Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Joy Of Deregulation

Blackouts strike Edmonton, Calgary as power cut

When our City owned EPCOR was not a P3, which it has become, its responsibilities were to the Citizens of Edmonton. As we saw yesterday its responsibilities are to its shareholders and only the citizens it serves incidentally. The deliberate power outage which blew my computer and TV remote, which downed power to stores, created traffic havoc with failing traffic lights, was predicatble.

Since last week we have had a heat wave with history making above average tempratures in the high thirties. A warning should have been issued that folks should reduce their power consumption during peak hours. No such warning was given. Rather an order from the deregulated Electrical Grid management was given to EPCOR and they complied, with no warning.

When contacted by one of the few radio stations left on air, several were off due to power brown outs, CHED News, EPCOR denied it was responsible and blamed the
Alberta Electric System Operator, call them they told reporters. Then when pushed they said they were ordered to shut down power by AESO. Then half an hour later they explained what and why they had done it.

This is unacceptable, but predicatable when you deregulate and privatize power. EPCOR is currently selling a $22 a share, and while the city appoints board members, its arms length relationship means EPCOR cares more about the bottomline than the good of its citizen owners.

Ours was a brown out, how about those poor folks in Queens going on ten days with No Power and record tempratures thansk to aptly named Con-Ed. Its enough to turn one into a George Metesky.

If NY politicians can blow their fuses over Con-Ed
I expect no less from our City Council over this EPCOR debacle. And folks should tell them so. Oh yeah and send a note of Thank You to Jim Dinning the next CEO of Alberta Inc. who pushed for electrical deregulation as a Board member of TransAlta Utilities.

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