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Sabotaging Our Future

How SaskPower’s $1 Billion Scheme to Import Power from the U.S. will Devastate Estevan and Leave the Province’s Economy Vulnerable

SaskPower’s plan to replace clean, reliable and affordable coal-fired power from Estevan’s Boundary Dam with 650 MW of power from the Southwest Power Pool in the U.S. starting in 2027, will not only cost Saskatchewan residents a billion dollars, it will also devastate Estevan and put the entire provincial economy at risk. We hope that SaskPower has considered the following: Energy Insecurity: Depending on imported electricity, even from a country as stable as the U.S., will leave Saskatchewan vulnerable to supply disruptions and price volatility. This can create vulnerabilities in the energy supply chain, and may also leave the province vulnerable to weather related power emergencies, such as we saw recently in Texas, that would inevitably result in power cuts to Saskatchewan. This would affect the stability and reliability of the province’s energy supply and would, in turn, reduce economic growth and competitiveness. Higher Costs: Importing electricity can be more expensive than generating it locally. This is because not only do we pay for the electricity itself but imported electricity often incurs additional costs such as transmission fees, taxes, changes in the Canada-U.S. exchange rate and tariffs. These costs would inevitably be passed on to Saskatchewan’s businesses and consumers in the form of higher electricity prices. Loss of Revenue: If Saskatchewan chooses to import electricity, it means that we are not generating that electricity here. This will result in a loss of revenue for SaskPower and the provincial governments who, instead of producing the electricity and reaping the benefits, will instead be sending that money to American compaies south of the border. Reduced Investment: Moreover, lower power production here will result in a reduction in local power generation infrastructure in the energy sector. This can lead to a lack of expertise and experience in the energy sector, making it harder for Saskatchewan to develop and maintain our own energy infrastructure in the future. This could limit our ability to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in the province’s energy sector. Exporting Jobs: Importing electricity will result in a loss of jobs in the provincial energy sector, especially in Estevan. Instead of local workers mining coal and producing the electricity here, we will be buying coal-fired electricity from the U.S., essentially exporting the jobs of our coal miners and power workers to the U.S. Economic Development: The loss of reliable, good paying local jobs will result in not only the potential loss of skilled labour fleeing elsewhere for job opportunities, but will also put downward pressure on incomes in the broader local economy. This would obviously make it harder for local businesses to operate profitably. Real estate prices will suffer. Businesses will close. The potential negative spin-off effects could be devastating to the Estevan economy. Does SaskPower care? Overall, while importing electricity can be a way for Saskatchewan to meet our energy needs, it also comes with significant negative economic impacts that should have been carefully considered before SaskPower made a billion dollar decision to import power from the U.S. Therefore, politicians of all stripes in Ottawa, Regina and Estevan must take these negative consequences into account when making decisions about the energy transition and work to address them satisfactorily. As an alternative, we have safe, clean, reliable and affordable Estevan coal that has been used for over a hundred years to power the province. With modern technologies and best practices, the environmental impacts of coal can be minimized. Utilizing our world leading, made-in-Saskatchewan carbon capture and storage (CCS) / carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology pioneered at Boundary Dam, Estevan has a proven source of energy to power the province’s future energy needs. Saskatchewan Coal Transition Centre

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