Saturday, June 16, 2012

BC looking forward to Private Power, Alberta Style - Again.

Alberta was mostly developed when the Cons decided to privatize it through a very complex set up.
To get control of all the power lines,Ralph Klein took them over from communities with the reason of distributing money for computer labs in schools. As it was, towns that collected revenue from power lines had more revenue to work with than those who did not.

Once they had control, they passed a bill separating the power generators from the Power Line owners. Individuals owning the power lines could select to buy power from the generators. This little move towards privatization cost Alberta Taxpayers some 7 billion dollars at the time.

The power generation was registered with the Provincial Government who in turn sold Power Purchase Options (PPAs) to individuals.

At the time natural gas was horribly expensive so power sales from natural gas generation were low. Not sold they were picked up by LIFco.,and insurance company, and the parent company of General Life who Mazankowski was president of.

Now, with gas low and more gas generation coming on board, these same options would be worth a great deal of money all ripped directly from the Taxpayers of this province.

Another example was the owners of Alberta News Print company buying PPAs from the generator who supplied their plant with electricity.  This creates a situation where high priced electricity puts coin in the owners pockets while the plant takes a hit. Curious eh?

Other power (PPA) was sold to Edmonton and Calgary known as EPCOR and ENMAX. The so called market created allows these to cities (arms length from the boards of course) to charge pretty much what ever they want for the electricity. It is called Indirect Taxation.

The Federal Liberals were hounded to make a National Energy Policy encompassing control of Electricity.  Even ATCO lobbied for it.  The Conservatives rejected it totally until they have a Conservative Majority in place across the country and can push forward their Conservative Agenda.

Keep in mind, the trust is for getting more money for exported power and opening more export markets.
The thing to consider, do you want this in the hands of private industry which may or may not have an office in BC? Or, would you rather have it stay in the ownership of the province and collect the profits and expenses directly into provincial coffers?
In Alberta, Klein put in the rule all power lines would be paid equally by all citizens in the province. (Remember funding schools)
Now, it has progressed so the business base in Alberta and the citizens in the province pay for power lines built into the Tar Sands for the purpose of Exporting power to California via Montana.
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