B.C. Hydro

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‘We Just Want the Truth’: Commercial Customers Warn B.C. Hydro’s Forecasts Could Lead to Costly Oversupply

An association representing B.C.’s commercial sector and business interests says it has compelling evidence that B.C. Hydro has over forecasted electricity demand over the past 50 years — leading to anticipated revenues “that won’t show up” and creating a large existing electricity surplus roughly equal to the power from the Site C dam.

The end result, according to David Craig, the executive director of the Commercial Energy Consumers Association of B.C., could be cumulative new hydro rate increases so significant that that some industries in B.C. may no longer be able to compete as well in their world markets, potentially risking the viability of some businesses and the jobs they support. Read more.

Famous Canadian Ice Road Melts for the Last Time

Each winter in Canada’s far north, a series of ice roads take form, providing people and supply trucks temporary access to the region’s otherwise isolated towns. But rapid changes to Canada’s north means this spring marks the final melt of one of the north’s famed ice highways, the ‘Road to the Top of the World,’ stretching across 187 kilometres of Arctic tundra in the Northwest Territories, linking Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk.

Under construction right now is a new permanent $300-million all-weather road — but its long-term stability is also challenged by the unpredictable, warming landscape, says Phil Marsh, professor and Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science at Wilfred Laurier University. Read more.

Trudeau Promised to Fix the National Energy Board. Here’s What His Expert Panel Recommends

After six months of consultations, the National Energy Board (NEB) Modernization Expert Panel has delivered its long-awaited report. The results are damning.

“In our consultations we heard of a National Energy Board that has fundamentally lost the  confidence of many Canadians,” the five-member panel wrote. “We heard that Canadians have serious concerns that the NEB has been ‘captured’ by the oil and gas industry.”

The 87-page report issued 26 key recommendations to repair the oft-criticized quasi-judicial tribunal, responsible for regulating interprovincial and international oil, gas and electricity
projects. Read more.

Five Handy Facts About the Northern B.C. Oil Tanker Ban

A bill to restrict the movement of oil off the north coast of British Columbia has been formally tabled by the federal government in the House of Commons, according to a statement released by Transport Canada.

The proposed legislation, which would restrict tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil from entering or exiting north coast ports, must now make its way through Parliament.

“Today is a positive day for us,” Gavin Smith, staff counsel at West Coast Environmental Law, told DeSmog Canada. Read more.

Will a Repackaged National Energy Board Be Able to Meet Canada’s 21st Century Challenges?

Early on in its remarkably candid treatise, the Expert Panel tasked with advising the Trudeau government on how to modernize the National Energy Board (NEB) observes that the issue it was asked to grapple with “is much larger than simply the performance of the NEB in and of itself.”

Indeed.

Since the 2013 Northern Gateway pipeline hearings, our national energy regulator has been buffeted by one controversy after another. The NEB must bear some of the blame for this. Its work on the Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan and Energy East files underscore that its expertise does not lie in the realm of environmental assessment. But it is also a victim of history — an institution conceived and born in an era (almost 60 years ago) long before Indigenous rights, climate change and decarbonization had political, let alone legal, salience. Read more.

Civil Suit Alleges B.C. Blacklisting Forestry Consultant Who Warned of Timber Overcutting, Faulty Data

Forestry has been a passion and a career for Martin Watts for 25 years, but, since attempting to point out problems with B.C.’s process for setting logging rates, his forestry consulting business has nosedived and Watts is claiming in a civil suit that he was blacklisted by the provincial government.

“My business doesn’t really exist any more except on paper. It has caused a lot of hardship. I am funding this case through my retirement savings,” Watts said in an interview with DeSmog Canada.

However, the battle is worthwhile because it is vital that the public be made aware of inaccuracies in the Timber Supply Review Process, which is used by the Chief Forester to determine the Annual Allowable Cut — or how much of the forest can be cut each year, said Watts. Read more.

The Good, The Bad And the Ugly: Where Conservative Leadership Candidates Stand on the Environment

The next leader of the Conservative Party will be chosen on May 27.

While only Conservative Party members are eligible to vote in the ranked ballot election, the outcome will determine who will likely run against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next election, so it’s worth paying attention.

Where do the 13 leadership hopefuls stand on energy and environment issues? Well, they’re a bit all over the map. Fear not, we’ve distilled the platforms down into this quick cheat sheet to help you get up to speed on what Canada could be in store for come May 27.r0

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