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BC Hydro review riles frantic COPE 378

August 17, 2011

The eagerly awaited BC Hydro rate review report released last week has created quite a stir.  And especially so over at COPE 378 headquarters where they’re fuming mad, stomping their feet, and generally reacting like a swarm of angry hornets whose cosy nest just got whacked with a major league baseball bat.

Faster than you can say “public versus private,” the indignant folks at COPE 378 have pushed the COPE 378 myth machine into overdrive — and mobilized their legions — in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from themselves and what the review report calls BC Hydro’s “gold standard” corporate culture.

What COPE 378 wants the public to believe, instead, is that independent green energy producers are to blame for BC Hydro’s rising rates.

Well, hornets may be able to fly, but what COPE 378 is trying to float here isn’t going to get very far off the ground.

Basically, COPE 378 is dishing up the same old self-serving anti-private-sector rubbish and misinformation we’ve come to expect from them and their various affiliated entities, hive mates and known associates.

The only difference this week is the accelerated intensity of their misinformation efforts which, to us, greatly resemble frantic efforts to bail water out of a sinking rowboat.

In fact, COPE 378’s diversionary tactics in the wake of the rate review remind us an awful lot of that famous scene in the Wizard of Oz where Toto pulls back the wizard’s curtain and exposes Professor Marvel working the controls.

As everyone knows, Professor Marvel wasn’t able to re-conceal himself once he was exposed by Toto, and nor was he successful in getting people to look the other way, which is essentially what COPE 378 is currently attempting to do.

However, COPE 378’s diversionary tactics are clearly proving to be just as futile as Professor Marvel’s, and neither the media nor the public appear to be buying any of it.

As we’ve previously written, the facts surrounding BC Hydro’s proposed rate increases are readily available to the public and fairly easily understood (especially if someone familiar with the material is able to point you to where it can be found).

Of the total 32 percent rate increase originally proposed by BC Hydro over the next three years, only 2.6 percent was attributable to green energy purchases from independent producers.

This information comes straight from BC Hydro’s rate increase application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).

Based on the interim 8 percent rate increase approved by the BCUC this past spring (which BC Hydro estimated will result in a $5-6 per month increase on an average residential customer’s bill), no more than 40-48 cents per month is attributable to purchases from independent green energy producers.

Of course, this also means that $4.60 to $5.52 of that $5 to $6 monthly increase is directly related to BC Hydro’s own operating costs, and primarily to the renewal of the crown utility’s aging energy generating and transmission infrastructure (precisely as the rate application indicates).

What COPE 378 is disingenuously attempting to do in blaming independent producers for BC Hydro’s rate increase is deflect attention away from the $4.60 to $5.52 that makes up the bulk of BC Hydro’s proposed rate increase: i.e., the portion of the rate increase that relates to COPE 378.

COPE 378 then wants the public to believe that the minor 40-48 cents per month portion of the proposed rate increase (i.e., the portion that is attributable to electricity from independent green energy producers) is going to have more impact on hydro rates than the $4.60 to $5.52 per month that is directly related to the renewal of BC Hydro’s own aging energy generating and transmission infrastructure.

COPE 378 must really think people are stupid if they believe they can fool the public into believing that up is down and down is sideways.  But, then again, that’s what the COPE 378 myth machine was designed and built for: i.e., to baffle with bullshit and shamelessly misinform the public.

So, the key question that every critically thinking person should be asking COPE 378 right now (in the face of their desperate claims) is how BC Hydro can invest $14 billion to rebuild and upgrade the province’s aging hydroelectric generating and transmission infrastructure and not have it affect hydro rates.

If COPE 378 can find a way for BC Hydro to spend $14 billion dollars and not pass that cost onto its customers then we’ll gladly eat our words.

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