The NDP have released another error-ridden, factually suspect and simply dishonest analysis on clean energy policy, posing it as the “truth.”
Let’s look at the claims, and the facts:
NDP CLAIM: The BC Liberals have sold the water rights to 120 BC rivers and waterways. Over 550 water license applications are in process.
- WRONG. No rivers have been sold. The Crown awards water licenses for fixed lease periods to produce clean power for British Columbians. The public maintains ownership of the water and the river at all times.
- WRONG. The Crown is the owner of the resource and in fact after leases expire the assets revert back to the Crown. Under the NDP there were no time limits on the licenses they granted for their numerous run of river IPPs; under the BC Liberals there are now time limits of a maximum of 40 years.
- WRONG: The NDP contracted with IPPs throughout their term – 15 of the run-of-river projects operating today were inherited from the NDP. The fact is that, regardless of who builds these projects, new power requires new investments by ratepayers. The purpose of the Calls for Power is to get the best, most competitive price possible, and the BC Utilities Commission is an independent body who reviews that process to ensure ratepayers get the best value. BC Hydro rates remain among the lowest in North America.
- WRONG. BC Hydro continues to invest in and expand their assets. Nearly $9-billion will have been invested in BC Hydro assets between 2001 and 2010, double what the NDP invested during their term. And we are looking at new, publicly owned BC Hydro projects like the Site C dam – a project the NDP has already said we don’t need and they would not build.
NDP CLAIM: The BC Liberals passed a law to override local and municipal concerns and prevent local communities from using their legitimate zoning and environmental powers to remedy bad projects.
- MISLEADING: Meeting our electricity demands is a provincial issue and decisions need to balance the interest of all British Columbians. Amendments allow for that balance. Communities are consulted as part of the Environmental Assessment process and as part of the multiple other federal and provincial approval processes. Finally, let’s remember that BC Hydro power projects have NEVER been subject to local zoning.
NDP CLAIM: BC Liberals are selling our waterways to Liberal friends and insiders. IPPs have funneled huge donations to the Campbell Liberals. Firms like Brookfield, Plutonic Power are major donors to the Liberal party.
- HYPOCRISY: BC’s environmental policy has received support from a vast array of advocates for the environment – not just clean energy producers, but significant members of the environmental movement and the academic community. Of course, given that the NDP seems to find donations so significant to establishing policies, it certainly would explain their position on green energy given that since 2005 they received nearly $200,000 from COPE 378, the big labour union who is fronting numerous anti-clean energy misinformation groups such as BC Citizens for Public Power.
NDP CLAIM: Private producers admit they've stacked their payrolls with BC Liberal Party insiders to give them the inside track with government officials.
- PERSONAL ATTACKS (AGAIN): One again, the NDP goes for personal attacks against the reputations of individuals instead of debating the facts.
NDP CLAIM: The NDP is calling for a moratorium pending a full review of the cumulative environmental impacts and anticipated supply and demand. Existing contracts will be honoured. Certain run of the river can make sense if the environment is protected, the local community or First Nation benefits from the project, and British Columbians retain ownership of the waterway.
- JUST PLAIN DISHONEST AND RECKLESS: A moratorium is a moratorium. That means an end to new green power and an end to billions in investment that have already created over 1,000 jobs it our rural communities. There is nothing in between.