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Wilderness Committee
follows the COPE 378 script

When it comes to electricity,
the WC’s agenda isn’t environmental at all

In an angry letter that appeared in the Burnaby Now and New Westminster Record last December 20, Wilderness Committee spokesperson Joe Foy again showed the WC’s real concern: the alleged “privatization” of BC Hydro.

His letter deals only incidentally with environmental issues and some other discredited myths. Foy returns again and again to “privatization.” He concludes by saying that BC Hydro should be developing all our sources of electricity.

That’s the real issue for the Wilderness Committee — the WC would support new electricity projects if BC Hydro developed them.

While addressing a COPE 378/WC demonstration against independently developed run-of-river hydro, Foy once again stated that the Wilderness Committee supports run of river if it’s developed by a public utility:

“We’re not against these projects, publicly funded and environmentally sound, but we’re being sold out to these private-power interests.”

This is the jargon of COPE 378, a powerful BC Hydro union that seems to be at the centre of the campaign against independently produced clean electricity. But no one is being “sold out” to “private-power interests.” And the issue of who funds new sources of electricity is irrelevant to the environment. BC Hydro simply cannot surpass the independents’ environmental standards.

Understandably the issue of who develops new sources of electricity is important to vested interests like COPE 378. But for a number of reasons, BC Hydro can’t develop these new electricity sources.

Where Foy does mention the environment, he tries to scare people with melodramatic language. Take a careful look at his arguments and they come down to this: New sources of electricity require construction, therefore they will destroy the environment.

That kind of argument could be applied to almost any human endeavour — including running a bogus environmental organization with a $2.2-million war chest.

No credible environmental group would work with COPE 378, which wants to restore the gas-fired Burrard Thermal plant to full operation, greatly increasing GHGs and other types of pollution. But the WC works very closely with COPE 378 on joint speaking tours, demonstrations, advertising, training for activists and other campaign tactics.

And of course the WC follows the COPE 378 script very closely. Like Foy’s letter, the WC keeps emphasizing allegations about “privatization.” Besides being false, those allegations are environmentally irrelevant.

But they’re of primary importance to COPE 378 and the WC. Once again, Foy’s letter shows that when it comes to electricity, the Wilderness Committee’s agenda isn’t environmental at all.