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Stikine River wetlands - photo by James Bourquin
CONTRIBUTION · 19th February 2011
You read about this first on the Terrace Daily in December of 2010 after we became aware of North Coast Power's permit approval to investigate the route to connect the NTL (Northwest Transmission Line) to the Alaska Grid at Tyee Lake. Read our December 12 report, complete with maps and links HERE. The following text is from which discusses some of the other potentional implications.

The Critics say plan to tie state to BC's power grid will enable shipping Canadian resources from US port.

By Christopher Pollon,

There's a sucking sound coming from B.C.'s northwest corner, barely audible now, but sure to crescendo as the electrical grid is extended beyond the city of Terrace into a vast copper and gold rich hinterland after 2013.

The source is the Alaska-B.C. intertie - a scheme planned and feverishly promoted Friday in Juneau, Alaska (see agenda HERE) - that would connect the Alaska Panhandle to the North American power grid through northern British Columbia. (See a map here and the sidebar to this story).

Positioned by Canadian and U.S. federal governments as a green infrastructure project to combat climate change, this Alaska-driven plan is paving the way for a new resource haul road through the Iskut River valley to Alaska tidewater.

Activists and at least four northern B.C. mayors have warned that Bradfield Road will one day provide a closer and more economical route to funnel B.C. minerals and timber through U.S. ports, shifting the axis of trade away from Stewart, Kitimat and Prince Rupert.

Nathan Cullen heard all about the Bradfield Road during his first year as the federal MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley in 2004. "Some Alaskans approached me and said, 'Here's the project, and we'll put this road in for free, and we'll ship all your goods as a nice courtesy,'" he says. "If anybody offers you anything for free, especially from Alaska, you should be worried. The idea of cutting off Canadian ports from being involved in the resource sector is not on, and we'll resist it."

But the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL), (see map here) when fully built out, will extend the North American grid to within 35 miles of the Alaska-B.C. border. Once the grid connection to Alaska is established, says Chris Zimmer, a Juneau Alaska-based campaign director for Rivers Without Borders, a resource haul road to Alaska is next.

"The grid intertie is going to need a right-of-way and access roads, so the next step is formalizing that road into a resource haul road," says Zimmer. "The Bradfield Road is an Alaskan road designed to drain future resources out of B.C. at a frantic and unsustainable rate."

Read the rest with imbedded links by clicking here.
Craig River Headwaters - photo by James Bourquin
Craig River Headwaters - photo by James Bourquin