As Bridge players say, may I review the bidding?
Gordon Campbell has gone into retirement but anyone who thinks he won’t be rewarded by industry for all his hard work for them ought to be showing some interest in Florida swamp lands.
The part of Campbell’s tenure that most concerns me is his record on Independent Power Projects (IPPs), where he employed the well known theory that if the lie is big enough and you let it run for enough time, people will believe it.
On the IPP issue Campbell not only used the “Big Lie” technique, he was much aided by a tame if not captive media. It’s important to note this, for one can fool the public either by dealing with the issues thoroughly or not at all. The BC mainstream media has chosen the latter method and it’s worked magnificently for Campbell.
There is a new factor which I’ve dealt with in the past but it’s come to the fore forcefully thanks to economist Erik Andersen.
First let’s examine what we know about IPPs.
- They create environmental nightmares
- They have sweetheart deals with BC Hydro which has been mandated by the government to give them
- Most IPP power comes at a time BC Hydro doesn’t need the power
- Even though it doesn’t need the power, under the “take or pay” clause BC Hydro must take it
- BC Hydro, having been forced to take IPP power has two choices – export it at less than half of what it was forced to pay for it or use it at 12 times what it can create its own power for.
I can’t believe this situation which rivals and perhaps exceeds the crooked mayor who gives long term sweetheart deals to his brother-in-law.
What Campbell has done is to bury these facts from the public by stating the egregious falsehood that BC needs private power because it must import power. This scares people who fear that without IPPs we will literally be in the dark. The crucial point is that if BC was short of energy, the last place they could get it would be IPPs which produce the bulk of their power during the annual spring run-off.
A new wrinkle has been added: BC Hydro is seeking permission from the BC Utilities Commission for massive rate increases, ostensibly for renovations and stuff like that.
In their proposals and indeed in their other financial statements you see the Sherlock Holmes famous dog barking scenario where the whole point of the case was that the dog didn’t bark. So it is with these sweetheart deals. For what’s missing from this whole mess is a financial statement from BC Hydro that shows the ever increasing liabilities of some $50 BILLION to these IPPs which will cost it well in excess of a billion a year for up to 40 years! We’re talking about in excess of $1 billion a year and growing! . As the late American senator Everett Dirksen once said “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.”
All of these deals have a COLA clause to cover any inflation that might occur!
Pretty neat, huh! How would you like a deal like this where, no matter what you do, you can’t go broke?
There is no doubt that under these circumstances if BC Hydro were in the private sector it would be seeking bankruptcy protection. The only reason BC Hydro is not bankrupt is that it has a steady flow of income which can be raised if necessary – you and me and BC industry who must pay more and more to cover BC Hydro’s commitments and shortfalls.
Why aren’t we being told by the government about this mess – about how we are sacrificing our environment so that companies like General Electric can literally steal our power?
In fact it’ worse than that for governments are actually granting money to these huge wealthy companies.
We’ve been taken for fools by the Campbell government and the pliant media. Gordon Campbell gets praise whereas he should get his second sojourn in the slammer.
The dog hasn’t barked and the biggest giveaway BC has ever seen goes unexplained by the government and unnoticed by the media.