_News Talk 770
Alberta's opposition utilities critic is demanding a public investigation after six powerplants went off-line Monday resulting in rolling brownouts across the province.
Wildrose Environment, Water and Utilities Critic Joe Anglin calls it unacceptable the Alberta Electrical System Operator says reasons behind yesterday's power plant problems will likely not be publicly released for "competitive" reasons. "Market manipulation occurs when generators deliberately turn off generation. Here you have six generators shutting off for six separate reasons. That isn't just unusual, that is so improbable you're in the range of winning the lottery kind of odds. So this is really suspect."
He says there is room for companies to withhold proprietary information in a competitive environment, but not if it means consumers face "gouging" which is what he calls the price spike for electricity that occurred Monday afternoon. Anglin also says an informal poll on the QR77 website may show listeners have good intuition. The web poll showed more than half of respondents feel the rollling outages were attempt to justify controversial new power transmission lines.