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Letters to the editor

Remember the little guys

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Page 5 of 7

Shakespeare said, “Alas, the storm is come again! …misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows…” From where I sit though, the opposition association has a proverbial snowball’s chance of not eating itself under Caliban’s cloak.

Neil Ross

Pemberton

An appeal for oversight

This letter was addressed to MLA Joan McIntyre. A copy was forwarded to the Pique for publication.

I want to touch base with you specifically on the lack of planning oversight of IPPs in the province.

I understand the provincial government's underlying rationale of proactively dealing with future energy crises by generating alternative energy sources. Frankly, I would much prefer to see us develop solar, wind, and hydro energy sources, as opposed to coal, gas, oil or nuclear-powered energy to meet future energy demand. I also understand the rationale of farming out the risk of new developments to the private sector, and that there has to be sufficient reward to motivate those companies to undertake the risk.

However, I do not believe that in order to accomplish an energy-secure future the government should step back and largely deregulate the energy sector. Arguably, B.C. was already a world leader in the production of green energy, given that such a large percentage of our power has been generated by hydro power. Perhaps, a large-scale dam would be "greener", or have more moderate and localized impacts, than the proliferation of private, unregulated, unmonitored power projects all around the province. As citizens, we rely on government to undertake this kind of big-picture thinking, and right now, your government has reneged on that responsibility.

I fear for the future of British Columbia — after watching the financial crisis begin to hit home around the world, and seeing the causative link between the current economy and the deregulation of the banking and finance sector, I urge the provincial government to take a more involved leadership role in managing and protecting our "energy" assets. Those "energy" assets — rivers and windy coastlines — are also assets in their wild state — as habitat, as vital ecological systems — and they are of immeasurable value to future generations. The province's current lack of an overarching plan to manage and monitor the cumulative impacts of all these independent power projects undermines any green gains that might be claimed.

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