Mainstream media ignoring real story on BC Hydro debt, skyrocketing power bills
I find myself in complete empathy with H.L. Mencken, when he said “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
I read Vaughn Palmer in Friday’s Sun, where he said, talking about the challenges facing Bill Bennett (not the real one but the one now in charge of BC Hydro), saying his mandate is “to minimize rate increases to consumers.” Palmer counters, “Yet Hydro needs to manage soaring debt, rising costs and billions of dollars worth of spending in unresolved deferral accounts. Plus it is being pressured to deliver gobs of clean, cheap power for an expanded liquefied natural gas industry.”
Vaughn – where the hell have you been?
I’ve defended the pussycat approach you and your colleague Mike Smyth have taken towards this government for some years, saying that, unlike me, you have mortgages and education fees for your children that I don’t have thus I shouldn’t criticize the ongoing corporate blowjobs you have given and continue to give the Campbell/Clark government. No more.
BC Hydro is in a terrible way, as are we, its shareholders. And many, starting with Dr. John Calvert of SFU and other academics along with environmentalists like Tom Rankin, Damien Gillis and me – and most notably economist Erik Andersen - have been saying as loudly as our limited public outlets will permit that the Campbell/Clark government has forced BC Hydro into making deals with private companies for energy they don’t need yet must take at a cost at least double the market price and up to ten times what they can produce it for themselves. AND, these contracts are now in the range of $50-60 BILLION.
Where the hell have you and the government sucks that employ you been on this issue? A little one-liner in your column implying that this is something surprising that perhaps we should investigate. Golly, gee whiz, look what I found Mommy – a suspicious looking expenditure by BC Hydro that maybe, just maybe we should have a look at!
The scandal is not just the government and the private companies that just financed their re-election – not just the woefully inept Opposition Party – but YOU! Yes, Vaughn, you and those who employ you bear ultimate responsibility for covering this up, going back to the beginning of the Campbell/Clark government that connived to create these secret pay-offs.
I, personally, bear some of that responsibility, for it wasn’t until 2005 that I started questioning this energy policy. I interviewed David Austin, the lawyer for the Independent Power Producers for several years and never questioned closely these secret deals. I admit that and I’m ashamed of it. But I did start to ask questions, penetrating questions and, hearing no honest answers, persisted.
I repeat, Vaughn, where the hell have you and the mainstream media been? How can you now just slough the matter off with sort of a dreamy observation that BC Hydro has some bills to pay?
BC Hydro is broke, Bust. Bankrupt. At least it certainly would be were it in the private sector. Its only salvation is that it can raise its rates to the long-suffering ratepayers.
Now, in the June 15 Weekend Sun, Scott Simpson and Derrick Penner do an interview with Rich Coleman, who is in charge of getting Liquefied Natural Gas rolling. Good Grief! Can’t anyone ask a question? A real question? One slow pitch after another!
Of course the Liberals are to blame as are the NDP for being a pitiful example of what an Opposition is supposed to look like, both in the Legislature and on the hustings.
But the mainstream media and their neutered columnists are as much to blame as is the lily-livered Opposition. You have never even questioned this so-called “run of river”, private power policy, just as you have never questioned salmon farms, pipelines and tankers. You have let it happen and thus it happened. Now, it would seem, you will give Coleman and company free rein as they try with LNG to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear – and fail.
All of you should at least admit it, late in the day though it is, and start telling the people the truth and force the government to do the same.