Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says the UARB’s decision supports the PC Caucus’ position that this may be a good project but this is a bad deal for Nova Scotians.
“The skyrocketing cost of electricity is hurting families and putting jobs at risk,” says Baillie. “Despite today’s decision, we still do not know how much electricity from Muskrat Falls will cost or what it will do to our power rates.”
A key concern of the PCs throughout the hearing was that Nova Scotians were being asked to pay for the more expensive NS Block of power, without guaranteed access to the cheaper surplus power. Today, the UARB approved the mega-project with the condition that NSPML must obtain the right to access cheaper market-priced excess energy from Nalcor.
Baillie notes that the NDP supported the deal as written, despite its risks to ratepayers.
“The job of Premier is to protect Nova Scotians, not blindly endorse expensive projects from Nova Scotia Power or its affiliates,” says Baillie.
Baillie says a PC government will continue to push for further changes to protect ratepayers, including changes to the guaranteed nine per cent profit, the 35-year term and the actual price of electricity for consumers.
A key element of the expensive Liberal electricity scheme is importing more electricity from Hydro Quebec. In its decision today, the UARB said the lack of any prospect of a long-term contractual arrangement with Hydro Quebec is “fatal” to this option. This is further evidence that the Liberals and the NDP both have electricity schemes that will continue to drive power rates up.
The PC plan focuses on making power rates affordable:
– Freezing power rates
– Removing the guarantee on Nova Scotia Power’s profit;
– Rewriting the NDP electricity plan to make it affordable; and
– Creating a regional energy market to lower power bills for consumers.