President Bill Celhoffer has submitted the following letter to the Owen Sound Sun Times re: "Transmission line now one step closer" article. Read the full article in our January 5 post.
January 9, 2010 Dear Editor: Your headline article "Transmission line now one step closer", January 4th, 2010, was much appreciated by the Grey Association for Better Planning (GABP). This powerline issue, and other technical decisions by Hydro One have not received anywhere near enough attention in the press. Sadly, for Ontario taxpayers and Hydro ratepayers, this transmission line is just one more bad decision following from the horrendously expensive decision to "go nuclear". If the old Ontario Hydro hadn't been essentially bankrupted by the costs of the Candu reactors, they would have had money to upgrade our entire transmission system to current North American standards, something we do not have now. This high-voltage powerline "expansion" is not necessary. If it is built it will not help those companies or individual investors who want to develop small, green sources of electricity. The only reason for the expansion of this transmission line is to prepare for the future expansion of Bruce Power. (Sound fishy? Taxpayers money being used to help a private corporation?) This is a battle between alternative green power (the David of the story) and mega-power stations and the high-voltage transmission lines that go along with them (the Goliath of the story). Hydro One won't come out and admit it, but they are on the side of Goliath. Investment in sustainable green energy technology has far more long-term potential to benefit Grey and Bruce than a transmission line which can only offer "all kinds of jobs for part-time labourers driving truck, building fences and stuff like that." Now, as once before, the last barrier to the powerline expansion is the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC). Back in 1987, with lots of support from citizens of Grey, they stopped the Bruce to Essa powerline. We need to wait for the NEC appeal process to run its course before we can say whether David or Goliath wins this round. The failure of Ontario's politicians to deal effectively with problems of electricity cost and supply goes back decades. None of the major political parties have clean hands on this. Seems like a perfect opportunity for our maverick MPP. Bill Celhoffer, President GABP