Mike and Rick
Letter to the Editor, Monday July 7, 2014
Let’s rethink Site C:
Re: B.C.’s power future remains muddled, June 25

In the last 10 months, business and industry organizations have adopted a new stance on electricity production issues in B.C.

1) David Pryce, senior vice-president of operations at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, has endorsed the use of B.C. natural gas to generate electricity in British Columbia.

2) Richard Stout, executive director of the Association of Major Power Customers of BC, and past executive director Dan Potts, have both endorsed generating electricity using B.C. natural gas and rejected construction of Site C on economic grounds, specifically high capital costs and high operational costs due to amortization.

3) The BC Chamber of Commerce recently questioned the financial viability of Site C given the low cost of shale gas throughout North America and endorsed the use of B.C. gas to generate electricity.

4) Business in Vancouver magazine in a recent editorial questioned the economic viability of building Site C in light of better options, such as using B.C. natural gas to produce cheaper electricity.

5) Spectra Energy Chair and CEO Greg Ebel has suggested that the United States is doing a better job of leveraging its natural gas advantage than Canada or British Columbia. “Ontario has been and continues to be negatively affected by high and rising electricity costs, a 130-per-cent increase in 10 years time,” he said. “That’s a silent killer of jobs in Ontario”.

6) Given the explosive growth of shale gas output in the U.S. and stagnant demand for power, a Quebec provincial commission recommended that the last two construction phases of the $6.5-billion dollar La Romaine hydroelectric project be immediately halted due to high capital costs and no market. (Site C has an estimated cost of $7.9 billion).

With British Columbians expected to face electricity rate increases of 45 per cent over the next five to six years, perhaps the government needs to re-examine the purpose of building Site C.


Charlie Lake, B.C.