Following the throne speech, the PVEA put out a press release to the southern media which resulted in the following article in the the Georgia Straight…

The full press release is as follows:

February 10th, 2010 For Immediate Release

Climate Change Hypocrisy in BC’s Throne Speech

Climate change hypocrisy is evident in the throne speech. The BC Government somehow plans to become a “clean energy powerhouse” by building power lines and damming rivers to increase oil and gas exploration and export natural gas to further the oil sands development. Yesterday’s throne speech identifies the connection of the Horn River Basin petroleum development to the BC Transmission Grid allowing accelerated development of Horn River Basin Gas. This gas is targeted to support oil sands development in Alberta and coincidentally the pipelines to Kitimat and the awaiting super tankers ready to take the oil and gas off-shore to produce more greenhouse gases in Asia.

The throne speech promises to make BC a “clean energy powerhouse….while we lower greenhouse gas emissions within and beyond our border”. However, accelerated oil and gas development, with new huge greenhouse gas emitting plants like the one proposed by Encana at Cabin Creek in north-eastern BC’s Horn River Basin, is in direct conflict with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. BC is the only province to increase greenhouse gases in 2009. Northeast BC is BC’s energy and greenhouse gas emitting dirty little secret. The large natural gas processing plants in NE BC are individually some of the largest emitters in the province and collectively are the majority of BC’s industrial emissions.

An intended purpose for the power from the proposed Site C dam was recently revealed by former BC Energy Minister and new federal Senator Richard Neufeld, who made a presentation to Fort St. John City Council on Monday, February 8th. In encouraging Council to “get on the train” of Site C, Neufeld said “I know that there has been some discussion ongoing about the amount of electricity that would be needed in Fort Nelson with the advent of the Horn River Basin which is in the magnitude of 500 MW. Understanding Site C would generate about 900 MW, it’s a significant amount of Site C so I think we can all get some benefits out of this as long as we all are on the same boat.” The suggestion is that Site C Hydro is intended to power fossil fuel extraction from one of the largest gas fields in North America – the Horn River Basin. This is not to meet domestic needs but rather to power the extraction of Alberta tar sands oil – the world’s dirtiest oil.

This throne speech proposal would connect the huge new gas “play” near Fort Nelson to BC’s electrical grid creating a circle of emissions. This folly is destined to sabotage the promise of a “clean energy powerhouse….while we lower greenhouse gas emissions within and beyond our border”.

Sandra Hoffmann – Coordinator, Peace Valley Environment Association