LETTER: Site C dam is not needed

The Site C dam is needed only to stroke Christy Clark’s ego; to make her vow to get it past the point of no return.

Dear Editor:

Since 2005 domestic demand for electricity in B.C. has been essentially flat, yet B.C. Hydro and the B.C. Liberals are going full-steam ahead, even as safety and environmental regulations are being routinely ignored to the point where construction has been stopped in order to enforce compliance.

The Site C dam is needed only to stroke Christy Clark’s ego; to make her vow to get it past the point of no return.

Both the B.C. Liberals and B.C. Hydro know that once this white elephant is built, they will not be able to sell the power at retail. It would be sold at spot market prices to the U.S. at about one-third of what it cost to generate.

They started saying that Site C was necessary for ordinary consumption.

When that wouldn’t fly, they said they needed it for the LNG industry.

When none of those projects came to pass, they thought perhaps they could sell it to Alberta, but then found that Alberta could manufacture its own power cheaper.

Under the constitution, the provinces have the responsibility for the management of natural resources.

The B.C. government hasn’t done its job. The failure to investigate is a dereliction of duty.

There is no need for Site C. If there was, we could meet it with our Columbia River entitlement, or with a variety of other renewable and smaller scale sources, such as geothermal, solar and wind.

Even B.C. Hydro said they thought there was probably about 700 megawatts of geothermal that could be developed at prices equal to or less than Site C.

Last year, the Canadian Wind Energy Association pulled out of B.C., saying that Site C was killing the market for its member companies.

Solar-generated electricity is now being produced elsewhere for about a quarter of the price of Site C power.

And don’t get me started on the Peace Valley homeowners who are being driven from their homes to make way for the Site C 83-kilometre reservoir. Some of you no doubt know, as I do, people in the Columbia Valley that watched their homes burned to the ground to make way for the dams on that river.

The Peace River Valley landowners, First Nations, the wildlife, including the wild salmon economy have become sacrifice zones in this political game, and B.C. Hydro ratepayers all across the province will have to pay for it.

Virginia Smith