B.C. mayor wants review of Site C dam

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

The mayor of a community that would be heavily affected by a dam proposed on the Peace River is demanding a review by the BC Utilities Commission.

Gwen Johansson says a study commissioned by the District of Hudson’s Hope shows the $7.9-billion price tag for the Site C project is too low.

“It has the possibility of going up another 30 per cent when still being within the project, so we’re looking at not necessarily 7.9. It could be much higher than that.”

Speaking with CKNW’s Bill Good, Johansson is disputing a review panel report for the federal and provincial governments, which determined Site C is the best and cheapest alternative for new energy in B.C.

Comments

  1. Not only is the cost likely to be much higher than expected, but actual financial benefit to BC is expected to be much lower. Even the BC Utilities Commission is skeptical of Hydro’s revenue forecasts over the life of the project.

  2. It must be remembered that our Liberal government is not known for its’ blatant honesty. Energy Minister Bill Bennett is not everyone’s idea of someone who tells it like it is. Sometimes agendas cloud their decision making. Sometimes they exaggerate to make the sale. Sometimes they eliminate any opposition to smooth the road to their goal. ie BC Utilities Commission was ordered by Bill Bennett to stand down and not participate in the Site C Dam talks. When questioned why Billy stated that he didn’t want the hearings to get bogged down with a bunch of questions. That tells you the degree of respect the Liberals hold for the taxpayer.

  3. With North American natural gas prices reflecting a huge abundance of this resource, one would think that our future electricity requirements would consider the use of natural gas power plants instead of Site C hydro.

    Natural gas plants can be built at less cost and more quickly than Site C. Why not produce cheaper power burning natural gas and give our industries a competitive advantage in the world economy?

    It seems other jurisdictions, including Alberta, are taking advantage of this now-plentiful resource.

    However whichever way the province moves on future electricity planning and generation, it only makes sense to allow the BCUC to provide needed oversight to ensure that BC Hydro conducts itself in the public interest.

    After all, it’s our taxpayer’s money at stake. At least that’s what the BC Council of Business says when our public education system is the issue.

  4. There was lots of skepticism and NDP led aginnerism back when the expansion under WAC Bennett took place. Without that, BC would be in real trouble. We will need this dam. To suggest otherwise is just delusional. Will it work out 100% the way everyone expects? Of course not. Governments cannot run something a simple as a lemonade stand without cost over runs and product shortages. I don’t want to spend the money, but I don’t want this thing held up for 20 years while every pin head who would be against it anyway keeps throwing out objections.

    The Metro Vancouver model of economic growth is to build condos and sell them to offshore purchasers. As a result, people in Metro have a distorted view of economic reality. At some point, these condos will need power too.

  5. When Wacky built his dams there was not a glut of cheap natural gas on the market. The world has changed. Why build an $8 billion dam when a $1.5 billion gas-fired power plant can produce the same amount of energy? Yes the fuel would cost $200 million/year, but the interest on an additional $6.5 billion capital expenditure is at least that much, and will be higher if interest rates rise.

    A gas plant was not touted as a viable option by Hydro at the Joint Review Panel because the Liberals don’t allow it under their Clean Energy Act. Yet the gov’t is OK with LNG exporters burning as much gas as they want to liquefy gas for export. Just one large LNG terminal (e.g. Petronas in Pr. Rupert 8,000+ GWh/yr energy required) will burn more gas than would a gas power plant replacing Site C (5,100 GWh/yr).

    The argument that a gas plant produces more GHGs than a dam is only valid if the gas were to remain in the ground if the gas plant were not built. But if the gov’t is going to export any gas we do not use domestically, the argument is bogus. In fact it is better for the environment to burn the gas domestically, as it does not have to be liquefied first, which wastes 10% of its energy.

    • “When Wacky built his dams there was not a glut of cheap natural gas on the market.”
      So Martin . . . what will the cost of Natural Gas be in say 20 years or in 50 years?

      We know what the cost of Hydro Electricity will be . . . and today because much of what we consume comes from Dams the costs are low. Dams require maintenance and debt payment, but when the debts are paid there are NO ongoing fuel costs as there are with natural gas. Plus of course there is the emissions thing . . . Dams emit NOTHING ! ! !

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