Common Sense Canadian

Rafe Mair and Economist Erik Andersen, Pt. 1: The ‘Enronization’ of BC Hydro

PostedAugust 8, 2012 by in BC

Part 1 of Rafe Mair’s July 2012 interview with economist Andersen, delving deep into BC’s troubled energy situation, including BC Hydro’s broken forecasting model, rip-off private power projects, and massive debt and Enron-style accounting practices at our public utility – all driven by the shadowy private American corporation to which we’ve unwittingly handed over our energy sovereignty.

According to Andersen, “When it comes to saying, ‘Oh, this is just a matter of bad policy or this is just a matter of being mistaken or even stupid,’ I don’t accept that. Because there is just too much information available out in the public we all have access to that makes what is going on way too questionable.” Rather, he suggests we may be witnessing “a take-over of the North American energy package. Electricity, gas, oil – the whole enchilada in one bag, by a few people…There’s not enough energy or passion about this abuse of the public trust.”

Throughout the interview, Andersen references and recommends a recent report, by John Calvert and Marc Lee, titled, “Clean Electricity, Conservation and Climate Justice in BC”, which can be seen at:

Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview, dealing with Liquefied Natural Gas and the proposed Site C Dam.


About the Author

Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.



    The interview was recorded before the release of Hydro’s 2012 Annual report. Page 92 shows Hydro’s operating statistics for 2008 through to 2012.
    Demand by BC customers is shown over the 5 years to be remarkably and predicably steady. Units of electricity by customer type is flat to slightly greater as population increased very modestly.
    What this should mean to BC citizens is that unbriddled increase in demand has not been translated into the actual record.
    Hydro , in contrast, is borrowing and spending as if it is a different company operating with different customers; the ones they sofar have yet to find.

    John Fellowes

    Campbell wanted to privatize everything including B.C. Hydro, but the opposition was too strong so he decided to do it through the back door. Bancrupt Hydro and get your friends to save by selling it to them

    Rolland Miller

    I am so angry with this issue it makes me sick.

    I wrote letters back when the Liberals anounced their plan for run of the river projects. Insane!

    The people of BC have been taken by the LIberals former Leader Campbell. He and his party are selling out BC’s best asset BC Hydro.

    Throw the bums in Jail.


    So, in a good year like this year, BC Hydro is still obligated to buy 14,242 GWh of power from IPPs that it doesn’t need.


    Interesting thought about control of the gas, oil, and electricity being offshored as a package. Climate change and the developing US drought conditions are sure to affect Canadian food security through our dependence on American suppliers. Environmentalists and politicians would be wise to also scrutinize water security very closely. Water will soon become a quid pro quo issue and, if access rights for pipelines and power grids become legal guarantees under the NAFTA, concatenation of water rights is likely to be only a short step away.

    Kevin Logan

    Both Erik and Rafe deserve great credit for bringing attention to this as few if any seem to be interested in unearthing what is a pivotal issue. BC Hydro was long celebrated as flagship operation for a publicly operated utility. There has been an international agenda playing out the world over stripping such entities of their wealth and ability to continue to function for the benefit of the people who own it, and replace them with a private sector cash grab of untold proportions, resulting in skyrocketing rates, massive profiteering, black outs and typically the people who use the service are left holding the bag.

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