Monday, September 07, 2009

Signs That Alberta's PCs Have Been In Power Far Too Long

Consumers foot bill to close Alberta power plants

David Gray, who resigned his post as executive director with the Utilities Consumer Advocate in July, says consumers got a raw deal when the government agreed to make them responsible for restoring the sites.

"It's just like all the other deals consumers don't know about where the utility gets to keep the gravy and we get to pay the bill," he said. "There could come a day when the Balancing Pool amount on their bill is a charge rather than a payment."

The upshot of this article is that taxpayers are being asked to pony up additional funds to pay for decommissioning and reclamation of power plant sites. Remember, these are facilities run by large corporations who sell the output - ultimately - to us. So ... just how is it that the taxpayers (who are also the utility consumers) have already paid for these plants many times over are to pay once again for these plants, this time to shut them down and clean up the mess. What happened to the money the utility companies operating these plants made from them? Didn't these companies post significant profits over the decades of operating these plants?

If I had to hazard a guess, the PC's looked at their coffers and decided that the nice fat donations from corporate Alberta were worth more than looking after the interests of taxpayers.

One has to wonder how many more of these "sweetheart" deals are out there fattening the wallets of a few on the backs of all Alberta taxpayers. Like mice, where there's one, there are inevitably more.

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