EDMONTON, AB: The NDP government’s gross negligence in making massive increases to the carbon tax, fighting frivolous law suits and meddling in our electricity system means Alberta taxpayers are now on the hook for an eye-popping $2.6 billion dollarsin the electricity grid, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Two years ago, Environment Minister Shannon Philips announced she would make a whopping 100 per cent increase to the carbon tax on heavy emitters through the former Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER).
No one in the government either paid attention, or cared to read, existing contracts with power companies that allowed them to return their power purchasing agreements (PPAs) to the balancing pool due to a “change of law.”
Now the Balancing Pool has unnecessarily sunk billions of dollars in these agreements and further delays in terminating these contracts will mean another $1 billion in losses for Albertans.
“This is gross negligence and incompetence on a massive scale. It’s inexcusable and the Premier needs to answer for it,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Nearly $2 million a day is 80 hip surgeries, it’s $2 million that could make a real difference for vulnerable Albertans suffering across the province. Instead the NDP are wasting this money to try and hide their own mistakes.”
Albertans are already paying over $1 billion for the government to wipe out coal-generated electricity, and the jobs that come with it.
The NDP government is currently under investigation from the Privacy Commissioner for deleting “sensitive” emails surrounding ENMAX’s decision to return its Battle River 5 station to the Balancing Pool.
Wildrose Shadow Electricity & Renewables Minister Don MacIntyre said it certainly looks like the government continues to interfere in the Balancing Pool, causing losses carried by taxpayers to continue to increase.
“The NDP is hoping by playing some funny math and downloading these losses onto the government’s books, they can hide their disastrous mistakes from the public,” MacIntyre said. “Albertans won’t stand for it any longer. This $2.6 billion figure does not include all of the other losses experienced in the balancing pool such as PPA settlement revenue, the loss of its net assets and direct borrowing, which brings the total cost of this government’s incompetence to over $4 billion. It’s time for this government to cut their losses and be honest with Albertans about the cost of the government’s reckless and damaging economic policies.”