EDMONTON, AB: Wednesday’s changes to a capacity based electricity market announced by the NDP government will mean higher costs for families through both their power bills and taxes, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
The changes announced today are the culmination of various poorly thought out decisions made by the NDP government since coming into power in May 2015, including raising taxes significantly on power producers, announcing the shutdown of coal power, suing Alberta-owned power companies and then threatening companies to rip up decades old contracts through legislation. It now leaves Alberta with a $25 billion investment gap over the next 14 years in our electricity system.
“There is no difference between ratepayers and taxpayers. For families, today is a bad announcement as it will only mean the costs in every household across Alberta will increase,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “There exist only three ways to cover risk for a private company investing in Alberta’s electricity market. Either ratepayers, taxpayers or industry covers that risk. Today’s announcement puts the burden entirely on electricity consumers and taxpayers.”
Under Bill 27, the Renewables Electricity Act, the NDP government is seeking to give itself ministerial power to mandate new generation, even where there is no market case for it, leaving taxpayers at risk for billions of dollars in payouts.
“Make no mistake, this feels a lot like Ontario, where Albertans will be left picking up the tab and carrying the risk,” Wildrose Shadow Electricity & Renewables Minister Don MacIntyre said. “There is a better, more stable vision for our province. One where we protect the thousands of jobs in our coal industry, support existing clean emissions technologies, end litigation against Alberta-owned power companies, keep taxes low and support affordable power prices.”