LTE: Say no to the AltaLink power lines

Opinion Letters

Pincher Creek Echo

In this Letter to the Editor  Mr. Smith details why he hopes to see a stop put to the planned transmission line.  File Photo.

In this Letter to the Editor Mr. Smith details why he hopes to see a stop put to the planned transmission line. File Photo.

My wife and I are to be directly impacted by the proposed AltaLink transmission line therefore I would like my voice heard in this discussion. Not only is this huge line not needed, it would be constructed by a foreign-owned, Calgary-based company for profit. There is no urgent need for this transmission line that has a sole purpose of moving Alberta generated electricity into BC where it is subsequently sold to the northwestern United States for carbon tax credits.

At the recent AltaLink information open house I was told by Matt Gray of the Alberta Electric System Operator’s corporate communications department that wind turbines contribute about seven per cent to the overall electrical grid. He did not specify if “about” was 6.5 or 7.1 per cent. Every one of those wind turbines require back up generation because even in the south the wind does not blow all the time and there is no way to store the miniscule amount of electricity produced. The peak times electricity is required is in the heat of summer when the wind rarely blows and in the dead of winter when gusts coming off the Livingstone Range is too much for the turbines to handle.

Because the Alberta Government has a policy that every wind generator has the right to be connected to the electrical grid we, every Albertan from Fort McMurray to Pincher Creek, pay for the construction of these lines. Don’t just complain about your power bill complain to your MLA, he or she is responsible for picking your pocket with an unneeded, overbuilt transmission line.

The proposed transmission line is to run right through a Bald Eagle nesting area. We have seen in the past AltaLink’s concern for our wildlife with its misplaced Snake Trail area transmission line where hundreds of waterfowl were slaughtered by a line constructed on top of a staging area for migratory ducks, geese and swans. No fine was levied against AltaLink that I am aware of. Will the company then be allowed to kill eagles with impunity?

Thanks to the brain trust of the Municipality of Pincher Creek our once beautiful gateway to the Rocky Mountains is a grotesque mishmash of unsightly and unneeded wind turbines.

Say no to this abdominal tribute to corporate greed. Warren Buffet is rich enough already.

Doug Smith

60 Catalina Dr.

Sherwood Park, AB

*Editor’s note: Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of AltaLink is still under review by the AUC