Friday, April 06, 2007

B.C.'s New And Improved, Kinder And Gentler.....


Yesterday, Sean Holman of Public Eye fingered American pipeline behemoth Kinder-Morgan for their attempts to manipulate B.C.'s electricity prices:

The (provincial government's) report, which was obtained via a freedom of information request, summarizes a January 31 (2007) meeting between Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Neufeld and Kinder Morgan chairman and chief executive officer Rich Kinder - as well as president Park Shaper and chief operating officer Steven Kean. The meeting occured while Minister Neufeld was attending a convention in Houston, Texas. According to the report, after the executives expressed a desire to replace electricity use with natural gas, "BC noted that electricity is cheap and competes with gas."

Kinder Morgan then suggested introducing "incremental prices" for residential electricity consumers. Under such a system - which has been in place for BC Hydro's industrial customers since 2005 - the more power you use, the higher your kilowatt hour rate will be.

Now why would Kinder-Morgan, which is itself poised to be gobbled-up by none other than The Carlyle Group, want to do a thing like that?

Well, they say it is to encourage conservation, sort of:

....(I)n an interview with Public Eye, Terasen corporate communications manager Joyce Wagenaar said her company is just working to make sure British Columbians "use the right fuel, at the right place, at the right time" - work that's taking place in cooperation with BC Hydro.

Hmmmmm........ Now why would Mr. Holman bring Terasen (formerly B.C.) Gas into this?

Well, because it is currently owned, not by us, but instead by none other than Kinder-Morgan who snatched it away without so much as a peep from our (so-called) Public Utilities Commission back in 2005.

Funny thing is though, in February of this year, less than a month after their meeting with Disco Dick Neufeld cited above, Kinder-Morgan announced that they will be selling off the the gas distribution portion of Terasen while keeping the oil pipelines.

And then, just last week, Kinder-Morgan stepped in and bought Douglas Coupland's favorite piles of sulphur as well as the surrounding North Vancouver Wharves from BC Rail which are, according to a report by Fiona Anderson in the Sun:

".....ideally situated to take advantage of increased production from Alberta's oilsands and growing trade with Asia."

In other words, Kinder-Morgan is laying claim to our oil distribution networks now so that they can cash in big-time later.

So, given all of that, just who, and/or what, is Kinder Morgan exactly?

Well, here is how I described them back in the days when our (so-called) P.U.C. was playing the wet noodle:

Given the fact that Kinder Morgan was originally known as Enron Liquids Pipeline, L.P., and given that it became Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. when all of it's stock was purchased by Robert Kinder (former president of Enron Corp.) and Bill Morgan (former Enron corp. pipeline executive; see footnote #1 below), can the BC Utilities Commission please explain what specific rules, regulations, controls, potential penalties and/or protocols, if any, have been put into place to ensure that British Columbians will not be subjected to energy market manipulations such as those that were previously practiced by Enron traders in California (see footnote #2)?

Energy market manipulation?

Whoa, Nelly!

You mean that these very fine fellows have pulled this kind of crap before?

You betcha Bobby:

During California's rolling blackouts, when streets were lit only by head lights and families were trapped in elevators, Enron Energy traders laughed, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

One trader is heard on tapes obtained by CBS News saying, "Just cut 'em off. They're so f----d. They should just bring back f-----g horses and carriages, f-----g lamps, f-----g kerosene lamps."

And when describing his reaction when a business owner complained about high energy prices, another trader is heard on tape saying, "I just looked at him. I said, 'Move.' (laughter) The guy was like horrified. I go, 'Look, don't take it the wrong way. Move. It isn't getting fixed anytime soon."

Maybe we should just give in, close up shop, get out ahead of the curve, and start calling ourselves the 'New Kazakhstan' right now.

After all, that way we can sell off the whole Province lock, stock and no-more-off-shore moratorium-in-a-barrel to all of the world's Bush Rangers while simultaneously cashing in on the Borat craze.



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