Site C: Let's put the brakes on this energy boondoggle

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Exclusive New Photos: The B.C. Government's Frantic Push to Get Site C Dam Past 'Point of No Return'

Just two years ago only four in 10 British Columbians had even heard of the Site C dam. Now, the project — one of the most expensive and environmentally destructive in B.C.’s history — is making international headlines.

With construction ramping up, the high cost of the Site C dam is becoming more visible, and not just on the landscape.

Residents are being forcibly removed from their land. More than 100 kilometres of river valley — much of it agricultural land — is slated for flooding. Independent review processes, meant to ensure the project serves the public interest, have been circumvented and indigenous rights have been trampled....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from an email

NOV 4 Site C: Keep the Peace Comes to Quadra! Fri 7:00 PM Quadra Community Centre Quathiaski Cove, BC

NOV 5 Hike in the Karst Forest: Port Alberni Nov 5 - Nov 6 Port Alberni, BC

NOV 6 NO SITE C Sun 1:30 PM Somenos Rm, Island Savings Centre, 2687 James, Duncan

NOV 10 Beneath The Roots: Karst Rainforests Thu 7:00 PM · Cornett Building, University of Victoria Victoria, BC

NOV 14 Site C Keep the Peace Comes to Prince George! Mon 6:30 PM UNBC University of Northern British Columbia Prince George, BC

NOV 15 Site C: Keep the Peace Comes to Quesnel! Tue 7:00 PM St. John the Divine Anglican Church Parish Hall, 465 Kinchant Street, Quesnel

NOV16 Site C: Keep the Peace Comes to Williams Lake! Wed 7:00 PM Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake, BC

Martin N.

epaulo13 wrote:

Exclusive New Photos: The B.C. Government's Frantic Push to Get Site C Dam Past 'Point of No Return'

Just two years ago only four in 10 British Columbians had even heard of the Site C dam. Now, the project — one of the most expensive and environmentally destructive in B.C.’s history — is making international headlines.

With construction ramping up, the high cost of the Site C dam is becoming more visible, and not just on the landscape.

Residents are being forcibly removed from their land. More than 100 kilometres of river valley — much of it agricultural land — is slated for flooding. Independent review processes, meant to ensure the project serves the public interest, have been circumvented and indigenous rights have been trampled....

I don't see any farm land in the photos. Where are the photos of residents being forcibly removed from their land?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..they are there. you just need to keep scrolling down.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the link at the end of this post from 2013 is well worth looking at.

Site C Dam shows how broken our democracy is

This week I said I would talk about Site C but little did I know what I had taken on. I spent nearly a day and a half with stuff that wouldn’t likely be in the article but knew I needed to read.

After devouring an enormous pile of material which I’d rather not have, I came to the firm conclusion that Site C is a terrible idea, founded on a professed need for energy in BC based upon highly suspect, self-serving research by Hydro, which has a long history of deliberately overestimating costs and with no reasonably certain market except a very dubious LNG industry. The price tag, likely well in excess of $10 billion, will guarantee the bankruptcy of BC Hydro, which I suspect was the plan all along....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..no mention of indigenous nations in this piece nor the globe.

Site C would face utilities commission scrutiny if NDP elected, leader says

Construction would be nearing the two-year mark, but NDP Leader John Horgan says he will send the Site C dam before the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for scrutiny if elected premier in May.

In year-end interviews with the Canadian Press and Globe and Mail, Horgan said he would send the project before the commission for review before taking a firm position on the $8.8-billion project.

"Until I get an opportunity to look at the contracts to see what they say, what are the opportunities for the province to step back from this, I think it’s irresponsible for me to go beyond saying, ‘I am going to look at it when I get there,’” Horgan told the Globe and Mail.

Horgan is being urged by many fronts to halt the dam, both from environmentalists and local landowners, and former NDP premier Mike Harcourt, who oppose the project over its costs and impacts to indigenous treaty rights and productive valley farmland...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

‘I couldn’t negotiate the Peace Valley’: Hudson’s Hope Mayor on Site C dam deal

Hudson’s Hope Mayor and Site C dam critic Gwen Johansson says her community needed to get something out of the contentious BC Hydro project, but says she “couldn’t negotiate the Peace Valley.” 

