EDMONTON, AB: The NDP government’s ideological decision to renege on its contractual obligations with Alberta power companies will cost Albertans more than $2 billion over the next four years, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Last year, the NDP government incompetently violated its contractual obligations with Alberta energy generators resulting in the mass cancellation and return of these contracts to the arms-length Balancing Pool. At the time, the estimated cost for these contract cancellations was $600 million, but in the budget released last March, the projected cost had skyrocketed to $2.2 billion. Now, the government is borrowing billions of dollars to cover its losses.
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said the NDP government broke a healthy and competitive electricity market, and now Alberta taxpayers are feeling the pain.
“In just two years, this NDP government has devastated our power system by implementing an onslaught of bad policies on our power providers,” Jean said. “In the process, they’ve damaged every small business, farm, oil and gas company and household who will be left paying the bill for these costly mistakes through higher power bills, higher taxes and billions more in provincial debt.”
Wildrose Shadow Electricity and Renewables Minister Don MacIntyre said all of this raises questions about whether or not the Balancing Pool is still operating independently of the government and in the best interest of Albertans.
“Last session, this government bulldozed a Bill through the House allowing for unlimited spending by the Balancing Pool, and now we’ve seen cost estimates quadruple,” MacIntyre said. “This, along with FOIPs obtained by Wildrose, suggest the Balancing Pool is no longer operating at an arms-length from the government or in Albertans’ best interests.”
MacIntyre noted the government is currently being investigated by the Auditor General under suspicion that the Balancing Pool’s arms-length mandate has been compromised.