[MEDIA RELEASE] Site C Decision a Lost Opportunity

December 16 2014
For Immediate Release

Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party is extremely disappointed with the announcement by the B.C. Government today to proceed with the construction of the proposed Site C dam.

“The government has engaged in some very creative accounting to make Site C look more competitive than it is,” said Weaver. “They are trying to suggest they have found savings when all they have really done is move the financial costs of this mega project into a different category. The fact is the costs have gone up and so has the burden on taxpayers.”

The updated cost of Site C on ratepayers has been reduced from $83/MWh to $58-$61MWh, with the majority of the change coming from a commitment from government to take less in dividends from BC Hydro. However, this merely shifts the capital costs of building the dam from ratepayers to taxpayers.

Andrew Weaver maintains that Site C is the wrong project at the wrong time. Alternative energy, including geothermal, wind, solar, small-scale hydro sources and biomass, coupled with existing dams would provide firm energy and capacity at a better cost to British Columbians. They would also provide better economic opportunities to local communities and First Nations, with lower impacts on traditional territory.

A recent report by the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) noted British Columbia has substantial untapped potential for firm, on demand, geothermal power which could be developed as required, in locations close to where power is needed, or near distribution lines.

“I am gravely concerned that government did not compare apples to apples when they examined other alternatives to Site C,” said Weaver. “The rest of the world is taking advantage of the decreasing cost of alternatives such as geothermal, wind and solar technology, while we are effectively subsidizing the construction of another dam.”

“With LNG development not proceeding as promised now is not the time to be borrowing billions for a dam, potentially adversely affecting the provincial credit rating, when geothermal power especially appears far more cost effective. This is lost opportunity to explore alternatives to Site C and I am deeply disappointed in the government’s lack of foresight and leadership.”

Media Contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary to Andrew Weaver, MLA
1 250 216 3382
mat.wright@leg.bc.ca

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  • commented 2014-12-17 19:26:57 -0800
    I can’t vote for a party that would build site C and ignore the option to build several different facilities with geothermal production or alternatives that would seem to be more easily negotiated with first nations be much less expensive and have a lot less environmental impact and risk. The liberals need to at least take up the NDP suggestion to allow the BC utilities commission to review the project and justify the expense and need if proven. I hope they will slow this process before proceeding with guns blazing on this huge legal, environmental and financial commitment.

    Don Burnham
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