Johansson said she recused herself from negotiations with the Crown corporation, aimed at reaching a deal on the $8.8 billion project under construction 80 kilometres downstream. 

The deal was announced Jan. 12, but a BC Hydro news release included statements from Coun. Dave Heiberg instead of the mayor.  

"I have always said I couldn't negotiate the Peace Valley,” Johansson said in an email. “At the same time, I have recognized that if decision-makers choose to ignore the growing body of evidence that Site C is not a good project, I cannot stand in the way of my community getting at least something for the enormous losses we will bear because of it.” 

“We are fortunate that Councillor Heiberg was available and willing to step in and head our negotiating team. I believe he has done the best that could be done in very difficult circumstances and I thank him for the many hours devoted to trying to get some benefits for Hudson's Hope."

Johansson has been one of the fiercest critics of the project, which the B.C. government approved  in 2014....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..it is with a heavy heart that i post this. i don't know if there are any othe cases pending or plans for new ones. and i hope there's a plan b.

Court dismisses Site C First Nations’ legal challenge

quote:

The appeal focused on whether the federal government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper was justified in approving Site C in a closed cabinet meeting, a procedure known as Governor in Council (GIC). 

“Specifically, the Court must determine whether the GIC, in circumstances where the designated project has significant adverse environmental effects and adverse effect on lands covered by a treaty, is required to determine if such effects constitute an infringement to the treaty rights,” Justice Richard Boivin wrote in the decision. 

If treaty rights were infringed, the court must determine “whether such effects are justified” by a legal test set out in the Sparrow case, a precedent-setting ruling on Aboriginal rights.  

The three-judge panel ruled a judicial review “is not the proper forum to determine whether the (First Nations’) rights are unjustifiably infringed,” and dismissed the case with costs. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Liberal pals plundering BC Hydro for tens of Billions

quote:

A decade ago, Citizens for Public Power member and SFU professor John Calvert wrote:

B.C. Hydro announced the outcome of its 2006 tender call for electricity from private energy developers. The results were startling. Not only had B.C. Hydro agreed to buy three times the power requested in the tender, it had done so at locked-in prices far above projected market rates.

…The core of that policy was laid out in the 2002 Energy Plan, which prevents B.C. Hydro from building new generation assets, and transforms the Crown corporation from a generator of publicly-owned electricity to a purchaser of energy from the private sector.

The rationale for this change is hard to fathom. The old policy worked very well. By generating its own power, B.C. Hydro ensured that ratepayers enjoyed, on average, the second lowest electricity prices in North America. This is because prices were based on the historic cost of production, not the current energy market price…

quote:

Chronically overestimating demand

BC Hydro’s encompassing blunder was failure to recognize technology and market changes revolutionizing the energy industry. Hoping to grow their fiefdoms and deliver value to demanding friends, Hydro executives chose to ignore reality. They steadily issued demand forecasts predicting immense growth. (“If a boy holds a hammer, everything needs pounding.”) Meanwhile, consumers were conserving.

Here’s how badly they’ve gotten it wrong:

  • In 1994, they predicted 52% demand growth by 2004. Actual growth: 18%
  • In 2005, they predicted 20% demand growth by 2016. Actual growth: 0%
  • In 2011, they predicted 20% demand growth by 2016. Actual growth: 1%
  • In 2012, they revised to 9% demand growth by 2016. Actual growth: -1%

Indeed, the utility’s records reveal that electricity consumption by regular customers has been flat for more than a decade.

Edzell Edzell's picture

I have not studied the details of electricity demands or economics but my prejudice is for preserving as much agricultural land as possible. Note that if the site is left "as is" for now it will still be available if/when its power-generating potential actually needs to be realised. But if the valley is flooded now  the loss of land willl be permanent and practically irreversible.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Edzell wrote:

I have not studied the details of electricity demands or economics but my prejudice is for preserving as much agricultural land as possible. Note that if the site is left "as is" for now it will still be available if/when its power-generating potential actually needs to be realised. But if the valley is flooded now  the loss of land willl be permanent and practically irreversible.

