When Politicians Mess with Electricity

Audio, Energy, Frontier Centre

Newfoundland’s Finance Minister has suddenly resigned.

He disagreed with the Premier’s risky and increasingly expensive quest to have a Crown Corporation, Nalcor, build and transmit power from Muskrat Falls, Labrador, to export to the eastern seaboard states.

Ontario wasted 1.2-billion dollars by supporting, then cancelling, two generating stations.

Before that, the province offered contracts to solar power operators at a price six times the average Ontario rate, right before the cost of solar panels collapsed.

This in a province where consumers are paying off 20-billion dollars of losses on nuclear plants and power contracts.

Now Manitoba’s government is flirting with financial disaster with its 34-billion dollar hydro dam building plan.

Construction cost estimates have more than doubled, while cheap shale gas in the U.S. has collapsed the power prices Manitoba Hydro can expect to receive.

Knowledgeable critics have warned consumers that their rates could end up tripling if the plan is fully implemented.

And, in B.C., consumers face a 26 percent rate hike, due to past creative accounting.

If consumers were served by private companies with shareholders’ money at risk, not consumers’ or taxpayers’, fewer financially-ruinous electricity schemes by politicians would be possible.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.

For more on electricity and crown corporation policy, visit our website www.fcpp.org.