The cost of green

Member of Legislative Assembly Report

By Tany Yao, MLA of Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo

Tany Yao

Tany Yao

The cost of the NDP interfering in our electricity system will cost our province billions of dollars.

Their ideological drive to wipe out coal generation in our province will mean rising costs, the end of low power prices like we are paying today and higher taxes.

It’s what happens when members in charge of our government care more about winning approval from international elites and anti-Alberta politicians in Ottawa than defending the hardworking men and women of this province.

Here’s what I mean:
The cost of wiping out six fully functioning high-efficiency coal generation plants in Alberta will ring in at roughly $1.36 billion. Killing coal generated electricity in these plants likely means the town of Hanna will use hundreds of jobs, putting the whole town at risk.

But this government doesn’t seem to even care. They are more interested in flying to Paris and Morocco than meeting with the hardworking men and women whose livelihoods are being destroyed.

But the cost of the NDP power play doesn’t end there. By eliminating coal generated power, they need up to $25 billion in new generation – an investment that will be subsidized through taxpayers.

To make this happen, the NDP hasn’t just changed the rules of the game, they have moved us to a completely new game board.

Our previous energy-only market has been good for Alberta. While there is room for improvement, it has given Albertans the option for stable prices, encouraged competition and innovation and protected taxpayers from startling levels of debt seen in other jurisdictions.

The new capacity market that the NDP is moving to eliminates many of these benefits.

The government complains right now that government prices are too low – so they have introduced a market that will eliminate the type of low prices we are seeing today so ratepayers can help subsidize for more expensive “green” energy.

For Mr. and Mrs. Albertan, this means that without asking for it, you are now taking on the liability of building new assets, and guaranteeing that they are successful, even when experts globally agree that renewables are a risky business.

For families, or seniors on fixed incomes, this move combined with a new carbon tax will mean less money will be able to going to things like groceries, keeping the lights on or paying the mortgage.

That’s the problem with this NDP government. They have taken a whack-a-mole approach to our energy system, and the longer they are in office, the more apparent it is that they are in over their heads.

In the past 18 months, the NDP government has: introduced a carbon tax they didn’t campaign on and no one asked for, introduced an accelerated phase out of coal that will cost Albertans billions and devastate entire communities, overhauled our electricity system that offered consumers some of the best rates in North America, and have taken the energy companies to court to cover up for mistakes they made in changing Alberta laws.

The consequences of these policies are adding up, and they all mean that the hardworking men and women have this province are going to be stuck paying the bill.

The NDP is hoping through delivering a suite of changes, they are counting on Albertans to not understand the full implications of their policies, but let’s face it, this is a very technical issue.

But one only needs to look to Ontario to see what the long term picture of phasing out coal and putting too heavy of a focus on renewables can be.

Ontario’s Auditor General has found that the coal phase out cost Ontario consumers an extra $37 billion and counting.

And Premier Wynne herself has admitted that her government “made a mistake.”
I know that Albertans are counting on Wildrose to make sure our province doesn’t become an example of Ontario 2.0.

With unemployment near record levels, we simply can’t afford it.

Tany Yao is the Wildrose Caucus Chair and Member of Legislative for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. Yao can be reached by email at fortmcmurray.woodbuffalo@assembly.ab.ca or by phone at 780-790-6014.