Errol Black Black, a long time NDP supporter is suggesting that Manitoba Hydro should be able to bypass regulatory safeguards and invest in the risky construction of new dams that may or may not be paid through exports to the south.
I have a question for Error Black. If this was a private sector company that was proposing to invest billion in a speculative venture on a one-way bet that their losses could be recovered from Manitoba rate payers or tax payers, would he still be suggesting that the PUB should roll over?
One thing that has not been reported is the issue of shale gas in the PUB decision. The PUB has asked Hydro to conduct an analysis of whether a gas fired generation plant located in southern Manitoba could deal with the reliability concerns of the very long transmission lines from the north. To me, this is a very sensible route to investigate and Hydro should have already investigated it before proposing to spend billions on risky investments in the north. It could also solve the problem with the routing of Bi-Pole III by revealing that it may not be required at all.
An even more desirable approach in my mind would be to direct Manitoba Hydro to explore how they could partner with Sask Power to add natural gas plants to both of their networks that could serve both utilities. The problem for Error is that that approach does not employ unionized labour for 10 to 20 years.