A BC Government “technical presentation” regarding its decision to continue construction of Site C is filled with misinformation, deceit and false justifications.
If this is the quality of the advice taken by John Horgan’s cabinet on one rather important issue, we should be concerned about every other policy being considered.
Apparently, if truths are inconvenient, Victoria still prefers deception. Examples:
In 2011, when the Site C budget was $7.9 billion, BC Hydro claimed the project “would produce electricity at a cost between $87 and $95 per megawatt-hour.” Now that the projected capital cost is $10.7 billion, somehow the cost of power has fallen to $60 per megawatt-hour.
Of course, the NDP makes no mention of Alberta recently concluding an auction process that will see the province paying $37 per megawatt-hour for wind energy.
Nor does it acknowledge that Scientific American magazine recently reported:
A comprehensive survey of the wind industry shows wind energy is routinely purchased in bulk for just two cents per kilowatt-hour—and turbines are only getting cheaper, bigger, and better…
To keep us feeling warm and fuzzy about the incompetent management of BC Hydro, a rate comparison is offered:
However, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has a rather different set of data. This chart shows current retail prices for electricity in America’s western states:
The government presentation notes the IPP share of electricity supply is growing:
However, even this chart is misleading since it suggests moderation of BC Hydro’s purchases from independent power producers. In fact, in the first six months of fiscal year 2018, despite a continuation of flat demand, average monthly IPP purchases were 1,420 GWh, 25% higher than the monthly average in fiscal year 2017.
Worst of all, the NDP document fails to acknowledge that BC Hydro’s sales to residential, commercial and industrial consumers has been flat for well more than a decade. It boldly discards the NDP platform promise to establish PowerBC, a program “designed to reduce electricity demand.”
Without detail, the presentation states the termination cost of Site C would be $4 billion and it paints a one-sided doomsday scenario of how that would affect the province. Apparently, more than $6 billion in valueless “regulatory assets” need not be written off immediately but Site C cost must be.
I suspect there has never been any intention within the NDP leadership of stopping Site C. They had calculated that doing so would offend important friends in construction trades unions and they worried that political opponents would paint the new government as anti-development.
The decision may demonstrate that BC’s new government is committed to serving its own special interests and following artful principles that kept BC Liberals in power for 16 years.
Victoria BC – Over 400 delegates attended the Site C Accountability and Action Summit to un-package the BC NDP’s Site C decision, uphold Indigenous rights and Treaty 8, examine the ongoing Site C train wreck, and to develop action plans to stop Site C.
Experts with over 100 years of collective experience in energy economics concluded that the NDP government knew their decision to continue Site C was based on erroneous advice. Contrary to the words of Premier Horgan and Attorney General David Eby, the facts are:
- Cancellation of Site C will not trigger an immediate 12% rate increase.
- Cancellation will not incur a $3 to $4 billion write down.
- Cancellation will not mean $125 to $150 million in new annual debt service and
postponement of needed capital spending.
- Cancellation will not cause a bond rating downgrade.
- Cancellation will save $3.5 billion for other infrastructure.
The Summit was advised that the cost of renewable energy has plummeted since the
December 11th 2017 decision to proceed with Site C making any further attempt by the NDP to justify proceeding with Site C an exercise in futility.
The Summit was briefed on the clear and massive breach of West Moberly, Prophet
River, and Blueberry Indian Band Treaty Rights and other Indigenous Rights that will occur upon flooding of the Peace Valley if Site C proceeds…
— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) February 6, 2018
David Suzuki: Large dams fail on climate change and Indigenous rights https://t.co/HIhsqd7LDR
— Straight News (@straightnews) February 6, 2018