Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Keef Report...Charlie Smith 14 Point Site C Edition.


First, the Keef:

And in response, Mr. Smith's 14 points:

1. The Site C dam was a voting decision for this so-called tiny constituency whom Baldrey has berated.

2. Many of these people voted for NDP candidates across the province because they believed, in their hearts, that a government led by John Horgan would halt the project.

3. This belief was rooted in the repeated pre-election criticism of the project from Horgan, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall, and Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman.

4. These Site C voters were confident that an independent evaluation by the B.C. Utilities Commission would show that the power from the Site C dam wasn't needed. Moreover, anyone following the renewable-energy field knew that clean power could be generated less expensively and with far more job creation through methods other than the Site C dam. And this fact would provide these NDP politicians with the justification to halt construction.

5. Indeed, the B.C. Utilities Commission review provided NDP politicians with these justifications. Domestic demand for electricity has been flat in B.C. for a decade.

6. Critics of the project are fully aware that some of the brightest progressive minds in the province think the decision to proceed with the Site C dam was stunningly stupid. These critics believe a major factor in the decision was more than $120,000 in political donations to the NDP from the union representing the operating engineers in the period leading up to the 2017 election.

7. Moreover, the NDP promised to follow the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has never been an issue of much concern to Baldrey and some of his friends in the press gallery.

8. The hypocrisy of proceeding with completion of the dam while professing fealty to UNDRIP is, in the view of some, even worse than the B.C. Liberal approach, which was to simply pay no heed to UNDRIP and let the chips fall where they may in court. Writer Andrew Frank summed it up best when he referred to the NDP cabinet as "heavy-hearted colonizers".

9. Tremendous advances are being made in the storage of renewable power, which has always been the knock against investing in solar and wind energy. These advances in the storage of renewable power have gone largely unnoticed in the press gallery, but they were given a fair amount of attention in a recent book, Just Cool It! The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do, by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington. Anyone who's curious to learn more can read this article. The mainstream media's failure to cover this issue was a serious shortcoming in its overall approach to the Site C dam. Had this been fully explored, perhaps the NDP government would not have chosen to complete the dam.

10. Municipal and regional governments are making enormous strides in generating their own renewable electricity. Much more can be done in this area at a lower cost than producing Site C power. This point has often been made by one of the foremost critics of the Site C dam, Richmond councillor Harold Steves.

11. Steves has argued that the premier's decision to complete the dam is to provide the energy to power the liquefied-natural-gas industry. If he's right, this will bring the world one step closer to climate-change hell. Anyone who believes Steves on this point can only conclude that the NDP government wasn't being truly honest with the public in explaining why it was going to complete the dam.

12. The NDP's decision to flood massive amounts of farmland in the Peace River Valley is seen by critics as especially foolish, given that there's been no increase in domestic demand for the electricity. Farmland is the new gold, according to former CIBC World Markets chief economist Jeff Rubin.

13. Site C dam critics believe that B.C. Hydro will have trouble servicing its ballooning debt in a world where renewable energy becomes far cheaper and far more plentiful. This debt will then be transferred from ratepayers to provincial taxpayers, crowding out spending for hospitals, schools, and other necessary public services.

14. Some critics of the Site C dam believe that the changes taking place in the energy industry are akin to the transformation in telecommunications from landlines to cellphones. That was a dramatic and quick transition, making the old technology far less appealing. Hydroelectric dams are so 1950s. Distributed renewable-energy generation and storage, including in people's homes and businesses, will be the way of the world in the 21st century. The unions will hate this, but they won't be able to stop it from happening.

And, finally, from literally anyone who has been paying attention because they care about what happens in and to this province:

"This is NOT a game."



e. a. f. said...

Perhaps Baldrey and Trump could get a room together.

Chuckstraight said...

Agree- I am one old age pensioner that has supported the NDP for years and am extremely disappointed at the outcome. Doesn`t make sense.
Only time I hear about Baldrey or Palmer is usually here.

Keith. said...

As North America lumbers into the 20th Century....

By the time they usual suspects have figured out this is a good idea, the rest of the world has moved on to next technology.

Very disappointed with the NDP, on site c. they shouldn't kid themselves that many of us voted for them just to boot the liberals.

Hugh said...

These are quotes from Mr. Horgan on reasons for going ahead with Site C:

"But it is undeniable that it’s not just the energy produced from Site C, but the capacity that also comes with the project that allows other renewables (IPPs) to come on stream and to be backstopped by the dispatchability of Site C."

"So, I think there’s a bright future for natural gas in the Peace and in British Columbia, but we want to make sure we’re meeting our climate objectives. We’re serious about reducing our emissions, I know the industry is as well. That electrification (by Site C) is part of that,.."

So the $10 billion Site C is about backing up intermittent IPP power and proving clean, cheap, subsidized power for natural gas development. Great.

Lew said...

I wonder whether Keef has or ever had any journalistic role models, and if so who they might be.

I also wonder whether any budding journalist would view Keef as a role model.

Anonymous said...

Once again, in an effort to shoot straight, the NDP have shoot themselves in the foot. In the next provincial election, the greens will become the official opposition with the liberals coming up the center to take power once again. A completely foolish decision. on many levels, by Horgan. He should have listened to his wife's arguments..

Sub-Boreal said...

Elsewhere in Pravda, Palmer approvingly notes that "Horgan preaches pragmatism after favourable Site C poll".

