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COMMENTARY · 4th December 2012
Merv Ritchie

BC Minister Pat Bell was in Terrace entertaining a combined crowd of Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce members. We say entertained because this is just what it was. The sharing of difficult facts, those tidbits of information which might cause tremors of concern, were not highlighted.

NOTE: Accompanying this composition are various links to articles for detailed research and further study. Within these linked articles, and also attached below, are videos of the various presentations recorded and yet more links should one be interested to discover the truth of the various topics addressed.

There appears to be a continuing drama of deception and obfuscation within the media machine and spin doctoring of the BC Government along with the mining and fossil fuel industry. The various presentations delivered in Northwest BC happen to be the most brilliant examples of a deluded population. No one appears to grasp the reality; most accepting at face value the statements delivered.

Royal Dutch Shell's CEO Peter Voser attended an interview on BBC’s Hard Talk on Sunday evening, December 2, 2012. The questions asked and the answers given revealed the concerns everyone in the Northwest, the Sacred Circle, should be considering. Shell is arguably the world’s leader in every fossil fuel industry and is looked at for providing the highest degree of expertise in performing this task. Voser raised serious concerns about the developing shale natural gas extraction industry.

See two videos of Voser on BBC and a presentation by Shells representative at the RDKS (Regional District Kitimat Stikine) attached below.

This is the newly discovered source of natural gas that has the Northwest preparing for new export markets. This was one of the subjects Minister Bell addressed to his compliant business crowd.

As the interviewer on BBC askied about these newly discovered gas “plays” she raised the concerns of fracking; the method employed to release the gas from the shale. She asked about the polluted ground water, the earthquakes and chemicals used. Voser stated the industry needs to be forced to do the projects correctly. He was blunt when he stated government must develop rules and regulations and must enforce them. Voser avoided answering many questions but when asked about polluted ground water he stated, if the wells are drilled properly, and cased in concrete properly, there will not be pollution to the ground water.

But this he suggested was a requirement of the government to ensure. As for earthquakes he stated there were risks associated with every fossil fuel industry.

The foundation of the properly cased wells being safe is founded on a belief the horizontally drilled shafts, thousands of meters below the surface, have a solid secure bedrock layer with no cracks or potential avenues for leakage to the surface. A belief with no foundation in fact.

As for compressing the gas into a liquid state (LNG) the BC government and BC Hydro are suggesting we need to build a new 500 KV grid from Prince George to Kitimat. The simple fact is, the amount of power required for the planned LNG facilities would require at least three new 500 KV transmission lines. The statements being delivered to the local population, and to the investors, are erroneous at best. The LNG plants will burn their own fuel supply to create the energy they need to compress the gas. This is the method used at almost every other LNG facility across the globe.

The BC government recently passed a law allowing this burning of LNG for power, compromising their own pollution laws. They did this to allow the industry and their associated brokerage firms to issue news releases so they would be able to claim another hurdle was passed. This allowed promoters of their stocks to hype the share value.

The new 500 KV transmission grid is necessary for two distinctly different purposes. The present grid from Prince George to Terrace is already at maximum capacity. In fact BC Hydro is planning to begin the installation of new capacitor stations in between the substations along the route. And their next step is to build a second 500 KV grid, likely beside the existing one. A further extension of the 500 KV line will be constructed to Kitimat. This will allow for the export of electricity into the Provincial grid for sale or transmission (wheeling) to other users, likely the USA.

Read details direct from BC Hydro and their plans, from July 2012, click here

This excess of electricity will be from the Kemano power generation facilities. When the smelter is finally shut down, either while the new smelter is being constructed or (the most feared prospect) if RTA decides to cancel the project, the present grid capacity would not be able to manage the load. It is currently at maximum capacity today.

Therefore the first purpose for the new grid is for the export of electricity. The new LNG plants, if constructed, may even add to this supply.

The second purpose for the new grid is to provide the electricity required for the new proposed mines. The presently active and fully engaged Imperial Metals Red Chris project next to the Klappan region in the Tahltan Iskut territory is scheduled to use almost all the presently available power from the new 287 KV line being constructed from Terrace to the Bob Quinn/Forest Kerr substation. Numerous other mines are proposed for the region and all of them will require substantial amounts of power to operate cost effectively.

To facilitate all the proposed activities of the region the appropriate course of action would be to construct a new major substation south of Ft St James and bring another 500 KV grid north to the Forest Kerr Substation. The present foot print of the construction at Forest Kerr suggests this is presently being accommodated. Then a further grid extension to SE Alaska at Tyee Lake, either 287 KV or 500 KV, could be constructed to access to 3000 MW of electrical power available from the Alaskan electrical power generation potential. All of this electricity is green, non-polluting, renewable natural power. It is all geo-thermal and Hydro electric, unlike BC Hydro’s plans to permit the burning of LNG and flooding the Peace River again. The Alaskans have prepared a study where they have demonstrated they have a further 7000 MW available if a grid was constructed. A potential of 5 Site C’s, a potential of 10 nuclear power plants worth of clean green electricity should the concept be encouraged.

But back to the fluff and fairy tales of Pat Bell and Peter Voser. If one were to be realistic and consider the potential of the new natural gas method being outlawed due to the outrage of the population fed up with poisoned water and earthquakes, the proposed gas pipelines would all be for naught. Pat Bells presentation to the Terrace Business crowd, attempting to hype his government plans would then be exposed for what it was, a brokerage firms dream promotion machine.

The reality of the foresight of this government can be exposed by their demands the public use Compact Florescent light bulbs (CFL’s). This technology was developed in the mid 1980’s and was being marketed by 1987. It was exposed at that time for the excessive waste these bulbs would add to the landfills and for the excessive mercury content. Should one of these bulbs break strict evacuation and clean-up procedures are required to be followed. 25 years later this BC government still hadn’t listened. Today we have LED bulbs which present none of the hazards, producing better light and use less electricity.

An Op-Ed by a Government Minister on CFL’s, destroyed by yours truly, from June 2011, click here.

We fully expect this BC government will not figure out electricity, LNG or fracking pollution until well past the year 2040.

Watch the videos of Peter Voser attached below.

Watch the video Gasland here

The Looming Pipeline Conflict Raises The Spectra of War - posted November 27, 2012

The Dark Comedy of Liquefied Natural Gas – The New Bre-X - posted November 29, 2012

A long history of protesting Shells plans in the headwaters - from July 2007 - click here

Shell at Terrace City Council November 2007

A very provocative assessment from April 2008

On BC Hydro selling off all of BC's potential and the ignorant environmentalists - from February 2009, click here
We should be awash in in cash!
Comment by blocky bear on 4th December 2012
With the present provincial government selling the resources of the province at a furious pace we should have a great surplus of dough! Instead we hear we will have to just have grin and bear the loss of many of our social programs because we are broke. WTF ???? d.b.