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.
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
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.