Premier Must Consider Heartland Facts

Premier Redford has suggested that the Heartland power line is needed.

Consistent with RETA’s Final Argument and Reply Argument submitted to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), RETA VP Technical, John Kristensen, has responded in this letter to the Sherwood Park News that the facts clearly indicate the Heartland line is not needed. There are many reasons it is not needed including: 85% of its capacity will not be used, there is only one tar sands upgrader being built in the Heartland region, any tar sands upgraders built don’t need coal-fired power from Wabamun because they will co-generate their own electricity, local industry and municipal governments have shown the line is not needed, and residents living along the applicants’ preferred and alternate routes have shown it is not needed.

This is why RETA has asked the AUC in its Final Argument and Reply Argument to deny AltaLink’s and EPCOR’s application altogether to build the line, or if somehow the AUC determines it is in the best public interest that the line is built, to direct the applicants to bury the line when it runs near people and environmentally sensitive areas. Burying high voltage power lines eliminates almost all of the very negative impacts on health, safety, livestock, crops, the environment, property values and aesthetics.

The Sherwood Park News reports that Strathcona County Council believes it is important to keep an open dialogue with the new Premier and Cabinet on Bill 50 and the proposed Heartland line. This is particularly important because Strathcona County’s 13-year Cabinet representation has been lost with the announcement of Premier Redford’s new Cabinet. Some Councillors have indicated the County is going to continue the fight and they’re going to keep trying to get the line buried.

In this article, Garnett Genuis, Wildrose Alliance candidate for Sherwood Park, says, “…the new Premier’s support for the Heartland Transmission Project further indicates that Sherwood Park’s concerns are not a priority for this government.”

Stay tuned for more on this.

~ by RETA on October 14, 2011.

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