Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wikileaks Shines Light on Alberta's $16-Billion Electricity Scandal

US cables signal project was for export, contrary to official claims.

Landowners' lawyer Keith Wilson: 'Now we know it's for export.'

By Andrew Nikiforuk, Today,

Critics of Alberta's program to build a $16-billion electricity transmission system without public need studies have called for a major judicial inquiry on the massive taxpayer funded project following new revelations from U.S. embassy cables released by Wikileaks.

Cables sent from the U.S. embassy in Ottawa in 2003 and 2008 show that Alberta politicians offered to export power to the United States using excess electricity generated by oil sands facilities.

Shortly after the last cable the Alberta government proposed a massive upgrade to its existing $2-billion transmission system.

Yet no other jurisdiction in Canada has proposed to build eight times its existing transmission infrastructure at taxpayers' expense with no public needs assessments. Nor has any other province proposed to give away that very infrastructure to two private transmission companies (Atco and AltaLink) along with a promised rate of return of nine per cent.

"The cables show that the government was going to export power all along and lied about what they were doing with transmission upgrades," says Joe Anglin, a former U.S. Marine and long-time advocate for electrical reform in Alberta. Article posted here

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