Document Newly Obtained Through FOIP Shows Knowledge of Key PPA Clauses in September 2015

EDMONTON, AB: A document newly obtained by Wildrose through the FOIP process shows that bureaucrats within the Environment Department should have been aware of the implications of a change in law to Power Purchase Arrangements (PPAs) as early as September 2015, or well before the NDP government had claimed previously, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.

The briefing note, prepared by the Environment Ministry for the Climate Change Advisory Panel, specifically mentions Alberta Regulation (AR 175/2000), which includes the interpretation of the change in law provision contained in the PPAs. The government has argued that this regulation was not published as part of a secret backroom deal with Enron, to hide the “Enron Clause.” Article 4.3(j) is the clause that has been a point of contention about when the Ministers of Environment and Energy first became aware of the implications of changing the law related to Specified Gas Emitter Regulations and the Climate Leadership Plan.

“This document is yet more evidence that the NDP government has not been forthcoming about their understanding on PPAs,” Wildrose Shadow Electricity Minister Don MacIntyre said. “I find it deeply troubling that as early as September 2015, Environment Ministry officials were making specific reference to the regulation containing the change in law interpretation, yet the Minister claims to have been unaware until March 2016. Did no one over there actually read the regulation?”

Previously, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips stated that she read all submissions made to the Climate Change Advisory Panel, calling into question whether the briefing note obtained through FOIP would have been a part of her reading.

“A lack of due diligence is not a reasonable answer for why the NDP government so poorly mishandled this file,” MacIntyre said. “Albertans deserve answers to who knew what, and when on the PPA file. The billions of dollars in costs tied to PPAs rests squarely on the shoulders of the NDP government and its front bench ministers who refuse to take responsibility.”