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David gets the last word… maybe

April 28, 2010

We’ve lost track of the number of letters back and forth in the Penticton Herald between our BCCGE co-spokesperson, David Field, and the NDP’s former Penticton candidate, Cameron Phillips. 

But based on Cameron Phillips’s most recent letter/OPED in the Herald, David appears to have had the last word on the “firm energy” question… maybe.  

Anyway, here’s David’s most recent response to Cameron Phillips from the Penticton Herald…

Firing back at NDP candidate 

Penticton Herald – April 23, 2010

Re: Field continues to push IPPs untruth (Herald, April 20).

I applaud former NDP candidate Cameron Phillips for acknowledging that renewable energy projects in B.C. do indeed typically require more than 50 approvals, permits, licenses and reviews from 14 government regulatory bodies before they can proceed.

However, Phillips is completely wrong in stating that these regulatory processes are simply “bureaucratic steps and unrelated to actual environmental standards.” Phillips is doing a great disservice to the people in public service who diligently carry out these reviews and impugning their integrity and hard work.

Phillips is also ignoring 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that manages to reach the final stages of the multi-year review and approval process, dozens of other projects are withdrawn or cancelled along the way due to insurmountable environmental issues.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. The regulatory bar is not “a joke” as Phillips states.

Interestingly, NDP party president Moe Sihota seems to disagree with Phillips on the subject of environmental reviews. On CBC Radio’s Early Edition, NDP president Sihota recently stated: “We should trust the environmental assessment process…. I helped craft the environmental assessment legislation (as an NDP cabinet minister in the 1990s) and I think you have to give the system some credit for the way it has worked in the past.”

Phillips can certainly go on maligning renewable energy projects and believing that run-of-river projects can only produce electricity during the spring runoff. I can’t change that. However, the simple fact that BC Hydro restricts the amount of electricity green energy producers are allowed to supply during the spring runoff to one-quarter of their annual total speaks volumes.

It also leads to the unavoidable conclusion that the other three-quarters of the electricity green energy producers supply to BC Hydro must be delivered at some time other than the spring runoff. The math here is pretty simple. And an equally simple call to BC Hydro will confirm that renewable energy producers are delivering “firm energy” through the course of the year and not just during the spring runoff as Phillips persists in claiming.

David Field, Co-spokesperson,

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy, Burnaby

One Comment leave one →
  1. Christian permalink
    May 23, 2010 9:49 am

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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