Sunday, April 19, 2009

BC's Watershed Election

"Environmental blah blah" is how retiring NDP MLA Corky Evans describes the privatization of BC's waterways under the guise of addressing climate change. So-called "green" run of river hydro projects, also known as independent power projects or IPPs, divert water into a pipe several kilometres long and then into a turbine before returning it to the same watercourse downstream.

Among the over 500 streams and rivers staked by private companies so far, the Plutonic Power and General Electric Bute Inlet Project plans to divert and dam 17 streams and rivers, while constructing 445 kilometres of transmission lines, 314 kilometres of roads, and 104 bridges. Across the inlet from me, the Sea-to-Sky corridor has stakes for 110 streams and rivers.

How did this happen? The 2002 B.C. Energy Plan forbade our formerly very profitable Crown corporation B.C. Hydro from producing new sources of hydroelectricity. Further, BC Hydro will now be forced to buy energy from the new private producers at $120 megawatts per hour for which they will receive $60 in the market. Well, you know Gordo and privatization : BC Rail, BC Ferries, healthcare,

What about local opposition? Silenced in June 2006 when Campbell passed Bill 30 to retroactively abolish local zoning authority over them.

Who supports the run of river projects? You mean apart from speculators and Liberal-led astroturf orgs like BC Citizens For Green Energy? Well, there's David Suzuki, economist Mark Jaccard, and environmental activist Tzeporah Berman who started the foundation PowerUp Canada just to promote them.

And why are we doing this again? To sell our "green" energy to the US. says Berman, through what Gordo referred to at the last PNWER summit as "electric transmission corridors".

Coincidentally, Suzuki, Jaccard, and Berman all made media headlines in the last few days criticizing the NDP for not supporting Gordo's "gas tax". Not that they support Gordo, they say, just "his environmental leadership". That would be the Gordo who gutted the BC Environment ministry and supports fish farms, the Gordo of Gateway Pacific and twin Enbridge pipelines from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat, the Gordo of expanding the oil and gas indutry in the north and building more roads and bridges instead of light rail and public transit, the Gordo of offshore drilling and renewed tanker routes ... that Gordo.



Racheal11 said...


BC Hydro pays 6 times IPPS on water rentals. This amounts to about $60 million a year in lost income for the province.

BC is a net exporter for 7 of the last 11 years. The BC liberals claim that BC is a net importer for 7 of the last 10 years (see Minister Blair Lekstrom's Letter in Victoria Times colonist Feb 1 2009) to justify building new PRIVATE power generation.

IPP Political Contributions to BC Libs Exceeds $800,000

The IPP Industry has contributed over $800,000 to the BC Liberal Party since they took power in 2001. In the first 4 years contributions amounted to approximately $200,000 while in the last 4 years this has escalated to $600,000. The figure was reached by adding contributions of over 180 companies and individuals who stood to benefit from the BC Liberal decision to acquire all new electricity generation from the private sector.

What is driving this drive to acquire electricity from private sources when publicly owned BC Hydro has been so successful in the past? One thing to consider is that BC Hydro, as a crown corporation, is prohibited form making political donations.

All figures are from Elections BC.

Insiders move to IPP industry

After Sean Holman reported another prominent member of the BC Liberals was taking a job in the highly lucrative IPP industry, I decided to make a list of who else has moved from the BC Goverment, BCLiberals Party, and BC Hydro to take highly paid jobs in the extremely lucrative IPP indusrty. While there is no direct evidence of conflict of interest, there seems to be a troublesome pattern of BC Governement and Liberal party insiders being employed by these power corporations. Many have inside knowledge of government policy and processes that probably could lead to the enrichment of the companies that many have moved to. Here is what a cursory search found. Feel free to add to the list anyone I have missed.

Mark Grant, BC Liberal executive director, resigns December 12, 2008 to join Rupert Peace Power.

David Cyr, former Assistant to BC Liberal Minister Mike de Jong, is now a director at Plutonic Power.

Robert Poore, recently worked under the Provincial Revenue Minister of the Province of BC, now is a senior director at Plutonic Power.

Tom Syer, who has held a variety of senior positions in the BC Government including Gordon Campbell’s Deputy Chief of Staff, is now a director at Plutonic Power.

Bill Irwin, after holding key positions in the BC Ministries of Land and Water, and Crown Lands, now is a director at Plutonic Power.

Bruce Ripley spent the last 2 of his 16 years at BC Hydro as VP Engineering, now is President and CEO of Plutonic Power.

Elisha McCallum (Moreno), after 7 years with BC Hydro as a media relations manager, moved to a directorship with Plutonic Power.

Bruce Young, has held several high profile positions with the BC Liberal party and lobbied his own party on behalf of Katabatic Power is listed as a director of Atla Energy.

Stephen Kukucha, former senior policy advisor for the BC Ministry of Environment, is now president and CEO of Atla Energy.

Bob Herath, former Assistant Regional Water Manager for the BC Ministry of Environment is now with Syntaris Power.

Paul Taylor, after his work as President and CEO of crown corporation ICBC as well as high level positions in the BC Government, is now President and CEO of Naikun Wind Energy Group.

Michael J. O’Conner, former President and CEO of Crown Corporation BC Transit, now holds senior positions at Naikun.

Jackie Hamilton, formerly held various BC Government environmental assessment and regulatory management positions, is now a VP at Cloudworks Energy.

Michael Margolick, held positions in resource and strategic planning at BC Hydro, now is the Vice President of Power and Transmission planning at Naikun Wind.

Robert Price, after a 30-year career at BC Hydro and Power Authority which culminated as the utility’s Vancouver Island transmission line construction, supervision and operations manager, now a member of the Hawkeye ‘team’ (website is not clear on Price’s position at Hawkeye).

Mr. Paul Adams, after a 33-year career with BC Hydro in which he held senior management positions, now is another ‘team’ member at Hawkeye.

Doug Bishop, formerly 32 years with BC Hydro and Powerex, was contracted in 2004 by Plutonic Power.

Ron Monk former BC Hydro Engineer, now employed by Kerr Wood Leidal engineering firm used by IPPs.

Wayne Chambers, a former BC Hydro power plant and substation operator, now a manager at Cloudworks.

Alexander Kiess, after long career with BC Hydro in management, now works as a consultant to Syntaris Power.

Geoff Plant, former BC Liberal Attorney General, now chair of Renaissance Power.

Alison said...

Racheal : Thank you for your very informative links. I'd link them in the post but I've been hit with a Blogger ban and will have to wait till it's lifted to be able to access my blog.

Q said...

Blogger ban???


Deanna said...

Echoing Q here...


Anonymous said...

Alison, hope you're back soon!
To add to your list of Gordo's environmental policies - bringing back grizzly bear trophy hunting and methane mining.


Oemissions said...

What's a Bloger ban and how come?

Alison said...

It's when you get flagged as spam or objectionable content. Blogger blocks your access to your blog for a couple of days while they check you out - no biggie but it's a nuisance.

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