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Media release
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
February 9, 2010

BCCGE applauds throne speech
commitment to green energy

“I am very encouraged to hear that B.C.’s enormous
untapped green energy potential... will finally be put to work
for the B.C. economy to generate new wealth
and new jobs in our communities.”

— Bruce Sanderson, co-spokesperson
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy

Vancouver, B.C. — B.C. Citizens for Green Energy are applauding this afternoon’s Speech from the Throne and the strong commitment it makes to green energy development in B.C.

As announced in the throne speech, the province will be launching a comprehensive strategy to put B.C. at the forefront of clean energy development and will also be introducing a new Clean Energy Act to encourage new investments in independent power production while also strengthening BC Hydro.

The Speech from the Throne also states that the upcoming budget will set the foundation for the province we want in 2030, with a new agenda that—among other things—maximizes B.C.’s potential as a clean energy powerhouse and a global leader in climate action.

BCCGE co-spokesperson Bruce Sanderson says he is very encouraged to hear that B.C.’s enormous untapped green energy potential in bioenergy, run‑of‑river, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave and solar energy will finally be put to work for the B.C. economy to generate new wealth and new jobs in our communities.

“The Lieutenant-Governor said we need to muster all of the effort and wisdom we can so that our children inherit opportunities and not our problems or our debt,” Sanderson said.  “The wealth and environmental benefits that green energy could generate for B.C. are immense and could help pay down our provincial debt as well as lower greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. and in neighbouring provinces and states.”  

The Speech from the Throne also called for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act to be amended to create a unified federal‑provincial review process that does away with redundancy and unnecessary costs.  As stated in the throne speech, multiple governmental reviews replicate work, add cost, increase uncertainty, delay decisions, reduce investment and ultimately cost jobs.

Sanderson points to the more than 50 approvals, permits and licenses from 14 government regulatory bodies, and numerous reviews and studies, that green energy projects in British Columbia typically require before they can get underway and the incredible amount of risk involved for independent green energy producers.

“I applaud the province for redoubling their efforts to conclude equivalency agreements with Ottawa to ensure that environmental reviews are cost effective, timely and thorough,” Sanderson said.  “As the Lieutenant-Governor stated, we cannot afford to hold investment and jobs hostage to overly complicated bureaucratic practices that have no place in the 21st Century.”

The Speech from the Throne also states that a new unified process for environmental assessment and permitting in British Columbia will be implemented.  The “One Project, One Process” approach will create a single framework that is timely, diligent and science-based.

Local governments will also be asked to become partners in this streamlining endeavour and to take a look at all impediments to reasonable investment, including zoning, licensing and permitting requirements.

New transmission infrastructure will link Northeastern B.C. to an integrated grid, provide clean power to the energy industry and open up new capacity for clean power exports to Alberta, Saskatchewan and south of the border.  The province will also be seeking major transmission upgrades with utilities in California and elsewhere.

Sanderson says the Lieutenant-Governor summed it all up perfectly when he said: “If we act with clear vision and concerted effort now, in 2030, people will look back to this decade as we look to the 1960s today.”


For more information contact Bruce Sanderson
Co-spokesperson, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
e-mail us at info@greenenergybc.ca

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy is an advocacy group representing a cross-section of British Columbians who encourage a legacy of clean, renewable electricity for future generations.