..i agree irreversable. a huge loss for now and into the future. it's young people who are the driving force of resistance. both inside settler and indigenous folk. it's their future they are fighting for. a huge motivator. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more from the piece

IPPs get rich on ratepayers’ backs

Despite all the above, over the past decade, amounts paid to IPPs have tripled. Independent power producers more than doubled deliveries to BC Hydro and the utility was forced to dump surplus power outside the province, with trades sales at an average, since 2005, of just 28% of prices paid private producers. And that loss is made worse because of Hydro’s collection and distribution costs.

So, for every dollar we pay them, we lose more than 72 cents.

Consumer demand was not growing, private power supplies were rising and export markets were soft. BC Hydro could only dump power outside the province for little revenue or reduce its internal production. Again, the utility’s own reports lead to a conclusion.

The following numbers are drawn from BC Hydro’s annual and quarterly reports and from U.S. Department of Energy market recaps. They demonstrate that in nine months, BC Hydro paid more than $600 million above market to independent power producers – having purchased the power from IPPs at $85,261/GWh, while the market for selling electricity to the US market was just $28,930 CAD per unit. Unfortunately, the rate of loss is accelerating....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

quizzical

my parents live like 2k from the head of Kinbasket. it's the Columbia River dam.

people just don't realize the damage. permanent damage hydro electric dams do.

when the water is down in the spring before run off starts the exposed bottom creates hugely toxic dust storms when the wind blows. it's unbelievable.

before BC hydro cleared the drift wood off the shores the silica sand didn't blow so bad. now all the drift wood is gone there are days when visibility is like 25%

nothing grows in it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

quizzical wrote:

my parents live like 2k from the head of Kinbasket. it's the Columbia River dam.

people just don't realize the damage. permanent damage hydro electric dams do.

when the water is down in the spring before run off starts the exposed bottom creates hugely toxic dust storms when the wind blows. it's unbelievable.

before BC hydro cleared the drift wood off the shores the silica sand didn't blow so bad. now all the drift wood is gone there are days when visibility is like 25%

nothing grows in it.

..i just learned something i didn't know. txs for sharing.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i'd love to hear what you think krop.

Site C Dam Ruling Says a Lot About Canada’s Relationship with First Nations

quote:

This week, the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier decision, which stated that the federal cabinet wasn’t required to determine if there was any  infringement of treaty rights, which are protected under the Canadian constitution.

“How can they authorize a project of this magnitude and not even turn their minds to whether it’s infringement given the history of this file?” Allisun Rana, legal counsel for the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations, told DeSmog Canada.

“Our clients had been told that the Crown would make the determination on infringement at the end of the day.”

But according to the ruling, only the courts can decide whether there is an infringement of treaty rights.

“What the judges are doing is just shifting the question,” said Caleb Behn, a former lawyer whose mother is a member of West Moberly First Nation. “This doesn’t solve the problem. It shifts the blame.”

quote:

First Nations Must Launch Civil Suit To Address Treaty Rights: Court

The decision means the First Nations must file a civil suit to address whether their treaty rights have been infringed. Civil suits of this nature include a full trial and often last several hundred days.

“If that is the only remedy, then that is not a very efficient or effective remedy,” Chris Tollefson, executive director of the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation, told DeSmog Canada. “I find that troubling.”

quote:

Legal Fight Could ‘Financially Cripple’ First Nations

“If the nations are required to go through a decade of litigation …  and bring injunction application after injunction application to ensure that the dam isn’t built, that would financially cripple and destroy these nations in trying to maintain and preserve their established rights,” said Emily Grier, another member of legal counsel for West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations.

If the government didn’t have to consider constitutionally protected treaty rights while determining whether to issue an environmental assessment certificate for the Site C dam, it raises the question: when do they consider treaty rights?

“At what point is the Crown obligated to stop and make sure that they’re not going too far, that they’re not crossing over into an infringement?” Rana said....

Centrist

quizzical wrote:
it's the Columbia River dam.

But Q. No BC Hydro dam in BC is known as the "Columbia River dam". Which one?

quizzical

oh ok then it's my imagination there's a reservoir just down the road from my parents. ;)

its Mica dam making Kinbasket Lake one of the many dams on the Columbia

Martin N.

The B.C. government has won another big round over First Nations opposed to the massive controversial Site C dam project, this time in the B.C. Court of Appeal.

