RETA Requests Premier to Re-Evaluate Need for Heartland Line

RETA recently sent a letter to Premier Stelmach requesting the need for the Heartland Transmission Line, as proposed, to be re-evaluated in light of significantly reduced oil sands upgrader development in the Industrial Heartland northeast of Edmonton.

The letter makes the request, comparing it to the Alberta Government’s recent re-evaluation of the oil and gas sectors, based on changing provincial, national and global economies.  Just as the newly introduced Bill 1 by the Alberta Government reflects an economy changed from 2007 when the Alberta Government established the Alberta Royalty Framework, the requirements for a 6,000MW double-circuit 500kV power line, proposed about the same time in 2007, have changed significantly.

If a smaller-capacity power line is still required for the Industrial Heartland following a review (even though only less than two of the nine upgraders proposed in 2007 may be built), the letter goes on to suggest that the power line could be built at a lower cost, and thereby financially burden industry, other businesses and Alberta residents to a lesser extent.

Consistent with what Albertans have indicated to RETA and in a late 2009 Leger Marketing public opinion survey, the letter requests that if a smaller line is needed, it should be buried whenever it runs near homes, schools, daycares, hospitals and environmentally sensitive areas. The public opinion survey indicates that Albertans are concerned about the impacts of overhead high voltage power lines on health, safety, aesthetics and property values. Those polled are particularly concerned about the health and safety impacts on children.

Read the full letter here.

~ by RETA on April 5, 2010.

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