LIBERALS SHOW THEY HAVEN’T LEARNED LESSONS FROM FAILED ENERGY POLICIES, SAYS NDP
February 3rd, 2012
VICTORIA – Changes to the province’s requirement to be electricity self-sufficient by 2016 amount to an admission of failure on energy policy, says New Democrat energy critic John Horgan.
“The original requirement to make British Columbia electricity self-sufficient was a political decision that hamstrung B.C. Hydro for the purpose of creating an artificial need for expensive private power producers,” said Horgan, noting that while the Liberals announced today that self-sufficiency requirements would be eased, they would not be eliminated.
“The Liberals have been lurching from one energy idea to the next based on which way the wind is blowing. It shows they have no long-term plan, and there will continue to be upheaval and uncertainty in electricity pricing for consumers and industry.”
Horgan was responding to the Liberals’ re-announcement on Friday of their plan to expand natural gas extraction and support the development of LNG (liquid natural gas) facilities for export.
“New Democrats support the diversification of markets for natural gas,” said Horgan. “But no one should be fooled by this announcement – it was just another photo op and re-announcement from the premier. The talking points outlined in the Liberals’ natural gas strategy contain nothing new,” said Horgan.
“The Liberals failed to take the opportunity to provide details about how and where the electricity is going to come from to run these energy-intensive LNG plants. The Liberals have shown us no evidence they’ll be able to secure supply, there’s no information on what the impact on our rivers and streams in the Northwest will be, and there’s no mention of the effect on B.C.’s greenhouse gas emission targets.
“Most importantly, the Liberals made no mention of restoring independent public oversight from the B.C. Utilities Commission to protect ratepayers from political interference.”
Horgan also noted the Liberals failed to offer any action to address the skills training shortage, despite making the announcement at BCIT. Horgan said New Democrat leader Adrian Dix has repeatedly exposed the glaring absence of skills training initiatives in the premier’s so-called jobs plan.
“All flash, no substance. Once again, we see nothing from this premier and this tired Liberal government,” said Horgan.