In a unanimous three-justice ruling Thursday, the court rejected any native veto of development and said the Liberal administration had adequately consulted aboriginal groups.

The loss comes after the Federal Court of Appeal last month dismissed a similar challenge to the controversial $9-billion B.C. Hydro dam, the third on the Peace River, that will create a 93-sq.-km reservoir when it is finished in eight years on land covered by aboriginal treaty.

“The duty to consult and accommodate does not afford First Nations a ‘veto’ over the proposed activity,” Justice Peter Lowry wrote, with the support of colleagues Peter Willcock and John Savage.

Vancouver Sun

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This could be a very good turn of events. Almost all the significant aboriginal law cases that the SCC has decided where aboriginal groups have gained rights were cases heard by the BC Court of Appeal. Its record is so bad one would almost think the Judge's appointed have some sort of systemic bias against the concept of inherent rights on unceded land. It seems that being rejected by the BC Court of Appeals is just one step away from finally winning.

R. V Sparrow

Delgamuukw v British Columbia

Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia

Martin N.

Maybe but a unanimous decision is a bigger hurdle than a split. I have read the three decisions you cite, have you? They lay out a very complicated path that activists have reduced into a simplistic 'win' for indigenous peoples that the activists latch onto.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Martin N. wrote:

Maybe but a unanimous decision is a bigger hurdle than a split. I have read the three decisions you cite, have you? They lay out a very complicated path that activists have reduced into a simplistic 'win' for indigenous peoples that the activists latch onto.

Yes I have read them. In fact I did a 40 page paper on the BC Court of Appeal decision in Delgamuukw for an Aboriginal Law seminar at law school. I rightly predicted the SCC overturning it. That BC Court of Appeal decision is one of the most racist pieces of drivel one can find in our jurisprudence.

Martin N.

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Martin N. wrote:

Maybe but a unanimous decision is a bigger hurdle than a split. I have read the three decisions you cite, have you? They lay out a very complicated path that activists have reduced into a simplistic 'win' for indigenous peoples that the activists latch onto.

Yes I have read them. In fact I did a 40 page paper on the BC Court of Appeal decision in Delgamuukw for an Aboriginal Law seminar at law school. I rightly predicted the SCC overturning it. That BC Court of Appeal decision is one of the most racist pieces of drivel one can find in our jurisprudence.


Do you believe there are grounds for the Supremes to give the appellates leave to appeal or is this case of sufficient public interest, as it were, to be heard?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

IMO it is of overriding public interest and requires the highest court to rule. Of course they decide what they hear so they could just refuse leave and the decision would stand but it would not be binding on another Canadian Court of Appeal so I suspect the SCC will want to weigh in.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Court of appeal dismisses another Site C legal challenge, three cases remain

quote:

Three legal challenges against the project remain. 

Two related to the dam’s water licence are before the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board. One was filed by West Moberly and Prophet River, the other by a property owner. No hearing dates have been set. 

Prophet River and West Moberly are also appealing an Oct. 31 2016 B.C. Supreme Court decision dismissing judicial review of provincial permits for Site C related to clearing work on the site.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

United Nations Says Canada’s Largest Park Under Threat, Calls for Site C Review

If the federal government continues to avoid its environmental responsibilities, Canada’s largest national park could soon be listed as a “world heritage site in danger” due to threats posed by energy development and nearby hydro dams, says the United Nations.

Moreover, the government should immediately conduct an “environmental and social impact assessment of the Site C project,” which threatens to alter the flow of water through the Peace Athabasca Delta in the heart of the 4.5-million-hectare Wood Buffalo National Park, located north of the tar sands.

quote:

The UNESCO mission found this “simplistic approach” inadequate: “From a technical perspective, it is clear that there are important effects which should be understood to inform decision-making, including as regards to mitigation options.”

But the joint federal and provincial environmental assessment panel also couldn’t find any real need for the project.

Its 473-page study pointedly concluded that the BC Hydro had “not fully demonstrated the need for the project on the timetable set forth… For a number of reasons set out in the text, the Panel cannot conclude that the power of Site C is needed on the schedule presented.”

“The time is now to finally give this project the scrutiny it deserves and to establish a basis for informed and balanced decision-making still currently lacking,” says an 85-page UNESCO World Heritage Centre report released last week.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Is Site C Really ‘Past the Point of No Return?’

