishment started with NAFTA and parallel ideas.

What the Clintons do not grasp is that the orthodox economic ideas on trade, that there is this "comparative advantage" to exploit, evaporates when coupled with low-wage economies.  If Mexico is paying a dollar a day and the US factory worker is earning $24/hour, then there is no comparative advantage, there is an absolute advantage, and there is nothing that the US can obtain in return to provide an advantage to US buyers.  Hillary Clinton inherited these ideas (NAFTA-type trade packages, including the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership) from her husband and his advisors, and of course Obama was an acolyte to that group. Absolute advantages can also be artificially obtained by sinking the currency, which is the case in Canada selling dimensional sawn softwood lumber to the US.  And that is also the case with Canadian steel. Now you can take the attitude that, hey, if we can buy our inputs cheaply and hand over pieces of paper with pictures of dead Presidents on them in exchange, we are laughing, but the reality is that, some day, the holders of those pieces of paper are going to demand value, which they can do by (for example) purchasing US farmlands, oilfields, and manufacturing corporations.  And that seems to be the result of the massive deficit trade relationship with China.  

The can be no doubt that Hillary Clinton would have continued those policies, which in my view were destructive, and carried horrendous human costs in the Heartland.  Clinton did not care, or at least did not focus on the hurt, as it did not affect her personally. This is a woman who, when she moved out of the White House with her husband, looted several hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer property, specifically various goods and furnishings including sofas and artwork.  It is that attitude of arrogant entitlement that so enrages ordinary folks (including me).  Mr. Trump may be both arrogant and entitled in attitude, but at least he is not stealing the furniture. 

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7 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Incidentally, that's also how Trump got elected.  Trump's behavior is a reflection of how pissed off his voter base is over the destruction of their livelihoods.  We can argue about the efficacy of his policies, but the underlying truth is that his voters have legitimate gripes.  Without the insensitivity and active hostility of Obama's policies, there would be no President Trump. 

And it is about time that someone in our government stood up and b****slapped the rest of the world about the inequitable trade deals that we are expected to shoulder. Trudeau actually said they were not going to enter into an agreement that isn't favorable for Canada? Well, we've been getting the shaft from just about everyone on the planet it seems, and to top that type of insult off we are expected to be the welfare department for them as well. Slap us, bite, kicking us about every little issue, but when the checks come out, they suddenly love us, even if for only a few seconds. I couldn't imagine how bad it would be right now if Hilliary had been elected.....:(

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33 minutes ago, SERWIN said:

And it is about time that someone in our government stood up and b****slapped the rest of the world

Serwin, you quoted me as making a statement.  I did not; I was quoting what Mthebold had stated.  See if you can fix the transcript.  Cheers.

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On 9/28/2018 at 3:22 PM, Jan van Eck said:

Not really.  California, if it wanted to, has two potential sources of meeting such power shortfalls.  One is obvious:  new nuclear plants, which, if built, would provide stable, reliable power in quantity.  The other is an investment in high-mountain water retention projects, which would have the potential of releasing hydropower on demand.  I don't see California doing either, with the result that industry will continue to flee California, leaving behind the bills for the Greenies' fascination with so-called "Green energy," which in reality is unstable, highly variable, and exceedingly expensive industrial wind and industrial solar installations.  As there is no plausible way to pay for those other than to sock it to the consumer ratepayers, so that is what gets done.  

California's follies include the complete destruction of Owens Lake, with its contributions to the water table and as a long-established stop-over for migratory fowl. Commandeering of resources for their voter base, wrapped in the mantle of righteous sanctimony, is a long-standing California tradition.  Instead of building complementary infrastructure to support the population that has moved in to what is in essence an arid dustbowl, California simply rapes and pillages the countryside, including neighboring States, all for their own enrichment.  Plunder eventually runs out, and you are left with rock and desert.  Not a pleasant prospect, to be sure. 

Wind and solar would work well, hand in hand with that Hydro. 

Hey - GE have just commercialised a 5.3MW onshore turbine with a two piece blade which means it will be much easier to get these beauties into less accessible locations. Great opportunities to get these big boys on some Vermont ridge-lines replacing those smaller turbines😋

https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1493758/ge-launches-53mw-onshore-turbine

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1 hour ago, NickW said:

Wind and solar would work well, hand in hand with that Hydro. 

