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media releases

Media release
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
October 16, 2008

Anti-run-of-river road show
rolls through the northwest

‘Rivers at Risk’ speeches
part of a well-financed campaign of misinformation

“Based on past experience elsewhere, the Oct. 17 ‘Rivers at Risk’ speeches in Prince Rupert seem likely to repeat a litany of discredited myths,” said Gene Vickers, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy co-spokesperson. “This event is part of a well-financed campaign of misinformation about independently produced clean electricity. They’re using big money and relentless repetition on behalf of vested interests who want to preserve the status quo.” The Prince Rupert event is similar to several other events held across B.C. over the last several months, most recently in Terrace on Oct. 15 and Kitimat on Oct. 16.

Addressing the audience will be representatives of COPE 378 (a BC Hydro union), the Wilderness Committee (which says it will support run of river if BC Hydro develops it), and the Save Our Rivers Society (which might be one of several groups financed by COPE 378).

“This is a very tightly knit group of vested interests,” said Vickers. “The more you learn about this issue, the more you realize that opposition comes down to a BC Hydro union, its political allies and some smaller organizations that often turn out to be funded by COPE 378.”

“Of course some people act out of good intentions,” Vickers emphasized. “But I wonder if they realize that their information has been thoroughly discredited.”

“What you’ll hear seems really predictable,” Vickers said. “I think you’ll hear the skyrocketing rates myth, the privatization myth and the environmental devastation myth. You’ll hear that 500 or more rivers are being sold, stolen or given away. You’ll even hear that we don’t need any more electricity. That stuff has been refuted again and again but these people never tire of repeating it.”

Our Web site responds to those myths: http://www.greenenergybc.ca/myths.html

“And their credibility has never been lower than now,” said Vickers. “This speaking tour follows closely after the Oct. 1 release of an academic review that demolished the work of the campaign’s two intellectuals, Marvin Shaffer and John Calvert.” Their work was strongly criticized by Dr. Mark Jaccard, an internationally respected energy economist and a 2007 Nobel Prize Laureate who has served the previous and current provincial governments. Jaccard found the conclusions in Shaffer’s report Lost in Transmission were not supported by the evidence. Jaccard was even more scathing about Calvert, referring to his book Liquid Gold as “a political tract” and “a conspiracy theory.”

Jaccard’s report is available here:

The tour is part of a well-financed campaign that includes salaried speakers, full-time campaigners and support staff, province-wide public events, billboards, glossy brochures, flashy Internet banner ads and sophisticated radio ads. On Oct. 4 and 5 BC Citizens for Public Power hosted a two-day training session in Vancouver. The group subsidized travel and accommodation for activists from across the province. BCCPP is made up of COPE 378 officials and a tightly knit group of allies. COPE 378 also helps finance smaller groups across B.C.

More information about COPE 378 is available here:

Among those taking part in the northwest tour will be the producer of Power Play: The Theft of B.C.’s Rivers, a heavy-handed propaganda film that piles misinformation on top of misinformation so that a single sentence often contains multiple falsehoods.

Some of the film’s content might be familiar to readers of the Terrace Standard. In the April 9, 2008 issue, Terrace Standard columnist Rob Brown repeated parts of the film script almost verbatim without acknowledging the source. BCCGE brought this to the attention of the Terrace Standard. But we received no response, even though this looks like a case of plagiarism.

Click here to compare Terrace Standard columnist Rob Brown’s unattributed comments, the original source and our response:

“Some of these speakers might try to play on your emotions to make you scared or angry,” said Vickers. “We’re just asking people to listen carefully to what those guys say and check out our Web site for more information. COPE 378 and its allies have lots of money to push their nonsense. But something vital is at stake. We have to develop new sources of electricity for future generations and it has to be clean electricity. Independents are best suited to do that, despite what you hear from a powerful BC Hydro union and its allies.”

Other media releases

Myths about green energy spread to North Shore February 28, 2009

Anti-run-of-river road show coming to Campbell River and Courtenay January 29, 2009

Anti-run-of-river rent-a-mob coming to Sechelt January 28, 2009

Anti-run-of-river road show pulls into Powell River January 27, 2009

Anti-IPP campaign challenged to divulge amount and sources of spending November 27, 2008

BC Hydro forecasts underestimate our electricity needs November 24, 2008

Anti-run-of-river road show rolls through the northwest October 16, 2008

Faux environmental group gives Pemberton speech October 16, 2008

Two-day training conference prepares anti-IPP activists for major offensive October 3, 2008

Academic report destroys basis of anti-IPP campaign October 1, 2008

Veteran journalist’s anti-IPP involvement raises concerns July 14, 2008

Big money backs the campaign against clean electricity June 19, 2008

Is BC Hydro turning away from clean energy? June 16, 2008

Anti-run-of-river re-runs coming to the Kootenays June 11, 2008

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy congratulates Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association for annual show
June 6, 2008

Run-of-river hydro project short-listed for Canadian Environment Award May 22, 2008

Anti-IPP myths, misinformation and great big whoppers April 25, 2008

The anti-IPP campaign: Creative hyperbole, inflationary hyperbole, relentless hyperbole and lack of attribution April 16, 2008

Opposition to run of river ideological, not environmental March 25, 2008

Newly formed citizens’ group supports independently produced clean electricity March 11, 2008

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