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You have to start wondering if Hydro has a clue about electricity demands or even about managing this massive dam project.
Canadians lucky to dodge Pacific Northwest LNG project, just ask Australia
But it's not just gas producers paying for this enormous miscalculation. Every Australian energy consumer is also paying. Unlike Canada, gas exporters don't have to prove that exports are surplus to domestic needs. Hence domestic prices more than doubled with the diversion of so much supply to exports; electricity prices also skyrocketed (because of gas-fired generation costs). Government isn't reaping any benefit, since the sweet royalty deals inked to accelerate LNG projects require virtually no royalty payments until capital investments have been paid off. That will likely never happen -- meaning Australians effectively gave away this gas (without royalties) to Asian consumers, many of whom now pay less for it than Aussies do.
In fact, it's hard to find anyone who benefited from this fiasco. And Australia's pro-development mindset greased the wheels. Taking more time to review the costs and benefits of major projects; empowering Indigenous communities to negotiate fair deals; and establishing a fiscal regime that's fair to both taxpayers and the climate, would have put enough sand in the wheels to at least slow down the bandwagon, and possibly stop it altogether. Canadians should thank our lucky stars we did it better.
well, there's one nice thing about that Straight article. It encapsulates almost all of the hilariously wrong ideas about Site C in one place. Written by someone who wouldn't know an electron if it jumped up and bit them in the ass.
Site C: Read here Deloitte's unredacted bombshell report to the B.C. Utilities Commission
Do Energy Industry Activities Threaten Dams? BC Hydro Now Says Yes
Oil and gas tribunal decision upholds shutdown of waste water disposal due to earthquake risk to Peace Canyon Dam.
The Facts Are Piling Up Against the Site C Dam
This is our chance to finally make the right decision.
Scrapping Site C and developing wind and solar could save billions, analyst says
Says B.C. doesn't need all Site C's power, other options cheaper, export market will not materialize
If the BC NDP do decide to go ahead with Site C hopefully they could at least name it after Dave Barrett
Exhibition Place wind turbine hasn't produced power since March
Offline for over half a year because one day, it rained.
I know that's Ontario news, not BC news, but I would think anyone who believes in BC wind power should be interested anyway. What if they fix it and then it rains again?
Fixing BC Hydro Accounting Will Take Time, Says James
NDP blasted Crown corp’s practices in opposition as ‘pure attempt to mislead.’
It's quite obvious from reading the BCUC report, that BC Hydro has been doctoring the facts and figures about Site C and not only that, it is not the green project in relation to wind solar and geothermal power which were never even looked into by BC Hydro. It's too bad some workers will lose their jobs but they are non-union jobs, and the project needs to be killed as it is in no way beneficial to the general citizenship of BC.
Devastating indictment of the right-wing incompetent and deceitful Liberals.
Site C dam not within budget, could cost more than $10B: utilities commission
Cancelling Site C is a win-win-win-win-win for John Horgan.
1 - energy not required as the plan for its use is the non-existant lng projects
2 - saving BC taxpayers from massive cost overruns.
3 - explaining how badly the Liberals fucked it up will make the fast ferries look like child's play.
4 - supported by the Greens
5 - nowhere near as Green a project as alternatives such as wind, solar, and geothermal which the Liberals never explored
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver says new report 'final nail in Site C's coffin'
Hudson’s Hope Goes Solar As Town Faces Site C’s Biggest Impacts
Screw the voters in the Peace anyways as they are just a bunch of extreme right-wing intolerant CLAC lovers who never will vote NDP.
Liberals' pals front and centre in B.C. Hydro's spending
It started out innocently enough.
The task: how successful were the cuts at B.C. Hydro following former premier Christy Clark's “hard look” at the Crown corporation in 2011?
Annual reports from some Crown corporations have gone the way of the dodo bird—the numbers now buried in their three-year service plans—so, first step: find the utility's 2016/17 Financial Information Act return.
And there is was (while scrolling through the 188 pages): $236,698 to Retirement Concepts Seniors Services. Everything kind of went south from there.
It was a bit of a head scratcher. Must have been for someone else at B.C. Hydro, because there's a $39,865 payment to Headscratchers LLP.
So checking Clark's 2011 hyperbole against actual results went out the window in favour of another question: exactly how did B.C. Hydro spend $5.8 billion on goods and services last year?
First, the tax man cometh, better known as how to balance a provincial budget creatively.
