BC Hydro

Screw the needy, our money goes elsewhere

“…complicit in a complex web of legal, administrative and political strategies designed to forward a multi-billion dollar infrastructure development program to enrich the largest most profitable companies on earth at the expense of our Province’s autonomy, economy and environment…”

Does this describe BC’s Liberal government serving the people who elected it? Yes, if the people managing and funding a political party deserve its service and primary attention.

Kevin Logan is writing a series at The Common Sense Canadian. Please don’t miss it:

Part of the infrastructure program described by Logan is to be served by planned expansion of BC Hydro’s power capacity. Even the provincial utility admits that much of the next decade’s new capacity will flow to large scale industrial projects, most in the oil and gas sectors.

Those include LNG facilities that will allow mostly foreign owned gas producers to earn higher prices exporting British Columbia’s non renewable hydrocarbon resources to Asia. The energy export business is the single most significant reason for now developing Site C dam on the Peace River. LNG producers don’t want to make their own power, they want BC Hydro consumers to provide it, and subsidize its provision.

Decades ago, the provincial utility was an important part of job creation in BC. However, when pulp, paper and sawlog mills operated, they gave back jobs in return, regular jobs, good jobs. Not a few, but many. Industry today employs more microcircuits than humans so the public subsidy equation needs adjustment. Right?

The Liberal policy determines that BC’s domestic power consumers today will pay much more for electricity so that multinational oil companies, highly attuned to exports, can empty provincial hydrocarbon energy reserves, earn high profits and send that cash out of province as well.

Categories: BC Hydro, BC Liberals

7 replies »

  1. Kleptocrats all…get the “criminals” out of the ledgislature, as fast as possible!

    Your children and grandchildren will thank you for it.


  2. I like your photo of the real Peace River. Hydro prefers to show featureless drawings of the land to be flooded so nobody thinks its of much value. That's part of their propaganda war. Most of us are so easily led.


  3. Proceeds of crime, laws…hmmm. Intresting possibility here. What if you proved the “kleptocracy” had criminal intent, and then applied for redress of the funds as public assets, “wrongfully expropriated” for use in a the commission of a “proven” crime? The possibility is there. As a class action, the case could have merit.

    Sorry Norm, mutilating the reputations of “sociopaths”, does absolutly nothing, to prevent the same “deviant behaviors', from reoccurring. Jail terms are required, for some of the more obvious, “alledged” offences.

    The taxpayer needs to know that this nonsense, of the past 11 years, will not be permitted to happen again.
    Cabinet privilige should not extend to the “alledged” theft of public assets, nor the dismantling of programs to benefit “friends” of the party in power.


  4. Probably the most significant impact of both Enbridge exporting tar sands oil and BC LNG exports is that these exports to Asia are going to also increase oil and natural gas prices paid by Canadian and BC consumers. These extra costs to Cdn/BC consumers are not factored into the studies submitted by the project sponsors. Robyn Allan, the former president of ICBC, retired, and also an economist, has done great work picking apart the Enbridge studies, the LNG studies, etc. You may not be surprised to know that, for eg, in the case of the 5 studies done on Enbrdige, most rely on the same flawed statis input/output econometric models (so different authors, same info/conclusion, according to Allan; the quality of work seems about equivalent to the frauds we used to seek out to short in my old job). You can find her work at http://www.robynallan.com. She also gave a great video presentation that is online somewhere…I cant find it right now. She's worth talking to if you havent already.

    After I saw Allan's work I got in touch with my Lib MLA to ask whether the government had done any studies to determine whether BC natural gas prices would increase as a result of the LNG exports. It took more than a week, but the office emailed me back and say that their studies show BC natgas prices could increase 11%. I was surprised they admitted even that. I think it's a gross understatement of the potential price increase: the 3 export licenses are for 3 bcf/day, which is three times BC's current daily consumption (our natgas market is continental, but there are regional contraints that make it so that natgas is not as fungible as gasoline; ie these exports will affect BC most directly), so we're talking enormous – 3x domestic consumption – export quantities. Second, I believe there's a fairly good chance that the shale gas boom is a bit of a ponzi scheme -it will flame out, or will not achieve the kinds of production forecast by the producers (see for eg Chesapeake Energy and its recent problems – Rolling Stone has done great work in the company -…it's a bit of a Canary in a coal mine as the largest lease holder of shale properties). Third, Asian prices are approx 3x-5x higher than BC/North America natgas prices; arbitrage will create tremendous upward pressure on domestic prices in BC; fourth…given the enormous planned increases in oil sands production, which is to a large degree reliant on natgas as feeder fuel, there's a huge built in domestic increase in natgas demand; finally, conventional natgas production has peaked in both the US and Canada (years ago)….the only reason we're going after the shale is that's what's remaining….so our shale gas production has to grow not just to supply export markets but also to replace 5%-10% steady declines in our conventional natural gas production – it's a touch challenge, and one we're unlikely to meet. It's all a recipe for unimaginable disaster – underused export infrastructure, higher prices for natgas across BC and higher oil prices across Canada.

    @trivcap on twitter

    ps: i'm sorry if you're already well acquainted with Robyn Allan. I cant remember where i got connected to her work…I apologize if it was here but a quick search didnt show a reference to her. Also apologize for the run on writing…it's late and Im tired. Cheers. Great work!


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