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NDP should release full economic costs of changes to Alberta's power grid: Wildrose

The NDP government should release the full costs of today’s announcement to shift to renewables, including the costs of shutting down existing generation early, massively expanding gas generation to keep the grid operating at all times, waging battle with Alberta’s power companies through expensive legal battles and implementing a new $3 billion carbon tax on every Alberta family, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The NDP failed to provide any evidence to support today’s claim that billions of dollars of investment have been committed as a result of the government’s renewable policy or any information on where the promised 7,200 new jobs would come from. Today’s NDP claims directly contradict the only credible government data released to date detailing the economic impact of NDP policies which warned of catastrophic job losses and a reduction in Alberta’s GDP.

“Given the NDP government’s long history of failing to be honest about the full cost of their risky economic plans, today’s announcement doesn’t provide any more certainty for Albertans. The minister should release her government’s own internal analysis today,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Continuing to attract investment for natural gas and renewables is the right idea, but creating legal battles with power companies, shutting down newer coal plants and creating a massive taxpayer funded subsidy program will just make things worse for struggling Alberta families.”

As of June 2016, there were already 5,599 MW of proposed renewable projects without any announced government intervention.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips made today’s announcement before even hearing or making public the results of the $600,000 study on how to shut down coal in Alberta by 2030.

The NDP government has launched a lawsuit paid for by Alberta taxpayers against Enmax, owned by the City of Calgary, over Power Purchase Arrangements this summer. The PPAs were signed in good faith, and the willingness of the NDP to take electricity companies to court over the arrangements show how out of touch they are with the realities of business in the province.

“Today’s announcement gives no answers about how much this renewables program will cost everyday Albertans at a time when many are already struggling to just get by,” Wildrose Shadow Electricity and Renewables Minister Don MacIntyre said. “The NDP government is forging ahead without a cohesive plan for our electricity industry. Albertans deserve an economic impact analysis on the high costs for them and our economy that will be associated with a coal phase out, switching 30 per cent of electricity to renewables, and a $3 billion dollar carbon tax before any of the plans move forward.”