Say goodbye to $566 million to the B.C. government, local governments ($165 million), payments to First Nations ($24.9 million), and a $39.4-million payment into the corporation's pension plans.
The two pension plans are one of the lesser known ticking time bombs at the utility.
Another actuarial review will take place in 2018, but right now it faces a shortfall of $1.6 billion. It's right there at the bottom of page 37 of the return.
The utility's wholly owned energy-trading arm, Powerex, accounted for $803 million.
After that, it didn't take much for the utility to blow through another $3.3 billion. In fact, it only took 89 suppliers, among them many of the former government's best pals.
The utility's financial return is also interesting for who is in it and who isn't.
Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. owns or has an interest in eight independent power facilities in B.C., but the company isn't listed among the suppliers. The facilities are, though.
Add them all up: $75 million, after adjusting for the ownership stake Innergex holds in each.
Duz Cho Construction ($20.8 million) did well, possibly all of it through a direct-award contract for work on Site C. The construction firm has former transportation minister Blair Lekstrom in its corner as a lobbyist. His 2013 mandate reads, in part: “(to assist) Duz Cho Construction...negotiate opportunities with B.C. Hydro.”
The developers behind Vancouver’s Trump Tower, West Georgia Development Ltd. (part of the Malaysian-based TA Global Bhd), saw $40,061.
The law firm that had former New York city mayor Rudolph Giuliani's name on the door until last year is down for $4.4 million.
Canada's finance minister didn't do too badly. His family firm, Morneau Shepell Ltd., billed $999,758.
If tolls are any indication, the Port Mann bridge ($103,129) proved more popular than the Golden Ears ($42,055), which proved more popular than WestJet ($27,485).
Even Air Canada came in at only $169,645, which is odd since the utility's employees claimed $36.3 million in expenses last year, an average of roughly $6,000 per employee. At least 10 expensed more than $50,000. One came in tops at $109,574, and it wasn't former president and CEO Jessica McDonald ($43,379).
What's missing from the return?
In what must be a first for a B.C. government operation, companies that have the word shred in their name.
As for the 2011 cost-cutting, another 40 severance agreements were signed with nonunionized staff—that's on top of the 175 signed since 2013/14—some representing up to 18 months in pay.
There's another ticking time bomb in the return buried on page 55 in the second-to-last note to the financial statements: “A contractor has filed a Notice to Arbitrate a claim against B.C. Hydro. B.C. Hydro has filed a counterclaim.”
Likely over those "faulty steel towers from India that twisted, bent and collapsed," which Flatiron-Graham brought in for the Lower Mainland Transmission line.
As for Retirement Concepts, undoubtedly tied to one of the boutique breaks that select companies saw through B.C. Hydro's Power Smart program. Last year, a few of B.C.'s wealthiest property developers took home $8 million from the utility.
Oh, I don't recommend spending any of Clark's hyperbole when it comes to that 2011 cost-cutting exercise. The results don't match the glowing spin.
Site C Is a Political Sophie’s Choice for the NDP
Blame the BC Liberals for that.
Open letter to Premier John Horgan, cabinet ministers, and other MLAs about the Site C dam
by Staff on November 13th, 2017 at 4:44 PM
The Peace Valley Landowner Association and the Peace Valley Environment Association are distributing the following letter on behalf of citizens from across the province:
B.C. Hydro spins a yarn on infrastructure projects
Site C exposes economic folly of flooding farmland
Green leader senses NDP support for Site C, minister says no decisions made yet
NOVEMBER 17, 2017 01:06 PM
The Site C Dam location is seen along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
John Horgan’s energy and jobs plan for BC
Hopefully these energy regulators have been fired by now
Despite What Politicians Say, Hundreds of BC Gas Wells Leak Methane
That means researchers don’t know with certainty how many of the province’s 26,000 wells have actually been tested.
Josh Wisen, a master’s student at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, recently calculated in a paper for an Ottawa conference — based on limited commission data, that the industry drilled 4,017 wells since 2010 and that 761 are leaking — a failure rate of 19 per cent.
The majority of the leaks came from the surface casing vents at the top of the well (not a topic covered by the 2013 report) while seven per cent came from gas migration. Another three per cent came from liquid leaks to the surface.
According to the commission, “gas migration has been reported to be associated with 144 wells in northeast B.C.” and that three of the leaking well sites “have been required to develop and implement a groundwater monitoring program to support the risk assessment.”