Cancelling unneeded, expensive, high-risk dam still smart choice, former CEO, economist say.

NDPP

Site C and NAWAPA  -  by Joyce Nelson   *MUST READ!*

https://watershedsentinel.ca/articles/site-c-nawapa/

"...In January, 2017, Chrystia Freeland was promoted to be Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, replacing Stephane Dion. During the 2015 federal election campaign, Dion voiced strong opposition to bulk water exports. Freeland, however, took no such stance....

Obviously, a very small circle of elites are drawing up plans for NAFTA renegotiations and other cross-border issues."

And few seem to notice or care. Are Canucklheads really going to just sleep through another massive national sellout/ surrender by Freeland et al in upcoming NAFTA 'renegotiations', including water? 

NorthReport

Probably 90% are from Alberta. Too bad BCers! 

Site C hydroelectric project surpasses 2,000 workers: B.C. government​

http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/site-c-hydroelectric-project-surpasses-2-...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Apparently some of my views are mainstream.

News 1130 reports, "A vast majority of British Columbians want the provincial government to stop construction of the Site C dam in the Peace Region and to look at alternatives according to a new poll [commissioned by DeSmog Canada]. In total, 73 per cent of those who responded want a pause in the project to look over the budget and to see if there are any ways around it. And 63 per cent of BC Liberal voters want another look."

http://canadians.org/blog/73-cent-british-columbians-want-construction-s...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..2010 this thread began and here we stand today.

Horgan to Hydro: Don’t Sign New Site C Contracts or Evict Residents

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan has written to B.C. Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald to urge the crown corporation not to finalize any contracts or evict any residents to make way for the Site C dam until a new government is in place.

“I note that the majority of British Columbians who voted in this election voted for parties that want to see the Site C project reviewed or stopped,” Horgan wrote to McDonald.

A co-operation agreement between the B.C. NDP and Green Party released this week indicated that if the NDP forms government, Site C will immediately be sent for an expedited review by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

However, construction will not be paused during the review, which has led to concerns that irreversible harm could be done to the Peace Valley in the coming months. Enter today’s letter to McDonald.

“I write to you today to express my concern regarding impacts on the community of Bear Flat, the West Moberly First Nation, the Prophet River First Nation, and other families and communities impacted by the government’s decision to expropriate lands for the advancement of Site C,” Horgan wrote.

B.C. Hydro recently extended the leases for some families in the Peace Valley by one month beyond the original May 31st eviction date.

“While this is a welcome respite, I believe there is no demonstrated short term need to force these families from their homes, and because the status of the next governments of British Columbia are uncertain, the threat of imminent removal of residents from their expropriated homes and property is unreasonable,” Horgan wrote.

“Given what the Premier has characterized as a probable change in government over the coming weeks, we urge BC Hydro to suspend the evictions from these lands and grant a further extension on the timeline so that impacted families can stay in their homes until the future of Site C is firmly determined.”

“I write to you today to express my concern regarding impacts on the community of Bear Flat, the West Moberly First Nation, the Prophet River First Nation, and other families and communities impacted by the government’s decision to expropriate lands for the advancement of Site C,” Horgan wrote.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Open Letter: UBCIC calls for the immediate cessation of the expropriation of lands for the doomed Site C Dam

Dear Ms. McDonald:

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) calls for an immediate halt to the forced evictions of the Boon and Meek/Jardine families on Treaty 8 territory and to suspend any new contracts, and cease the construction of the Site C Dam project threatening the Treaty 8 First Nations, the families, and the communities of the Peace Valley.

Confronted with an allied BC Green Party and BC New Democratic Party, Premier Clark’s Liberal government faces an evermore uncertain future. An NDP government supported by the Greens represents an end to the era of unfettered development and destruction throughout First Nations lands and territories.

Extending the residential leases for the Boon and Meek/Jardine families by one month beyond May 31, 2017, is not sufficient. With the future of the Site C Dam in question, the eviction of families serves no useful purpose and is both premature and irresponsible.

BC Hydro must suspend Site C’s planned schedule to prevent irreversible harm to the families and the environment.....read more.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Christy Clark’s Dangerous Site C Propaganda War

Politics and propaganda have never been strangers to one another, but what’s happening to political discourse around the world right now is cause for concern.

