Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Where is the Proof?

by Joe Anglin
In the 2009 Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO) 10-year plan, the AESO determined that $16.6 billion dollars of transmission upgrades are required over the next ten years: $12.1 billion of the $16.6 billion is identified as being critically needed. This is a staggering number considering the current net worth of Alberta’s electricity transmission system is approximately $2.1 billion.

Less than half of the $12.1 billion has already been approved for construction without the aid of any cost benefit analysis or any public scrutiny. This is because a new law passed last December eliminate the public’s right to question the need for these transmission lines or question the expenditures required to build the lines.

Alberta’s electricity system is currently worth $2.1 billion and AESO is recommending an 800% increase. Where is the proof that upgrades of this magnitude are needed? AESO has determined that a 600% increase is critically needed. This is not logical! No one is predicting that Alberta’s economy is going to grow 800% or 600% over the next decade. So how is AESO justifying their claim that the electricity system needs to be upgraded by 800%, or that a 600% increase should be exempt from public scrutiny?

The public is paying for these transmission lines, and when the lines are built private companies will own the transmission lines. As long as the transmission lines are determined critical, the public will not be allowed to question the need for the projects. The public needs to wake up before it is too late. Albertans are about to be told that budget cuts to public services are unavoidable, while at the same time the public won’t be given any proof why it must pay billions for transmission lines that only benefits a few large electricity generators.

There is something inherently wrong with this picture!

We do need to build and maintain a reliable transmission system for Alberta’s economy. I have not met a person who disputes this. However, outrageous irresponsible spending is not justifiable under any circumstances. The public requires proof that these expenditures are necessary. It is only fair, the public is paying for this, where is the proof – where is the transparency? Why did this government remove the requirement that the lines had to be for the public’s present and future convenience and need? If the lines are no longer required to be for the public's need, who or what requires the lines? What is this government hiding? Why can’t we see the proof? It is our money!

Joe Anglin
(403) 843-3279

1 comment:

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

The extraction of minerals is fine, but adding value, on site is really suckinh' diesel!

If they are going to successfully exploit, then power needs may rise that high. CME danger should be low, so maybe the kleptocracy are actually leading for once?

Keep at 'em in case they decide to steal too much, once they get greedy!