But the regulator, which is funded by industry, doesn’t have any idea how many older abandoned wells are leaking.
It recently commissioned an aerial survey to test equipment to find methane leakage from decommissioned wells — nearly four years after the 2013 report recommended that “it should consider prioritizing the abandonment of wells with gas migration or surface casing vent flows.”
According to the 2013 report, there is no timeline to abandon an inactive well in B.C., which means it can sit on the landscape leaking methane into groundwater or the atmosphere indefinitely.
Although LNG proponents still characterize shale gas production as “clean” and without methane leakage or groundwater contamination, field observations by the David Suzuki Foundation suggest that many leaky wells are not appearing in the B.C. database.
Their recent mobile survey study of natural gas developments in northeastern B.C. found that nearly 50 per cent of active wells spewed detectable amounts of methane.
The peer-reviewed study which appeared in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, estimated that methane emissions from B.C.’s shale gas basins are now at least 2.5 times higher than provincial government estimates.
That makes the oil and gas sector the largest source of climate pollution in B.C., a greater source of pollution than commercial transportation.
In Alberta the under-reporting of methane emissions — now a key driver of climate change, has been equally dramatic.
Airborne measurements of methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure around Red Deer and Lloydminster, which is an area with a documented history of severe gas migration problems, found that that the Red Deer emissions were 17 times greater than what regulators estimated based on ground reporting, and four times greater than regulatory estimates for the Lloydminster region.
Uncertainty about the magnitude of methane emissions from leaking wells makes it difficult for federal and provincial regulators to identify and set up programs to control methane emissions, a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
But the findings of the Alberta study clearly suggest that actual methane emissions from the upstream oil and gas sector (excluding mined oil sands) are likely to be at least 25 to 50 per cent greater than estimated.
That finding means that belated proposals to cut methane emissions by 45 per cent are inadequate due to chronic underestimation of the real problem.
Karlis Muelenbachs, a pioneer in tracking stray gases from wellbores and a professor at the University of Alberta, called the 2013 “internal” OGC report “sound” but incomplete.
“I do wonder why it only looks at ground migration and not the much more easily documented surface casing vent (SCV) flow),” Muelenbachs said. “I have always thought that wherever one sees [gas migration] one probably would also see SCV, and the question is if both gases have the same source. As mentioned in the report they do not.”
Muelenbachs added that the report “underestimates the total threat but I would expect a lot of sugar coating to have the report taken to management.”
Gilles Wendling, a hydrogeologist who has studied changes to groundwater quality in northeastern B.C., said the 2013 report raised questions and underscored how poorly the province has been monitoring groundwater. “How many leaky wells weren’t repaired?” Wendling said in an email. “The majority of oil and gas well in B.C. were drilled before 2008 (some 19,000) and a large number (about 8,000) were drilled before 1995.”
Wendling said all the wellbores could potentially leak, but how many leak won’t be known until they are tested. “This could be difficult to do for older decommissioned wells, which have been buried below the surface for more than 20 years. For all of B.C. we need to know which wellbores have been tested for leakage, how they have been tested, and when they were tested,” he said.
Wendling added that it was “fallacy" for the 2013 report to conclude that “there is no reason to expect that any of the GM wells have had a negative impact on any domestic source of groundwater as none of the GM wells are in close proximity to domestic water wells.”
Stating that there is no reason to believe “there has been impact because it was not monitored and/or because of the absence of wells does not prove there has been no negative impact,” he said.
Groundwater monitoring conducted by the province in northeastern B.C. remains incredibly poor. Wendling said only seven monitoring wells are in operation in the region.
In 2016 Wendling submitted a report to the Peace River Regional District and Tribal 8 Association documenting substantial changes to groundwater quality in the region over time.
Based on thousands of surface and groundwater samples — some dating back to 1943, Wendling found “an increasing presence of sodium and sulfate in surface water (after 2000), in groundwater (after 2000), and in spring water (after 2011).”
An observed increase in barium in groundwater could be due to “intense drilling activity in the region.”
But Wendling’s report adds that “the lack of information on water, both on quality and quantity prior to the 1970s, has prevented the definition of the baseline before human activities started having a footprint both at the surface and in the subsurface.”
Industry regulator withheld data from government for four years.
A Tale of Three Mega-Dams, and Why Site C Could Face the Axe
Troubled Muskrat Falls and Keeyask projects going ahead, but BC government has more options for Site C.