Hey - GE have just commercialised a 5.3MW onshore turbine with a two piece blade which means it will be much easier to get these beauties into less accessible locations. Great opportunities to get these big boys on some Vermont ridge-lines replacing those smaller turbines😋

https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1493758/ge-launches-53mw-onshore-turbine

The Governor of Vermont has proclaimed that there are to be no (new) wind machines here.  He will Veto anything that the power commission approves.  So, as a practical matter, that is the end of tearing up the ridgelines with giant bulldozers.  Long overdue, in my opinion. 

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16 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

The Governor of Vermont has proclaimed that there are to be no (new) wind machines here.  He will Veto anything that the power commission approves.  So, as a practical matter, that is the end of tearing up the ridgelines with giant bulldozers.  Long overdue, in my opinion. 

Does he actually have the power to prevent Power companies replacing old turbines with new ones on exisiting sites with planning consents?

Up powering of existing sites is what is largely happening in Europe with 1990's vintage small turbines being removed and replaced with fewer larger output turbines.

This has two benefits - it means no new sites being commissioned and more power from existing ones with less visual clutter.

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1 hour ago, NickW said:

Does he actually have the power to prevent Power companies replacing old turbines with new ones on exisiting sites with planning consents?    Of course he does.  He is the Governor!

Up powering of existing sites is what is largely happening in Europe with 1990's vintage small turbines being removed and replaced with fewer larger output turbines.

This has two benefits - it means no new sites being commissioned and more power from existing ones with less visual clutter.

The problem with so-called up-powering is that it still requires an entire new turbine installation.  First, the tower has to be higher, in order to provide blade clearance from the ground.  Second, the tower has to be much stronger, to support the bigger generator  (all current designs have the generator on the top).  And that means you need a much bigger concrete box to provide the ground anchoring down below.  So you have to bring in the blasting crews, dig out a huge box, bring in the concrete trucks, fill in the box, then bring in the new tower, then the new generator, then a gigantic crane to get the generator on top of the pole, and remember, some of those new poles are now over 400 feet tall; then the blades, and then get all that machinery back down the mountain.  So you have to go build or re-build that access road, make it wider, and re-gravel, all the time wrecking the mountain ridge line.  No, thanks, say the Governor and the people. 

Mountain ridgeline power is basically a failed concept.  It has low power output per year, costs a ton, requires subsidies, and wrecks the mountain.  I have no use for it.  Not when HydroQuebec has a spare 5,600 MW just sitting there, unused.  And they will sell it to you cheap.

Now, to your last point, on more power from existing sites:  that only works if you have the ability to pull the power away.  Remember that these are remote sites, and thus need new cabling to the mains. Another problem is that variable power like that will require synchronous condensers. For a smallish "farm" that condenser will set you back around $25 million.  And the developer will try to push that cost off onto ratepayers. 

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3 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

Now, to your last point, on more power from existing sites:  that only works if you have the ability to pull the power away.  Remember that these are remote sites, and thus need new cabling to the mains. Another problem is that variable power like that will require synchronous condensers. For a smallish "farm" that condenser will set you back around $25 million.  And the developer will try to push that cost off onto ratepayers. 

Maybe a pipeline would be.................better in every conceivable way?

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1 minute ago, Dan Warnick said:

Maybe a pipeline would be.................better in every conceivable way?

Probably, or more hydro from Canada, but the reality here is that the irrational, hysterical women go out there screeching and paralyze just about everything except new social programs. So, nothing gets done. 

A natural gas line extension was built by the local distributor, to get gas down to some large industrial plants 20 miles away.  A part of the line ran through a swamp that is part of a nature reserve or park.  It was laid 4 feet deep; supposed to be 6 feet deep.  Now the hysterical want the gas company to dismantle the pipe, pull it out, lay it six feet deep, and re-cover.  Plus pay a big fine.  Amazingly, the Regulators actually listen to these women!  And for bizarre reasons I have not grasped, it seems all the hysterics all come from women "protesters."   The men don't seem to care if the pipe running through some swamp is four feet deep or six feet deep. Would you care?  Hardly seems interesting. 

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(edited)

34 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

The problem with so-called up-powering is that it still requires an entire new turbine installation.  First, the tower has to be higher, in order to provide blade clearance from the ground.  Second, the tower has to be much stronger, to support the bigger generator  (all current designs have the generator on the top).  And that means you need a much bigger concrete box to provide the ground anchoring down below.  So you have to bring in the blasting crews, dig out a huge box, bring in the concrete trucks, fill in the box, then bring in the new tower, then the new generator, then a gigantic crane to get the generator on top of the pole, and remember, some of those new poles are now over 400 feet tall; then the blades, and then get all that machinery back down the mountain.  So you have to go build or re-build that access road, make it wider, and re-gravel, all the time wrecking the mountain ridge line.  No, thanks, say the Governor and the people. 

