NEWS RELEASE · 12th March 2010
The B.C. Liberal government is forging ahead with plans to subsidize the private power industry at the expense of all British Columbians with the awarding of contracts worth untold millions of dollars, says New Democrat energy critic John Horgan.
“Under the direction of the B.C. Liberal government, B.C. Hydro has announced a commitment today to buy thousands of gigawatt-hours of electricity we may not even need, with more on the way,” said Horgan.
“We have no idea yet just how much this electricity is going to cost us. We have no idea how much more ratepayers will be clobbered with. The only thing we do know is that the B.C. Liberals are forging ahead with energy policy without a plan.”
B.C. Hydro announced today that they have awarded electricity purchase agreements to 19 private companies to produce power to add to the province’s grid. Last summer, the B.C. Utilities Commission rejected the Liberals’ energy plan as being not in the public interest, but Premier Campbell later announced the government would overrule the independent energy regulator and proceed anyway.
“Less than 8 months after the BCUC rejected the B.C. Hydro Long-Term Acquisition Plan, we see the B.C. Liberals plunging headstrong into new contracts that will ultimately cost every British Columbian more on their hydro bills,” said Horgan, noting the B.C. Liberals’ budget already announced plans to hike rates by 29 per cent over the next three years.
“We need open debate and discussion to determine the need for electricity in the province. That’s what the BCUC is for, and that’s what the B.C. Liberals are ignoring. Awarding big contracts to B.C. Liberals’ friends and financiers is not good policy – it’s deplorable,” said Horgan. “Where are the plans for supporting conservation over privatization?”
The private power industry donated more than $300,000 to the B.C. Liberal party in the lead-up to the last election, and now will be the main beneficiary of the B.C. Liberal energy plan.
By locking B.C. Hydro into long-term, high-cost contracts to purchase all the power they generate, regardless of whether B.C. Hydro needs it or not, IPPs are guaranteed huge profits and the public utility will be forced to sell excess power on the open market at a loss.
Carole James and the New Democrats are committed to preserving British Columbia's low-cost, low-carbon, energy advantage, and advocating for positive solutions to build a sustainable economy, including a Green Bond to develop green jobs while retrofitting homes and public institutions to become more energy efficient.
Didn't this used to be called bribery?
Comment by Al Lehmann on 13th March 2010
"The private power industry donated more than $300,000 to the B.C. Liberal party in the lead-up to the last election, and now will be the main beneficiary of the B.C. Liberal energy plan."
What a shock! The Liberals repay private deals with publicly paid for favours? Hard to imagine. :)
if not in the public interest
Comment by Ron Savard on 12th March 2010
If not in the public interest, in whose interest is it to overrule the BCUC and mess with our waterways? The B.C. Liberal government continues to obstruct the will of the electorate as it did with the sale of B.C. Rail, the introduction of the HST, and the roll-back of special provisions for the poor on social assistance. What more proof do we need to conclude that the Cambell government doesn't give a hoot about the public interest and is interested in playing the markets to the exclusion of all other worthy goals, such as governing to insure a just society?