Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Sunday, July 18, 2004

First Ever Sales Tax is on Electricty! 

July 14, 2004
Murray Smith, MLA404 Legislature Building, Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Re:- Your letter of June 22/04 – Alberta’s first sales tax to be put on electrical transmission.

Your letter is confusing; even misleading. You say necessary transmission upgrades have been estimated at about one billion dollars over the next decade. The cost would be recovered in
customer bills, once the project has been approved and constructed. An
increase of about $2.00 per month is estimated for a typical residential customer by 2012”

The eminent Mr. Peter Lougheed has stated in the paper recently ATCO will with draw from pipe line constructions because the EUB would not allow them the 11% profits asked for; estricting them to 9.6%. In the same release he said they would invest in Power
Transmission Lines. This would indicate the EUB and your Conservative Government are going to allow a 11% or greater profit margin to the TransAlta and other Transmission line builders!

The http://www.aeso.ca/ web site you directed me shows the preferred option XIII to have a cost of 1.7 billion dollars, ( 30% error allowed and profits not included) just for the Edmonton-Calgary portion of the line. Accepting the allowance will be used up, the costs then
comes to 2.21 billion. Add to this the profit margins granted at a minimum of 11% moves the figures close to 3 billion dollars only for the Edmonton Calgary 500KV Line! Using your 2.00 tax to utility bills figure on 2 million residences it will take over 40 years to pay off the simple costs, a 100 years to pay off the extended numbers! Why did you pick 2012? Perhaps, 80.00 per month until 2012?

To your reference on wind generation being available only where wind (or smoke) is blowing. The same web site shows that wind is sufficient to generate electricity for the grid for only 30% of the time! It is your plan to have Albertan’s finance the additional Billions of dollars for transmission lines from the wind farms for export purposes. The point being a 30% duty rate
will not begin to pay for transmission lines and, you have said Albertan’s would not have to pay for export power!

As to the Oil Sands power generation. With their new recovery schemes using hardware like 8000 HP electric motors turning 3 meter diameter fans, they certainly need the power. You have not yet responded to my question regarding Oil Companies with holding power from the provincial grid unless they get their low 25% royalties turned back to the insane 1% which you allow them.

How can you possibly put out the story Albertan’s are debt free!
I view that as a hoax designed to misdirect public attention away from the real problems.

Albertan’s are looking down the barrel of some 6 billion dollars in debt, direct or indirect according to the figures you have put forward by reference! When you add this to this Government’s plans for Privatized Water, the future is bleak if Albertan’s vote Conservative. Again, what a mess you guys have made of it!

John Clark

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