Mountain ridgeline power is basically a failed concept.  It has low power output per year, costs a ton, requires subsidies, and wrecks the mountain.  I have no use for it.  Not when HydroQuebec has a spare 5,600 MW just sitting there, unused.  And they will sell it to you cheap.

Now, to your last point, on more power from existing sites:  that only works if you have the ability to pull the power away.  Remember that these are remote sites, and thus need new cabling to the mains. Another problem is that variable power like that will require synchronous condensers. For a smallish "farm" that condenser will set you back around $25 million.  And the developer will try to push that cost off onto ratepayers. 

A governors powers are not absolute. I assume Vermont's politics are not modelled on Saudi Arabia.

Coincidentally does your protect the Mountain mantra extend to the Coal industry (which I recall you are rather keen on) with their Mountain top removal approach - especially in Appalachia?

Edited by NickW

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36 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

The problem with so-called up-powering is that it still requires an entire new turbine installation.  First, the tower has to be higher, in order to provide blade clearance from the ground.  Second, the tower has to be much stronger, to support the bigger generator  (all current designs have the generator on the top).  And that means you need a much bigger concrete box to provide the ground anchoring down below.  So you have to bring in the blasting crews, dig out a huge box, bring in the concrete trucks, fill in the box, then bring in the new tower, then the new generator, then a gigantic crane to get the generator on top of the pole, and remember, some of those new poles are now over 400 feet tall; then the blades, and then get all that machinery back down the mountain.  So you have to go build or re-build that access road, make it wider, and re-gravel, all the time wrecking the mountain ridge line.  No, thanks, say the Governor and the people. 

Mountain ridgeline power is basically a failed concept.  It has low power output per year, costs a ton, requires subsidies, and wrecks the mountain.  I have no use for it.  Not when HydroQuebec has a spare 5,600 MW just sitting there, unused.  And they will sell it to you cheap. 

Now, to your last point, on more power from existing sites:  that only works if you have the ability to pull the power away.  Remember that these are remote sites, and thus need new cabling to the mains. Another problem is that variable power like that will require synchronous condensers. For a smallish "farm" that condenser will set you back around $25 million.  And the developer will try to push that cost off onto ratepayers. 

Sound slike a good place for EV / PHEV's then. More so the PHEV due to climatic conditions.

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50 minutes ago, NickW said:

A governors powers are not absolute. I assume Vermont's politics are not modelled on Saudi Arabia.

Coincidentally does your protect the Mountain mantra extend to the Coal industry (which I recall you are rather keen on) with their Mountain top removal approach - especially in Appalachia?

Actually, Nick, in Vermont, the Governor's powers are absolute. 

As to mountaintop removal, I view this with horror.  It is an abomination.  That said, my vote doesn't count.  Actually, when it comes to what the coal industry does, I have NO vote.  Cheers.

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1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

Actually, Nick, in Vermont, the Governor's powers are absolute. 

As to mountaintop removal, I view this with horror.  It is an abomination.  That said, my vote doesn't count.  Actually, when it comes to what the coal industry does, I have NO vote.  Cheers.

Land of the free eh!

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1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

Actually, Nick, in Vermont, the Governor's powers are absolute. 

As to mountaintop removal, I view this with horror.  It is an abomination.  That said, my vote doesn't count.  Actually, when it comes to what the coal industry does, I have NO vote.  Cheers.

Meanwhile in the real World

https://ballotpedia.org/Governor_of_Vermont

Duties. 

The Governor of Vermont is charged to uphold and execute all laws, expedite legislative business as needed (§ 20).

According to the state constitution, the governor has limited powers to grant pardons and reprieves and the power to call special sessions of the Vermont General Assembly when necessary (§ 20).

The governor is the commander-in-chief of the naval and militia forces, but may directly command those forced unless permitted to do so by the Vermont State Senate (§ 20).

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Commissioning all officers of the state (§ 20)
  • Making all appointments not otherwise provided for and making interim appointments to all vacant offices until the legal procedure for filling the office is performed (§ 20)
  • Granting reprieves in all cases except treason and granting pardons in all cases except impeachment (§ 200
  • Granting licenses as permitted by law (§ 20)
  • Laying embargoes for up to 30 days when the legislature is in recess (§ 20)
  • Commissioning a Secretary of Military and Civil Affairs at her pleasure. Such an officer serves at the governor's pleasure (§ 21)
  • Sealing and signing all commissions made by the state of Vermont (§ 22)
  • Keeping and using "The Great Seal of the State of Vermont" (§ 22)

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