‘Independent’ Panel Parrots the Government Line on North-South Lines
Most independent experts who have looked at the government’s planned transmission overbuild under Bill 50 agree that these new lines are not needed. Bill 50 allowed the government to designate lines as ‘critical’ without any kind of independent needs assessment or public input with regard to need. The lines designated ‘critical’ by the government include the Heartland Line and 2 big North-South lines between Calgary and Edmonton.
The government recently appointed a panel to ‘review’ the need for the two North-South lines, chaired by the former vice president of the PC Party. Unsurprisingly, the panel came out parroting the PC lines on the North-South lines about them being needed, even though independent experts such as those at the U of C Public Policy School have found that they are not. (http://dontclosemyschool.com/media/2012/02/DUofCChurchONLINENov20091.pdf).
The government has yet to officially respond to the committee’s report, although it seems quite clear that the fix has been in on this from the very beginning. Even energy minister Ted Morton himself once suggested that these lines constitute an overbuild. (http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/iphone/news/latest/story.html?id=5965047).
The government seems intent on building massive overhead lines all over the province which have the potential to triple transmission costs. Unless the government changes direction, the only option for citizens concerned about this issue will be to vote the government out.
You can read one of many news reports about this decision here: http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120213/EDM_transmissionlines_120213/20120213/?hub=EdmontonHome