Independent Power Production
Hat tip to Gudrun Langolf for the link
The experience of Squamish Valley residents and the Squamish Lillooet Regional District are instructive for those who think that the provincial policy of promoting “green” power through private sector investments is a step forwards.
There has been of course a lot of public concern – especially when Gordon Campbell decided that local government would have no ability at all to influence any of the decision making. And many people have been suggesting that there is more than a hint of undue eagerness to meet a corporate agenda, with the environmental benefits of run of the river hydro looking as though they come at a very high environmental cost. While the provincial government has promised much, BC residents how ho longer believe in anything the government says or puts out in its press releases. And the Squamish valley experience shows that they are right in this attitude.
What needs to be borne in mind too is that the “heartlands” (a word that seems to have fallen out of use recently) were supposed to be the key to BC Liberal electoral success. With the collapse of forestry and the closure of most of BC’s timber processing facilities, the US economic slump has hit the heartlands hard. But there is no sign of anything much being done – other than record breaking sales of gas leases. One of BC’s longest standing economic policies was to have power at near cost – and our big hydro dams provided lots of cheap power offsetting some of the huge environmental destruction caused by their construction. But this new power is for export and that for private profit, not public benefits. Locally or provincially.
Gordon Campbell will be reminded soon that corporations do not have votes.