In Cody Johnston’s letter to the editor in the Dec. 4 Rimbey Review, the author says: “Anglin recommended the use of HVDC technology in 2006 because the government of Alberta proposed to export electricity from Fort McMurray to California.”
If Mr. Johnston had read AESO’s 2005 10- and 20-year plans he would have seen this technology had already been brought forward. As early as 2005 there was a proposal for an HVDC line from Fort McMurray to the US/California. The Northern Lights project was the original proposal of a DC transmission line from the oil sands are to the US paralleling the Alberta/Saskatchewan boundary. This concept, a 500KV direct current line capable of transporting 2,000 to 3,000MW of electrical energy can from TransCanada Corp. It was proposed as a merchant line, meaning the Alberta ratepayers would not be on the hook for construction costs. TransCanada has since withdrawn their proposal (2010). I am not disputing that Joe Anglin recommended the use of HVDC. However, I find it more than a little intriguing that he takes full credit for advancing technology that was already on the books.
In his letter, Johnston states: “To further illustrate Finnen and Vetsch’s confusion, Vetsch says it’s the ratepayers who pay for the transmission lines and not taxpayers. This is a silly argument. Every electric bill has a line item on it called “tax.”
I never said our electrical bills weren’t taxed. The following is what was said in my Nov. 20 letter: “To start with, the electrical infrastructure in this province is rate-based not tax-based, meaning the cost of this will be added to our monthly electrical energy bills and will not be coming out of government coffers.” I will try to clarify this. What I meant was the cost of electrical infrastructure is not part of the provincial budget.
Johnston calls the Daveberta blog “an unreliable liberal blog.” It didn’t seem to matter to Joe Anglin the political colour of the medium or if it was unreliable. Read the blog and you’ll see he found it very convenient to use it to make a number of entries.