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Power Failure - Part 2: The Folly of the Kokish River IPP Proposal

George Gibson, Common Sense Canadian, February 24, 2012

In the second installment of a two-part series examining the failed private power model in BC, geologist and concerned British Columbian George Gibson focuses on the proposal to dam and divert the Kokish River as a prime example of the flawed BC Liberal energy policy. (Part 1 here)

Power Failure: BC’s Clean Energy Act on Shaky Ground - Part 1

George Gibson,, Feb 18 2012

The following is the first in a two-part series by geologist and concerned British Columbian George Gibson examining the failed private power model in BC.


Government Pulls the Plug on Private River Power Projects

Gwen Barlee, Wilderness Committee, 06Feb2012

The BC government’s announcement last Friday that it is axing BC Hydro’s electricity self-sufficiency and insurance requirement should dramatically reduce the demand for private power projects and keep scores of wild rivers out of pipes.

Site C essential for LNG development: Clark

Erica Fisher,, Fort St. John, Feb 8, 2012

Site C and B.C.'s proposed LNG development go hand in hand, according to Premier Christy Clark. In an interview with Moose FM/, Clark explained that the newly approved licence for Shell to export liquefied natural gas out of Kitimat will use 100 per cent of the power Site C would create.

B.C. abandons self-sufficient energy plan

Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, Feb. 03, 2012

Victoria — British Columbia will abandon its current commitment to move the province back to a position of energy self-sufficiency, Premier Christy Clark is announcing today.

The watered-down version of the policy is being rolled out as part of a new energy strategy aimed at fuelling a new liquefied natural gas industry.

Clark softens approach to sustainability as part of B.C.'s new energy strategy

By Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun, February 3, 2012

VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark is making over her predecessors approach to energy self sufficiency to help make way for a significant expansion in the production of liquefied natural gas.

Natural gas fuelling new economic opportunities

News Release, Premier's Office, Feb 3 2012

VANCOUVER - Premier Christy Clark today announced British Columbia's natural gas strategy will be established on a foundation of four priorities for long-term economic prosperity under the BC Jobs Plan.

BC Natural Gas Strategy 2012"We are creating new and exciting opportunities by diversifying our natural gas sector, strengthening job prospects for British Columbians and opening the door to new clean energy projects. My government is positioning liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a cornerstone of British Columbia's long-term economic success," said Premier Clark.

California clean air regulations could “wipe out” Hydro’s export revenues

By Gordon Hamilton, Vancouver Sun, January 4, 2012

California’s new carbon cap-and-trade regulations, which came into effect Jan. 1, will require BC Hydro’s power exporting arm to buy costly carbon credits on its energy exports beginning in January, 2013, likely wiping out Hydro’s primary export market and increasing the cost of electricity to B.C. consumers in the process, a B.C. energy economist said Tuesday.

Contentious project given environmental approval

The province on Tuesday granted environmental approval to a proposed run-of-river power project on the Kokish River of northern Vancouver Island that was opposed by conservation groups over potential threats to steelhead and salmon habitat.

Tyson Creek ‘experiment’ ought not to be repeated

MARK HUME, Globe and Mail, Nov. 27, 2011

VANCOUVER — There have been growing concerns in British Columbia about the impact of private power projects on streams and rivers.

But we should worry about our lakes, too, according to a file of internal government documents related to the Tyson Creek hydroelectric project.

Twenty scientists write Christy Clark about balance

Skeena Wild, Terrace Daily Online, November 15, 2011

Dear Premier Christy Clark,

RE: Environmental consequences of multiple development projects in the British Columbia – Alaska transboundary region

We are writing to ask for your leadership to balance the rush to develop mineral and energy resources on the Canadian side of the British Columbia – Alaska transboundary region with safeguarding the unique and irreplaceable ecological values of this largely pristine area. The impending construction of an industrial transmission line into west central British Columbia is the catalyst behind a spate of new proposals for mining and power generation, yet no process is currently in place to meaningfully assess cumulative impacts. Of particular concern are the international salmon runs of the Stikine, Iskut and Unuk Rivers. If allowed to proceed haphazardly, without careful consideration and thoughtful planning, the rush to develop this extraordinary region will almost certainly result in unnecessary destruction of fish and wildlife habitat and a diminishment of water quality and overall ecosystem health.

Naming and Claiming: the Creation of Bute Inlet

Campbell River Museum, Oct 12, 2011 - Jan 17, 2012

History meets geography in a new temporary exhibit coming to the Museum at Campbell River from the Cortes Museum. The exhibit has been curated by author and artist Judith Williams.

The exhibit illustrates the derivation and meaning of geographic names seen on contemporary maps of the Bute Inlet area, and explains how they are linked to its history. The name ‘Homalco’ that we use today to identify the people whose ancestral territory comprises the length of the 80 kilometre inlet, is an anglicized version of Xwemalhkwu (swift waters) – their name for the river that empties into the head of the inlet. The ‘Bute’ was named by Captain Vancouver in honour of John Stuart, Third Earl of Bute, who took a great interest in the mapping of the Northwest Coast.

