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New Year; Old Myths

January 18, 2011

Now that 2011 is well underway it means we’ll soon be celebrating BCCGE’s third birthday.  Yes, it was in mid-March 2008 that we officially launched our homemade BCCGE website, and ever since we’ve been diligently challenging the outrageous myths and misinformation directed at the private sector and independently produced green energy by persons and groups associated with the public sector COPE 378 union.  

If you somehow missed our two most recent press releases over the holiday season, you can find them on the media releases page on our BCCGE website (click here for the BCCGE media releases page).  

Our year-end media release, issued on December 30th, basically recapped the banner year that 2010 ended up being for green energy in B.C. despite an uncertain and pessimistic start last January.

Of noteworthy significance in 2010 was passage of the long-anticipated Clean Energy Act which brought regulatory certainty to the green energy sector and created a solid policy foundation for exporting renewable green energy to places like Alberta and the U.S.

Wind energy also became a solid part of B.C.’s clean energy mix in 2010 with the Bear Mountain and Dokie Ridge projects coming online.  Wind projects even accounted for about half of the electricity supply contracts (EPAs) awarded by BC Hydro under the Clean Power Call.

2010 also saw a high level delegation of California legislators and environmentalists visiting B.C. on a fact-finding mission. The delegation toured the Ashlu project near Squamish, and afterwards the head of the delegation (Patrick Mason, president of the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy) told Justine Hunter from the Globe and Mail how amazed the group was by the project’s small footprint and how impressed the group was by B.C.’s regulations relating to run-of-river projects.

Mason went on to say that he would be telling the environmental groups on his board back in California that they really should take a look at B.C.’s run-of-river projects and the stringent environmental regulations governing them before they make up their minds.

With an eye toward the year ahead: Our January 3rd “Top Ten” media release started the year off with a fresh look at the economic, environmental and social benefits of renewable green energy development by listing the top ten reasons to support renewable energy in 2011, not the least of which is eliminating the need for B.C. to import electricity from coal-fired generators in Alberta and the U.S.

Looking forward, we fully expect 2011 will be an interesting and exciting year on the green energy front.  For one thing, we expect to see plug-in electric vehicles becoming mainstream with cars like the Chevy Volt  the Nissan LEAF showing up on our roads with increasing frequency.

And all those clunky old mechanical hydro meters with their antique “gears-and-pulley” technology will quickly be going the way of the dinosaur as they get replaced by infinitely more accurate and versatile smart meters. In fact, BC Hydro just released the Business Case for their Smart Metering program this morning, and over the next 20 years smart meters will reportedly provide over $500 million in net benefits and essentially pay for themselves through various efficiencies and reductions in electricity theft.

We’ve certainly learned a lot about renewable energy over these past three years.  And every day we learn more.  But what we always find truly unfortunate is the fact that most people take the electricity that flows into our homes and businesses for granted and give very little thought to what is involved in generating and delivering it to our doors.  We think that needs to change.

Although none of us at BCCGE work in the energy sector, we do understand the essential role that energy plays in our lives.  We feel strongly that developing our renewable green energy resources is something we all have a stake in and that energy is a subject everyone should become more aware of and take an interest in; especially considering the amount of toxic misinformation that’s been put into circulation by the aforementioned groups and persons associated with COPE 378.

So, while we anticipate that we will see many of the same old myths and misinformation popping up on a regular basis through the course of the coming year, we’re also proud that B.C. is doing its part to help move the planet away from dependence on fossil fuel energy sources and optimistic that we’re on the road to creating a legacy of clean, renewable energy for future generations.   

All the best in 2011 from BCCGE.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve Anderson permalink
    January 26, 2011 10:01 am

    After reading the letter to editor from Mr. Field in last weeks Pique news here in Whistler I did some research on his assetions and the rsults were quite contrary to what was written.Firstly, I am not a member of any union. As it appears Mr Field has some serious issues with union membership.
    In the letter Mr. Field eludes to “community benefits ‘ from IPP’s within their area. Just to be clear there are NO benefits from the Fitzsimmons run-of -river project here in Whistler. Yes it pays local land tax , but so do I. Difference being I am not taking $3,135,000.00 in revenue out of town. Mr.Field also mentions the bad stuation regarding importing electricity from USA nad Alberta. The Columbia River Treaty entitles us to a share of downstream generation in USA and is a good deal for British Columbians. BC Hydro purchases power from Alberta when the generation facilities there are dumping it cheap. Once again, just good business. One could twist these realities to appear bad, and support more destruction on BC waterways , buy why? Money? If ROR power facilities are so beneficial why all the deception and propoganda spinning? The notion that our sales tax will be eliminated due to embracing private power producers is hilarious. Unless you have been in a coma for the last year one would see our Prov. sales tax has kind of gone UP to 12%! While we are on the money subject perhaps Mr. Field will be forthwith in disclosing who contributes financially to greenenergybc? Here in Whistler we are awaiting this revelation in next weeks local newspaper.

    • March 16, 2011 9:23 pm

      Hi Steve:

      Thanks for your comments. However, the provincial sales tax has not “gone up to 12%” as you claim. The 7% provincial sales tax no longer exists. In its place we now have a 7% tax harmonized with the 5% federal GST.

      Previously, the 7% PST and the 5% GST both applied to 80% of the goods and services we consumed (i.e., 12% tax). They just weren’t harmonized and required businesses to keep and submit two sets of paperwork.

      These two taxes have now been brought together in a single 12% tax with far less paperwork and a reduction in hidden layers of PST adding to the cost of the goods and services we buy.

      Most people, especially small business operators, are now realizing how much better the HST is over the old PST/GST model.

      As for unions: We don’t actually have a problem with unions. What we have a problem with is misinformation being spread by a union whose leaders feel threatened by the private sector and having to give up their monopoly control of our electricity supply.

      We will agree to disagree on your other points, but we do appreciate your taking the time to engage us.

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