Energy Privatization in British Columbia
by John Calvert (Simon Fraser)
[from the publisher]
Cheap, reliable energy has been one of British columbia’s most important competitive advantages and a key contributor to the province’s prosperity. BC’s energy costs have been based on the actual cost of production. Under new government policy, future energy will not be generated by BC hydro, but will be purchased from private energy producers.
John Calvert shows how BC’s successful public energy system is being supplanted by a deregulated private electrical system. This will effectively transfer control of the system to private interests. It will also expose BC ratepayers to the risks and uncertainties associated with the United States energy market as BC’s system in gradually integrated into the larger Pacific northwest transmission grid—a grid largely controlled by US energy corporations.
The government, says Calvert, has gone to extraordinary lengths to provide a supportive financial, environmental, legal and ownership framework to assist the growth of private energy investments in BC.
John Calvert is an associate professor at Simon Fraser University, where he teaches public policy. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics in Political Science and an MA from the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of three books on Canadian Public Policy and economic issues.
Contents: Introduction • The Provincial Government’s Energy Privatization Agenda • How Did We Get Here? The Path to Privatization and Deregulation • BC’s Growing Need for Electricity: Creating the Opportunity for Private Energy Developers • The High Costs of Existing Private Energy Contracts • Energy Purchases from the Private Sector Do Not Provide a Secure Supply of Energy for BC’s Future Needs • The Downside of Relying on Privately Owned Generation Facilities to Supply BC’s Future Energy Requirements: Alcan’s Energy Export Agenda • Private Energy Projects Are Heavily Dependent on Government Subsidies and Government Assistance • The Water Licence Give-Away: Our Streams and Rivers are a “Free Good” • Wind Energy: Crown Land is Open for Business • The Negative Impacts of Private Power Projects on Local Communities • Developers Against Communities: The Dispute Between the Squamish-Lillooet Community and Ledcor • Developers against Communities: Cascade Falls (Christina Lake & Kettle Falls/Kettle Valley) and Seabreeze • Lack of Benefits to Local Communities from Private Energy Developments • Impact of Non-Resident Ownership of “Green Energy” Projects on Communities and First Nations • The Economic Impact of the Government’s Energy Plan and Its Policy of Expanding Private Energy Production • Co-opting First Nations • Securing Municipal Co-operation • The Costs to BC Hydro: Destroying the Assets of BC’s Most Valuable Crown Corporation • Index