EAO to Minister Lake: Don't give bottling project an EA

In February, FOBI and other ENGOs asked the Minister of Energy to make the 34 water licence applications in four coastal inlets a reviewable project under the Environmental Assessment Act. Ignored by the Minister, the groups sought the assistance of MLA Claire Trevena, and in May, met with Minister Terry Lake to table their concerns.

A recommendation was made to the Minister at the end of June, and posted quietly to the EAO website in August (with a previously unknown project name - Mainland Coast Bottled Water Project). The public could not have known of this and in fact FOBI was only advised of it in October. The 34 water license applications would be treated as a coordinated project, but would not be reviewed by the Environmental Assessment Office.

Recommendation of the Executive Director of the EAO to Minister Lake, June 28, 2011

Mainland Coast Bottled Water Overview Environmental Screening and Preliminary Environmental Assessment, November 22, 2010

Mainland Coast Bottled Water EPIC webpage at the EAO.

BC Hydro plays NAFTA card in bid to win green status in California

By Gordon Hamilton, Vancouver Sun, October 21, 2011

Energy-trading arm claims clean-energy exemption for U.S. power supplier is discriminatory

BC Hydro has accused California's cap-and-trade regulator of violating the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying the regulator's proposed rules on greenhouse gas emissions favour American power supplier Bonneville Power Administration.

How Power is Acquired

BC Hydro, Oct 6, 2011

About independent power projects

Since the 1980s, BC Hydro has been acquiring power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to help meet its customers' electricity needs. IPPs develop and operate power projects using sources such as wind, water, biomass and waste heat, among others. IPPs include companies that specialize in power production, municipalities, First Nations and customers, working alone or in partnership.

Jumbo, Glacier/Howser still in limbo: new Major Projects BC website

by Editor, Nelson Daily, 09 Oct 2011

Jumbo Glacier Resort is now listed as inactive while Glacier Howser Energy’s hydroelectric dam is suspended, according to the new Major Projects BC website released late last week.

The two controversial projects — 40 kilometres west of Invermere and 40 km. west of Golden — have garnered significant public opposition and are both currently tied up in bureaucratic snarls.

Site C begins environmental assessment process, by panel review

News Release, CEAA, September 30, 2011

Site C Clean Energy Project Environmental Assessment Process and Draft Agreement Released for Public Comment

OTTAWA, September 30, 2011 – The Honourable Peter Kent, federal Minister of the Environment and the Honourable Terry Lake, British Columbia Minister of the Environment, announced today that the Site C Clean Energy Project in British Columbia will undergo a harmonized environmental assessment, including a review by a joint panel.

Site C begins environmental assessment process, by panel review

News Release, CEAA, September 30, 2011

Site C Clean Energy Project Environmental Assessment Process and Draft Agreement Released for Public Comment

OTTAWA, September 30, 2011 – The Honourable Peter Kent, federal Minister of the Environment and the Honourable Terry Lake, British Columbia Minister of the Environment, announced today that the Site C Clean Energy Project in British Columbia will undergo a harmonized environmental assessment, including a review by a joint panel.

Clean power industry is under threat

By Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, September 8, 2011

The fight against climate change, partnerships with first nations and an emerging industry will all be undercut should the B.C. Liberals slacken their drive to make the province self-sufficient in electricity.

So said advocates for the province's clean power industry Wednesday, at a news conference in the provincial capital.

B.C. considers revising energy self-sufficiency goals

WENDY STUECK, Globe and Mail, Aug. 28, 2011

As the British Columbia government mulls its energy future, self-sufficiency remains a goal.

But the goal posts could move.

National Geographic at Bute!


Lannie Keller, Friends of Bute Inlet, August 25 2011

Quadra Island provided the gateway to an unprecedented adventure now underway at Bute Inlet. Discovery Islands Lodge welcomed filmmaker Bryan Smith, big wall climbing legend Dean Potter, and a crew of skilled climbers and photographers who will document Dean’s free and solo ascent of Mt Bute for a National Geographic TV documentary.

BC Hydro head predicts end to energy self-sufficiency

By Chad Skelton, Vancouver Sun, August 20, 2011

Significantly reducing reliance on independent power producers would save utility hundreds of millions of dollars

BC Hydro president Dave Cobb has told his staff that he expects Victoria to soon abandon its current energy selfsufficiency policy, a move that would free Hydro from buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of electricity that it doesn't need from independent power producers.

Government review puts private power in the spotlight

By Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun, August 20, 2011

Energy from independent sources historically pricier, but panel suggests it could lower rates

Intended or not, British Columbia's private-electricity sector has become a lightning rod for public attention thanks to the recent government review of BC Hydro's operations.

Public spanking aside, report may bring BC Hydro relief

By Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, August 12, 2011

Utility can likely get by with fewer dollars now, but province will be vulnerable unless spending is restored in the longer term

BC Hydro faces some big decisions in the wake of a report from a governmentappointed panel challenging the giant utility's need for 10-percent-a-year increases in electricity rates.

Tapped Out

Todd Butler on Canada's water sellout. Click to play

We walked w. Alex!