December 01, 2016

Wildrose calls on NDP to immediately implement five-step plan to halt damage to energy sector

Today, the Wildrose Official Opposition released five steps that include calling on the NDP government to put forward a series of amendments and to repeal legislation that will negatively impact  Alberta’s energy sector.

This fall, the NDP has embarked on a dangerous path of poorly thought out legislation and litigation that is  hurting Alberta’s economy, including signing off on a $50 per tonne carbon tax that will cost households $2,500 per year, and committing billions of dollars in taxpayer dollars to unnecessary changes to the electricity grid.

The Wildrose five-step plan calling on the NDP government to reverse course includes:

  1. Prioritize growth and encourage investment by abandoning the oil sands extraction and upgrading emission caps in Bill 25, the Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act;
  2. Stop Bill 27, the Renewable Electricity Act, and release a full economic impact study detailing the full costs of shutting down coal generation to the electricity grid and forcing 30 per cent renewable generation into the system;
  3. End litigation against ENMAX and reverse the carbon tax increase on emitters that triggered the PPA turnback;
  4. Protect consumers and taxpayers and restore competitiveness to Alberta’s electricity market by halting the shift to a capacity-based market; and,
  5. Repeal carbon tax or call a referendum on the carbon tax before it is implemented.

“The NDP government is using this fall session to ram through harmful policies that will have a negative impact on our economy,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “These changes will mean thousands of jobs lost for hardworking men and women across this province, result in either further tax increases or higher power bills and billions of dollars lost in investment that should be going towards job creation and getting Albertans back to work.”

Bill 25 will put a 10 megaton emissions cap on all upgrading in the province and a 100 megaton cap on oil sands emissions, significantly handicapping potential growth in our energy sector – especially if new pipeline projects are built. Bill 27 asks Albertans to sign a blank cheque to the province as they shut down Alberta’s coal industry and engage in a massive shift to renewables that will lead to tax increases and increased power costs.

Wildrose Shadow Energy Minister Leela Aheer said many of these moves are creating further instability in a weakened economy.

“By capping growth in the oil sands and our upgrading industry, the NDP government is signaling Alberta is a less friendly place to invest for the long term,” Aheer said. “While our competitors’ governments are doing more to invite investment and jobs for their families, the NDP government here in Alberta is pushing investment out.”

Recent overhauls to the electricity system will mean that in addition to higher power costs, for the first time in over a decade Alberta will carry utility debt which will inevitably mean further tax increases. Estimates peg borrowing to hit $500 million to cover losses spurred by bad NDP policy.

“Everything the NDP government has done in the electricity market has just made things more volatile and unstable,” Wildrose Shadow Electricity & Renewables Minister Don MacIntyre said. “It started by making massive increases to the tax on heavy emitters and just got worse ever since. Albertans deserve better than this anti-energy agenda that is hurting our province."

     

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