This is polling which shows that Horgan's decision is overwhelmingly popular with the folks who'll never vote for him - and extremely divisive in his own electorate.

No wonder Palmer thinks this is just dandy.

Sub-Boreal said...

Another consideration (not following from the Baldrey - Smith exchange, but still important):

This leaves three of the greenest Cabinet members (Heyman, Mungall, Popham) significantly weakened in their credibility with environmentally-minded party members & supporters who would normally see them as champions. Reeling out a dribble of redemptive gestures (e.g. Ajax mine, ALR committee) won't make any difference.

So this means that Horgan will have a much freer hand when he decides to backpedal on Kinder Morgan etc. in order to win temporary MSM praise for "pragmatism". Rinse, repeat.

davemj said...

Balderdash !!Middle school mentality with penmanship to match maybe he could make it as Turbo Trumps next media relations spoke shill? I was greatly disappointed in the Premier's decision with site C! Hydro is in a financial mess, The Govt debt in the last eight years has skyrocketed, scandals, Casinos, ICBC, all the way back B.C.Rail corruption. I am on the thought lets see what happens if the financial mess can improve we do not need a repeat of the sixteen years as under the Liberals.

Anonymous said...

Ready fire aim investigative writing?

Hold the bananas... were going to build the province on loose money,loose oversight,dams coal and other hydrocarbons!?Oh and more raw log export?

Anonymous said...

How will we heat our homes if we stop burning gas, fracked or otherwise, for heat? Power from a roof covered in solar panels can sometimes generate a little more power than we use to light our homes, run our fridges and computers. Home heating & cooling and charging electric cars is going to take many times more collection area than is available to a residential home-owner.

boomy said...

Thanks for posting this.

I agree with Charlie and the reasons for opposing site C and although I was open to the NDP’s logic, I heard none that convinced me they had made the right choice and that was disturbing. Jim Quail & company (mostly strong unionists) argued it was a wash either way, so the NDP may as well go ahead with the project. But the climate change/environmental issues far outweighed any jobs or union payback reasoning. What is so bothersome is that we don’t actually know why Site C was approved and those loyalists, like former BCNDP MLAs and the likes, in the end said, they didn’t know why Horgan chose this route, but that they trusted the party’s judgement.

I trust the party’s judgement too and they still need to convince me, on some level, why they chose to go with Site C. Party insiders have told me that despite the polling reported by Baldrey & company, the party was still shocked with the number of member cancellations and poor year-end donation results. Its not so much that the BCNDP has damaged their brand, its more about the progressive movement losing their (our) credibility. Because, lets face it, the conservative movement won this round. Which begs the question, what hidden forces conspired to compel the BCNDP to approve of Site C?

Sixteen years was quite a stretch for the BC Liberals and the stench of corruption or adherence to conservative values is only beginning to reach and effect public sentiment. A sentiment that still largely supports the BCNDP. Personally, I still want to be convinced there is a way to justify Site C, that we won’t lose the next election because of changing nor compromised sentiments. But, I fear, on balance, conservative sentiments won this round and they will continue to win if Horgan doesn’t begin, soon, to speak more clearly to his progressive values and also be more transparent with his reasons for Site C, because I cannot believe this province’s construction unions had the power to sway our Premier to approve Site C, this was way bigger that they ever will be. Besides, if they hold more sway over the party than civil society, then the party may be doomed. The only light I see on the horizon is the new Election Finance legislation and a hopefully new PR system of voting that would presumably exclude all special interest groups.

Thanks again for your post!

Sub-Boreal said...

For a cogent analysis of what probably went down, see Seth Klein's new CCPA Policy Note:

Example: "It is a curse of modern social democratic governments that, on economic matters especially, they are inclined to let others tell them what is and isn’t allowed. This dynamic plagues otherwise progressive people who lack confidence in economics, and it is heightened when senior civil servants remain in place after a change of government—the same people giving the same advice as always."

What is most remarkable about the Liberal to NDP transition of last summer is how it caused barely a ripple in the upper echelons of the public service. When I went through the list of Deputy Ministers in December, all but 2 of 29 had been a DM or Assistant DM in the previous administration.

So you put in a Cabinet of newbies, and there should be no mystery why they all folded without a peep.

"Yes Minister!"

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit surprised that Mr. Smith failed to mention the NDP's "Power BC" policy that they campaigned on. It clearly states that it would protect farmland and respect first nations rights and other good things. More than being critics of Site C they actually sold the voters a vision and kicked their vision "to the curbside". I can't think of anything smart about that.

e.a.f. said...

Not happy about Site C, but would I vote for another party, not so much. Perhaps that is what Horgan is betting on. Canning Site C. might have created more immediate problems for him, so if he continues with the dam dam, he gets through this up coming election cycle. The stench of the B.C. Lieberals will not go away in the next 4 years. As to the Greens, taking more seats, don't think so.

The NDP can continue to fight the pipelines and continue to hold on to some of those greenier votes. Then they can bash the federal government for letting the pipe line go ahead.

What is interesting is how little has been written about the oil tanker burning off of China. Not even the greens have hopped on that train to point out this can happen in B.C.

Armand Bourque said...

If site christy goes ahead,so doesK-M. Which leads to dilbit pumped to here. Which requires condensate shipped to here,or rupert. Which leads to the situation thats killing ks of km2 in the south china sea. So it could happen here. P.S. Dont buy any chinese seafood in the,forever?