Media release - for immediate release
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
January 28, 2009
coming to Sechelt
Myths are their message
but will disruptive tactics also take place?
Sechelt’s Jan. 28 open house about the Bute Inlet run-of-river proposal promises to draw some of the usual activists who oppose new clean energy development. “As usual they’ll be spreading their discredited myths,” said David Field, co-spokesperson for B.C. Citizens for Green Energy. “But there’s a strong possibility that they’ll disrupt the event, shout people down and make it difficult to express information that they don’t want people to hear.”
At another open house the previous day in Powell River, the audience was stacked with out-of-town activists who shouted down speakers they disagreed with. They dominated the question-and-answer period. Instead of asking questions, they tended to give ranting speeches that pushed their litany of discredited myths.
Some of the more common myths include the environmental desecration myth; the cumulative effects myth; the skyrocketing rates myth; the privatization myth; the myth that rivers will be sold, stolen or given away; and so on.
Our Web site responds to those myths here:
“It’s not just the nonsense they’re spreading, but the way they express it,” said Field. “Some of their salaried campaigners specialize in angry shouting. Mob tactics have prevailed at a number of open houses. They don’t want others to have their say. They seem to want a monopoly on public opinion.”
The activists have been egged on by a well-funded, tightly knit coalition of groups closely allied with COPE 378, a BC Hydro union.
Together they have probably spent six figures already on a 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. Last October they hosted a two-day training session in Vancouver with subsidized travel and accommodation for activists from across the province. COPE 378 also offers financial or other support to smaller groups across B.C., such as Malaspina Communities for Public Power.
“The result is a very vocal network of small groups taking direction from a central source,” said Field. “That explains why they spin such melodramatic scenarios about the supposed environmental effects of run of river, while at the same time supporting COPE 378, which wants to restore Burrard Thermal to full capacity,” Field added. “That would make the gas-fired plant in Port Moody one of B.C.’s worst sources of greenhouse gases.”
“That also explains why all those so-called environmentalists keep coming back to the public/private issue. It’s irrelevant to the environment, but crucial to COPE 378.”
“But independents are the best way for B.C. to develop new clean electricity sources,” said Field. “The financial risk is way too high for a public utility spending public money. Only a fraction of clean energy proposals ever get developed, despite a great expenditure in time and money.”
“We need new sources of renewable electricity to fuel a sustainable economy and lifestyle for the future. Europe has led the way, now President Barack Obama is taking bold, decisive action. British Columbians can’t let a noisy, disruptive campaign of misinformation cause us to sacrifice our future economy and environment.”
For more information contact David Field
Co-spokesperson, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy is an advocacy group representing a cross-section of British Columbians who encourage a legacy of clean, sustainable electricity for future generations.