Jamie Baillie’s unforced error?

I’m a friend and admirer of Jamie Baillie from long before he ran for office, but his recent foray into energy policy makes me nervous. Granted, the climate of public (and media) hostility to Nova Scotia Power makes the utility an almost irresistible target for politicians aiming at the premier’s office, but Baillie’s demand for easing up on renewable energy targets sounds to me like a short-term anaesthetic for long-term pain.

The Pictou Bee, an NDP-flavored blog, sees it the same way, calling it Baillie’s “unforced error.”

[O]ddly, Jamie Baillie and his Conservatives have decided that attacking renewable energy is good politics (if not good policy). They underestimate Nova Scotians interest in getting off coal, and they underestimate their core demographic’s interest in good green jobs.

The Bee accuses Baillie of taking the phrase “bite the bullet” out of context from a government energy plan, then adds:

Now, Nova Scotians don’t have a lot of love for Nova Scotia Power. It was run into the ground by the Liberals and then privatized by the Conservatives. Both were mistakes. But the rate increases the UARB is awarding to NSPI actually have to do with the rising price of coal – the very thing the NDP is looking to move Nova Scotia off.

This game the Conservatives are playing wins them no votes. Nova Scotians are not rubes. They will choose a party that moves Nova Scotia forward, not one that runs into the past.

Not sure about the last point. Baillie’s attack on renewable energy targets is not admirable, but it could find traction with irrationally NSP-hostile voters.

[Disclosure: I have been friends with Jamie Baillie for years, and I have done contract work, mostly writing, for NS Power and the NS Dept. of Energy.]
H/T: May Zhang