Once upon a time, in a land just north of here, there was to be massive expansion of oil upgrader facilities. These massive undertakings would require major amounts of power.
Along come the Heartland Transmission Project planners. “The upgraders will need power,” they say and make plans for transmission lines to feed that electricity from the generating plants in the southern half of the province to the northern industries — big, ugly towers bearing heavy cable, twice as tall as the power lines that feed Edmonton now.
Another brilliant plan is hatched. “Let’s go nuclear! Let’s take some of the best agricultural land around and build a nuclear generating station on it. That way power can be fed to the projects with far shorter runs of the ugly, massive towers. After all, nuclear power is clean power!” Pickering? Chernobyl? Old news!
Then comes the economic downturn. The upgrader projects are cancelled, there is much hue and cry from the financial wizards and suddenly the province is in massive debt. But look on the horizon! It looks like a massive power transmission line project being rammed through, despite all the protests from the citizenry. The question now becomes why would we need the transmission lines to be built if the industry that was to utilize the power won't be built? Obviously the concerns of the people are far outweighed by the prospect of increased bank accounts by some few-in-number power brokers (no pun intended). And why, if the power is not needed in the northern half of the province, is the nuclear project planning still ongoing, even in the face of massive protest.
Did I mention that electricity flows in both directions? A nuclear generating plant in the north could easily feed the power grids of southern Alberta cities or cities further south than that, and with continued and increasing sale of Alberta's resources to the United States, why not kill more of our land and air to feed the hungry industries of our “good” neighbours to the south? They have the right to it (remember free trade, where the Conservative government of the day sold Canada to the United States at bargain-basement rates?)
Oh, and it doesn't matter that our farmland is being appropriated, the water supplies drained or polluted to a state of being undrinkable or the air being rendered unbreathable. Living creatures are expendable.
Fraezor Martell, St. Albert