EDMONTON, AB: Last week’s coal shut down announcement means more bad news for communities across Alberta and comes with a whopping price tag of $1.1 billion that only reflects part of the price that will be paid by Albertans, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
To shut down six existing high-efficiency world-class coal plants in towns like Hanna and Keephills will mean $97 million in taxpayer dollars will be forked out annually for 14 years, but also billions more in the expensive renewables that are to replace them.
“Today’s announcement is bad news for thousands of Albertans across the province who rely on these plants for their livelihoods and the spin off benefits for the communities they live in,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “When unemployment is near record heights across the province, the NDP government is ensuring jobs will be lost, Albertans will be paying more in taxes and communities will be hanging by a thread in regions across Alberta.”
There is limited clarity in what will be done to support those who will lose work as a result of today’s announcement and what guarantees the three companies have been asked to perform to support the communities impacted by these closures.
Wildrose Shadow Electricity & Renewables Minister Don MacIntyre said the over $1 billion payout announced today does not include the billions of dollars that Albertans will have to pay to replace the lost generation from these high efficiency, world-class generators that are being closed.
“There is a true social cost of today’s announcement in lost jobs, small businesses that will now have to close down and for individuals who have seen the values of their homes drop,” MacIntyre said. “The NDP government is directly responsible for causing not only chaos for these communities but for the electrical system that will have to get a lot more expensive to replace these plants.”
Audio of Don MacIntyre’s media availability is available on SoundCloud.