Friday, July 31, 2009

Alberta Conservative History 1

Electrical power lines sold at a value of 1 cent on the dollar. The end of the Alberta Advantage.

The golden Alberta owned its own power lines. Municipalities received money for the power lines that went through their towns. Some towns had more power lines than others hence a better revenue base.

This started to change with the Conservatives decided to privatize the electrical industry in Alberta.

They told people it was unfair for one town to receive more money from power lines than the next town. To fix this and give every school an equipped computer room so the schools would be on the same footing, the Government would take control of all the power lines. In doing so All Albertans would be share ownership and responsibility for all power lines in the province.

Short funding of schools created a disparity in funding that seen all schools wanting for computer equipment. This was a fix that was welcomed by the voting parents around the province.

The Government then mandated the power generation companies could not own the transmission lines. If they owned them they would have to divest themselves of the lines or the generation facility.

All the generation wattage would be sold on public market. To this end the Government created Power Purchase Agreements. While this was going on so called brown outs of power circulated the province and, we were told privatizing the power was the way to fix it.

The idea is you could have the option to buy the generation from any of the power plants. Some power plants on coal were making money while others on Natural Gas were losing an arm and a leg. Parties bought the PPAs quickly for those profitable sites but, not the non profitable.

The Conservatives have always been in bed with the insurance companies. In this case the companies that were losing money were picked up by the Power Group of which Great West Life is a subsidiary. We know insurance companies do not invest to lose money so the question has to be asked “How much is Alberta paying the Power Corp to carry this paper?

Unnamed parties bought the PPA these were reported flipped by the new owners not once but up to three times, each time pocking more cash; each time driving up the cost of electricity. This was not so strange for uncaring Alberta voters as the Conservatives asked for bids, never divulged who bid or who the running up bidders were. On has to wonder why companies who vie for business in Alberta would even bother to bid!

Now, EPCORE and ENMAX own most of the power generation and count on the money they receive from these organizations run the city business. If the prices of electricity are curtailed, taxes will most certainly go up.

Now, with Albertan’s owning all the power lines equally we as consumers end up paying an unreasonable percentage of the new construction for the upgraders to name one.

The bottom line is the deal cost the Alberta Taxpayer 6 billions of dollars for which there is no return.

More segments to follow.
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