New report-“Dire Consequences: Destroying Alberta’s Affordable Power Advantage”
Affordable energy is an Alberta Advantage, one we have enjoyed for years, thanks to an abundant, high-quality coal supply (which Albertans own), willing investors, responsible industry and ever-improving, sensible air quality regulations and mitigation techniques.
Energy runs through every aspect of modern society. Reliable, safe, low-cost energy enables our robust health, our economic well-being, and high environmental standards.
We challenge the claims of the Alberta government and anti-coal activist advisors like the Pembina Institute and their recent report “Breathing in the Benefits.” The problem with affordable, reliable energy is like the Joni Mitchell song: “…you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
However, if the Alberta NDP government is going to make drastic changes to the electrical power system, the public should be well informed of the facts prior to agreeing to change a system that is working well and providing reliable, affordable power. Is the claim of improved air quality and reduced costs justified based on the evidence? Will we face the dire consequences of energy poverty, industrial collapse, and burdensome taxes as we have seen in Ontario, the UK, and the EU?
Most importantly, does Alberta have a crucial air quality problem and if so, is coal the primary contributing factor?
Our review of Alberta Health Services data from Primary Care Network reports indicates that the claims of Pembina Institute and its anti-coal allies are not supported by the evidence. Our review of international and provincial patient studies shows that health problems and premature deaths increase when there is a lack of affordable, reliable power. Accelerated coal phase-out and a rush-to-renewables have put the UK at risk of blackouts, created socio-economic and health problems, and burdened industry.
Is that what we want for Alberta?