NEWS RELEASE · 28th April 2010
CO&PEU # 378 Burnaby
Desperation, Giveaways Illustrate a Government in Crisis Scurrying into Hiding
The “Clean” Energy Act unveiled today by the BC Liberal Government provides an illustration of a desperate government on its last legs, forcing through the remaining planks of its energy giveaway agenda before they finally crumble and cave under the weight of a public that has turned against them, says the union representing workers in BC’s energy industry.
“What we see with this Act is a cynical move by a government on its last legs, desperately trying to complete its profiteering, export-driven energy agenda in its dying days,” said Andy Ross, President of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378. “This move is reminiscent of George W Bush’s last term, where we see a government being crushed in public opinion polls desperately trying to cram in every last giveaway before they are turfed out of office, in this case over $9 billion in projects,” added Ross.
“This isn’t an energy policy; it’s a scorched-earth policy,” added Ross.
The “Clean” Energy Act, with even its deceptive name borrowed from the Bush-Rove playbook, serves as a blanket document for overruling virtually every mechanism of accountability, process, public input, safeguards, and oversight regarding energy development, like the BCUC. After consistently being forced to overturn and interfere with the very BCUC mandate that they put in place, the government is using this act to essentially get rid of the Utilities Commission, despite over $9 billion in projects planned.
The “Clean” Energy Act clearly sets out the government’s plan to fasttrack all infrastructure for mass exports of power and private energy development, stating that virtually every single energy development project in the province “will not be subject to unnecessary lengthy and costly processes before the B.C. Utilities Commission”. This includes such massive government projects as the Site C Dam, the $1 billion Smart Metering program, the Northwest Transmission Line, the Clean and Bioenergy calls, and other major infrastructure/export components of the government’s agenda.
The above statement ignores the fact that the BCUC was structured by the current government to provide a vital oversight function, and forces BC utilities to demonstrate need and demand before proceeding with energy development. Ultimately, the Act shows that the government is planning $9 billion in public projects, all without the benefit of public oversight.
“The government isn’t even trying to pretend any more that their energy agenda is about anything other than mass exports centered on profiteering for Liberal friends and insiders,” said Ross. “In the past, the government has tried to mask their gold rush drive as essential to BC’s energy needs; now, they’ve given up on this and are just powering ahead with an export agenda,” added Ross.
“What this Act really looks like is an attempt to sew the crown jewels into their clothing before the masses storm the palace walls,” concluded Ross.
Projects no longer subject to the public scrutiny of the BCUC
The Northwest Transmission Line $404 million
Mica units 5 and 6 $ $1.3 Billion
Revelstoke unit 6 $300 million
Site C Clean Energy Project $6.6 billion
The Clean Power Call $400 million
BC Hydro’s Smart Metering and Grid Program $1 billion
TOTAL $9 billion
PLUS uncalculated costs of theses Projects
The Feed-in-Tariff Program
The Bioenergy Phase 2 Call for Power estimate $100 Million
BC Hydro’s integrated power offer
The Standing Offer Program