While much attention is paid to Donald Trump’s obvious attempts to mislead the public, a more insidious form of propaganda is playing out right here in British Columbia.

Case in point: B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s recent letter on the Site C dam, addressed to NDP Leader John Horgan and Green Leader Andrew Weaver.

The letter follows on the heels of Horgan’s request for BC Hydro to hold off on evictions and signing new contracts until after the B.C. Utilities Commission can review the costs and demand for the most expensive project in B.C.’s history. 

Horgan’s letter wasn’t addressed to Clark, but she found it in herself to reply anyway. 

Her letter includes the unsubstantiated claim that delaying the eviction of two families in the Peace Valley may come at a risk of a “$600 million cost increase to Site C” — a figure that Harry Swain, the man who chaired the review of Site C for the federal and provincial governments, has called “preposterous.”

The Prophet River First Nation and West Moberly First Nation also thoroughly debunked Clark’s claims in a letter sent to Clark and BC Hydro on Wednesday.

Clark has been mysteriously unavailable to respond to any of these criticisms since issuing the letter, which demands an answer within four days on whether Horgan and Weaver would like the government to issue a “tools down” request to BC Hydro and argues that the project will progress past the “point of no return” before the conclusion of a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

Rev Pesky

The opposition to Site C is the most non-green group I've ever seen. In addition to the opposition being exactly the opposite of what the Leap Manifesto asks for, the pissing and moaning over 80 km's of river valley on a river that's 1900 km's long and which already has two dams on it, is just baffling to me.

Site C is the greenest energy project in this country, and could make a serious dent in the amount of fossil fuel electricity generation that takes place in Alberta (where 90% of electricity is fossil fuel generated).

If it's not built now, it will inevitably have to be built in the future, for a much higher price.

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

The opposition to Site C is the most non-green group I've ever seen. In addition to the opposition being exactly the opposite of what the Leap Manifesto asks for, the pissing and moaning over 80 km's of river valley on a river that's 1900 km's long and which already has two dams on it, is just baffling to me.

Site C is the greenest energy project in this country, and could make a serious dent in the amount of fossil fuel electricity generation that takes place in Alberta (where 90% of electricity is fossil fuel generated).

If it's not built now, it will inevitably have to be built in the future, for a much higher price.

I thought I read something about Alberta not needing the energy unless new pipelines are built to expand production in the oil sands. 

I don't think there are going to be any new pipelines going to saltwater. Maybe Keystone now that Trump is in but even that is questionable. Trudeau is off begging for Chinese investment in the sands probably based on the Kinder Morgan plan which is being rejected by BC citizens.

The bottomline, to me, is that we don't need more oil production. Saudi Arabia can drop their oil to 10$ a barrel if they have to. New pipelines are white elephants that taxpayers will be forced to clean up after the oil companies all go belly-up or so poor they can't pay. Even now they have left oil wells behind in Saskatchewan that taxpayers will have to clean up.

I am not personally against Site-C. I agree that Hydro is much cleaner energy and that if it displaces dirtier sources in the US that is a good thing because we live on one planet. Climate change doesn't respect borders. But that is theory. The devil is in the details including those in NAFTA and in treaty rights and in the development of other sources of clean energy. Ocean energy is developing and BC is well situated to take advantage of it as a power source. Agricultural land is also valuable.

Site C is not inevidable.

jas

The biggest objections to Site C are not actually about the river or treaty rights, however valid those are. They are about the lack of a financial case for Site C, both historically and currently. BC Hydro projections for energy demand have been consistently wrong over the last few decades. Energy efficiencies in new consumer and construction technologies, along with ever-increasing new and cheaper sources of energy make Site C redundant and way too expensive.

A business case does not exist for Site C, as many analysts have shown. It would be basically a massive and unnecessary taxpayer subsidy to industry, if not export markets. It has been confirmed by numerous sources that power would be sold at a loss. British Columbians would be paying for this dam for decades, both through an increase in hydro rates and through taxes.

This simplistic perception of "population increase = increase in energy demand" simply doesn't hold, even in the first equation, let alone the conclusion that we therefore need energy mega-projects to meet this demand. I think the jury is in on this one.

