EDMONTON, AB (February 23, 2012): It’s taken three years and billions of dollars in now-approved transmission lines but the PC government has finally admitted the failure of Bill 50. The government announced today that in addition to proceeding with two proposed north-south transmission lines that it will also amend Bill 50 – the Electric Statues Amendment Act – to have the Alberta Utilities Commission, and not cabinet, consider the need for all future transmission projects.
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith says it’s unacceptable for the PC government to on one hand say the lines are necessary and on the other admit the process used to make that determination was flawed. “If the process is wrong – which it was – we shouldn’t be going ahead with these lines,” Smith said. “We need to go back to the drawing board for all transmission projects, including these ones just approved, so consumers aren’t paying for power lines we don’t need.” The Wildrose has consistently called for Bill 50 to be repealed and to go back to an independent needs assessment process for all transmission projects. “There are actual pieces of critical infrastructure out there – schools, hospitals and Highway 63, for example – that we need now instead of power lines that we may never need,” Wildrose Energy Critic Paul Hinman said. “We should scrap these lines immediately and start fresh with a fair and independent needs assessment.” Wildrose stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy.