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Green energy opponents should take note

April 23, 2010

Scott Simpson has an interesting article in today’s Vancouver Sun about Site C and it illustrates the environmental scrutiny renewable energy projects undergo in this province. 

As Simpson reports, “BC Hydro has amassed 35 key technical reports, and expects to produce lots more, for an unprecedented push to get the Site C hydroelectric megaproject built on the Peace River.”

As we’ve pointed out many times before, green energy projects in B.C. typically require more than 50 approvals, permits, licenses and reviews from 14 government regulatory bodies before they can proceed, despite misinformed claims to the contrary by opponents of green energy projects.

Here’s more of what Simpson says in his article:

Studies posted this week on the Crown corporation’s web-site range from public consultation and dam and highway engineering reports to studies of fish species, recreation activity and water quality in the Peace — and there are many more in the works.

Hydro will spend another year of study and research leading to an environmental assessment in 2011 that will last two years.

Simpson goes on to say:

Hydro still requires a substantially more detailed examination of the environmental impacts of the project, more intensive public consultations and a constitutional obligation to consult and accommodate first nations with a territorial interest in the area under development.

Opponents of green energy projects who like to claim that renewable energy projects don’t undergo environmental scrutiny should take note of the range and depth of the work being done in relation to Site C, because  big or small, every green energy project in B.C. goes through the same environmental scrutiny and review processes.

Opponents of green energy projects should also take note of the fact that, for every renewable energy project that manages to reach the final stages of the multi-year review and approval process, dozens of other projects are withdrawn or cancelled along the way due to insurmountable environmental issues.

There is no rubber stamp for renewable energy projects, and the few projects that actually do reach the final stages of the approval process are those that can successfully meet the province’s tough environmental standards.

Scott Simpson’s article from the Sun — Work on Site C begins in earnest — can be found by clicking here.

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