The New Corporate Logo for Alberta Power Companies - "Plunder"

And make no mistake it is a generous gift.

In Alberta, the big standout price increase was for electricity, which cost 63.6 per cent more in January than it did a year ago,” he said.

Go figure.  When the people who generate the power also control the supply do you think that they will manipulate the system of their benefit?  Of course they will.

In the wake of revelations that TransAlta Corp. manipulated the power market to increase profits, a report to the Alberta monitor warns there’s a risk that participants may be working together to the same end.

The study prepared by consultancy Charles River Associates for the Alberta Market Surveillance Administrator, the enforcement arm of a system set up when Alberta deregulated its power market in 1995, looks into whether the level of data released makes it possible for participants to work in concert — but not whether they actually have.

It concludes that the Alberta market “may be susceptible to co-ordinated behaviour” because it has high supplier concentration, barriers to entry, repeated and frequent interaction by players and relatively constant levels of demand.

So the situation is ripe for plunder of Alberta’s citizens and plunder is exactly what TransAlta did.

In a negotiated settlement with the MSA, TransAlta agreed to pay $370,000 and admit it purposely blocked the import of cheaper hydroelectric power from British Columbia over 31 hours in November 2010, creating an artificial shortage of electricity and higher prices.

The settlement, which takes away excess profits of $245,000 and includes a $125,000 fine, will be the subject of an Alberta Utilities Commission public hearing in January.”

This is why we need regulation and strong government oversight because this is just one reported incident that happened to be egregious enough to be caught.  Companies do not work for the pubic or the public good, they work to accrue the largest benefit of their shareholders and as noted above if swindling the people of alberta is good for the bottom line, so be it.  Yet the lovely PC government goads us with whip and and the bludgeon to buy into this corrupt system.

Alberta’s regulated rate option — the rate consumers pay if they haven’t signed contracts with electricity retailers — was designed by the provincial government to encourage retail consumers to purchase contracts, which would theoretically attract more competition.

In July 2010, the governing Conservatives ended long-term hedging of electricity prices and collapsed the protective umbrella that had previously shielded residential, farm and small commercial consumers from wild price spikes.

This simple is collusion with the power companies by the PC party.  This is not in the best interests of people of Alberta.  Far from it.  But let me assure you gentle readers, the brain-dead zombie sheeple of Alberta will continue to vote PC in the next election.  Why?  Your guess is as good as mine.