In-Sights reader Hugh asked my opinion of a Tom Fletcher article. In it, the former head of the Legislative Press Gallery belittles the analyst who correctly estimated that consumer losses from BC Hydro’s private power acquisitions are costing billions of dollars.
The Liberal ally and right-wing advocate complains BC’s NDP Government is moving away from previous energy policies. He said the decision to return part of the money Liberals had extracted from BC Hydro was political interference, aimed at moderating rate increases. Of course, he wasn’t one who complained about the utility’s past practice of transferring borrowed money to the province as “dividends.”
Fletcher states independent power producers (IPPs) are associated with a cleaner, greener tomorrow. He didn’t say the wallets of ratepayers are being cleaned and private power companies are the ones getting the green.
Ken Davidson, author of ZAPPED, is described by Fletcher as a “former NDP finance executive.” In fact, Davidson was a respected official of the Finance Ministry, He was at one time director of program evaluation and later, director of the Treasury Board. Staff of that body includes more than a dozen apolitical financial analysts. Davidson was one of those.
No doubt Fletcher would have been happier if a reliable KPMG partner like Gary Webster had written the report.
Fletcher repeats words of private power lobbyists, stating the Davidson report uses inaccurate market pricing. Yet, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council supports Davidson. It follows and forecasts annual Mid-Columbia electric power prices. NPCC calculates current wholesale rates are about one-third of the average price BC Hydro now pays IPPs. The Council expects Mid-C prices in 2035 will be about half of the average unit value BC’s private power producers receive in 2019.
This was reader Hugh’s comment to me about Fletcher’s article in Black Press:
I find this reporter quite slanted, and proud to be so. I think 1/2 of his article is slanted dialogue meant to annoy people.
It’s too hard for him to just be a reporter educating people.
What do you say to his retort that the report used only spot prices on power/costs of the IPP’s , amongst other claims…
If he were a bit hungry, Tom Fletcher seems the kind of person who might snatch food from a starving child.
Might makes right, of course.
Thinking typical, in my opinion, of far-right clowns who believe there should be no rules governing the economy and that individuals are entitled to keep any material wealth they accumulate, regardless of the means employed.
Right-wing libertarians generally believe there is no public interest and natural resources should not belong to citizens collectively. Only individuals and unregulated markets matter and owners’ rights to property of all sorts should be untrammelled.
If you are poor or disabled, that is your bad luck and you deserved it.
Ayn Rand wrote that happiness was the moral purpose of life; that you owed almost no duty to any other. The Russian/American author is a hero to many callous libertarians.
Fletcher proudly claims he is a libertarian and he seems to admire anyone who converts public assets to private. Meanwhile, he’s happy to work from the Press Gallery office and eat in the Legislative dining room, both subsidized by taxpayers. Afterall, happiness and comfort is the purpose of life.
As to market prices, Fletcher will obfuscate to protect those he favours but price information published by the US Energy Information Administration confirms, as Davidson reported, that BC has been paying IPPs far more than market value.
In my view the ZAPPED report is conservative in estimating losses to citizens of BC.