As it is, BCers are hooped with Hydro's contractual obligations extending far into the future that the BC Liberals brokered for independent power producers (many of whom are run-of-river hydro projects, wrecking BC rivers). These amount currently over $101 billion. Even if I went completely off grid, I'll still be paying for BC Hydro's debt far into the future through my taxes. As Norm Farrell points out, it is a financial scandal of epic proportions. https://in-sights.ca/2017/06/06/unprecedented-financial-scandal/

 

Policywonk

Rev Pesky wrote:

The opposition to Site C is the most non-green group I've ever seen. In addition to the opposition being exactly the opposite of what the Leap Manifesto asks for, the pissing and moaning over 80 km's of river valley on a river that's 1900 km's long and which already has two dams on it, is just baffling to me.

Site C is the greenest energy project in this country, and could make a serious dent in the amount of fossil fuel electricity generation that takes place in Alberta (where 90% of electricity is fossil fuel generated).

If it's not built now, it will inevitably have to be built in the future, for a much higher price.

Opposition to site C comes from many groups and it is hardly the greenest power project in the country. And the assumption that it will eventually have to be built is just an assumption with no basis in reality.

https://www.desmog.ca/2016/07/18/site-c-far-from-clean-green-finds-new-u...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..and yet another piece..from april of this year.

Site C dam project has become 'uneconomic' and should be suspended: UBC report

quote:

A statement from the UBC researchers said several key changes that have happened since the project's initial approval mean it isn't the most cost-efficient option for producing power anymore.

First, experts found that alternative options for generating electricity — such as wind power and energy conservation — have become cheaper.

Secondly, BC Hydro's predicted demand for electricity has "dropped significantly," according to the report.

Experts said that could mean electricity from Site C won't be fully needed for nearly 10 years after the project's expected completion date in 2024.

The surplus energy would need to be "exported at prices currently far below cost," leading to losses of at least $1 billion.

Under BC Hydro's forecast demand, the analysis found, cumulative losses would be nearing $2.7 billion by 2036.

"The business case for Site C is far weaker now than when the project was launched, to the point that the project is now uneconomic," said UBC's Karen Bakker, who co-authored the report. "The good news is that we are not past the point of no return, according to our analysis."

The report said suspending the project would save ratepayers up to $870 million. It also said cancelling the project outright by the end of June would save just over $1.6 billion, but the report still recommended a suspension and review.

Martin N.

I fail to understand the reasoning of anti- development activists who consider anti-resource initiatives such as a BCUC report can be completed in 6 weeks but pro-development regulatory commissions that undertake years of environmental study and thousands of pages of expert opinion are never enough.....The new reservoir area is 5400 hectares over spread over 80 km of river. The area is mostly clay escarpments and brush. Most of the arable land is in hay and, if there was a possibility of economic agricultural production, the hardy farmers of the Peace would already be exploiting such potential.

Policywonk

Martin N. wrote:
I fail to understand the reasoning of anti- development activists who consider anti-resource initiatives such as a BCUC report can be completed in 6 weeks but pro-development regulatory commissions that undertake years of environmental study and thousands of pages of expert opinion are never enough.....The new reservoir area is 5400 hectares over spread over 80 km of river. The area is mostly clay escarpments and brush. Most of the arable land is in hay and, if there was a possibility of economic agricultural production, the hardy farmers of the Peace would already be exploiting such potential.

It's not a question of pro or anti-development but of what kind of development. Governments have an addiction to mega-projects. Meanwhile smaller projects generally create more and more lasting employment.

NorthReport

So the new government is going to reassess the energy demands for Site C but allow construction to continue during the process. Doesn't make much sense to me. Let's put the project on hold, assess it, and then decide whether or not to proceed. But first off fire the BC Hydro CEO and put someone in there who understands the Premier is the "boss".

NorthReport
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NorthReport

!!

NorthReport
Martin N.

The Supremes have refused to hear appeals by the Prophet River and Moberly bands of Appeals court decisions, awarding the defendants costs as well. This decision puts to rest the practice of ever evolving demands that the duty to consult and, if necessary, accommodate has not been met. While this decision will likely be met with stony denial by activists, it is as important as the Delgamukw decision.

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