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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-12-2017, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 11:48 AM
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According to the Columbia River Treaty, Canada can take as much electricity from the Columbia as would equal what Site C is proposing to create, YET, we don't need it or use it, or sell it. If we do need it in the future, it's ours and the infrastructure (transmitting lines, service roads, etc) are already in place. So instead of ruining the Peace River Valley farm and forestry lands, why not stop throwing good money after bad and stop this ill conceived project?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 12:26 PM
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$4 billion is a lot of money, but...it's a sunk cost.
Business theory suggests that sunk costs should be irrelevant in the decision-making process, as decision-making only affects the future course of business. I know there are good reasons on both sides of this issue, and of course emotional responses play into it too. I don't really know enough to analyze the issue, but this sure seems like an issue with no winning solution.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:15 PM
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Generally agreed with guntis.

I am all for conservation, but bottom line is --- you can never stop, or reverse 'development'. You can sometimes delay it, but eventually it always happens. Its just how things work. And eventually any resource will get depleted, including all natural resources of this planet. Even the sun will eventually burn its helium/hydrogen fuel, become white dwarf and all solar system will die. It is natural order of things

Environmental issues only get used by politicians as campaign promises. Once they get elected, nothing really changes.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 04:17 PM
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It's been a long time since we've had a 'conservation' banter on CT. Mind you, those threads did get a bit animated, even uncivil. It's good to be firm, but nice

We've been back and forth on Site C since the 70's, a few years after the Bennett dam was fully up to speed. During the 60's as a vancouver school boy, I recall the discussions in social studies class, mostly negative, about the Bennett dam, to wit; the dam was too costly, it was unnecessary/would never be fully utilized, it would ruin the Peace agriculture economy and was technically dangerous/unstable. These are, more or less, the same arguments against Site C and I submit to you my friends, they will soon seem as feeble as they were with the bennett dam.

Power demands over the life of Site C are near to impossible to forecast but even the most conservative of these is easily derailed by a) unforseen rapid electrification of our vehicle fleet b) expansion of LNG facilities c) large and unmitigated power supply drops in California which wants/needs reserve hydro power d) domestic demand grater than forecast.

The USA has catapulted over canada in LNG exports to China as China converts many coal power plants to Nat Gas. In fact, so undeveloped is our LNG export capacity that Trans Canada pipeline is investing huge $$ to export BC Montney gas to the southern US Gulf states for liquefaction and export to China. If BC really moves into LNG Site C power will be well used. California needs reserve power to back up solar/wind which are 'intermittent'. Site C can provide that back up and it most certainly should. In 20 to 30 years, who knows how electrified our vehicle fleet will be but I expect it will be much. much greater than we think now.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 04:39 PM
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It's been a long time since we've had a 'conservation' banter on CT. Mind you, those threads did get a bit animated, even uncivil. It's good to be firm, but nice .
Exactly. Nothing wrong with discussing all kinds of topics. People get passionate about things they feel for personally & disagreements are fine, as long as it is civil / non-personal and there are arguments to back it up.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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xj6- you forgot to mention the terrible affront to Aboriginal rights and traditions, but that probably wasn't talked about in the 60's very much. That you're making connections between WAC and Cite C is scary because it shows that in the 60-ish years since, our political leaders have moved little past the idea of divisive mega-projects to solve our so-called problems.

Also, the WAC dam (to my knowledge- as I've flown over Williston Lake numerous times) didn't really harm much in the way of agricultural land/economy, but Site C most certainly will.

I can't really support the whole "development is inevitable, that's just the way it is" line of thinking. It's fatalistic and takes the power out of the hands of everyday citizens. Likewise, Site C is so much more than an environmental issue, although some media and lazy thinkers want to paint it as such. It's an issue with economic, political, cultural, and technological ramifications as well.

Last edited by zeljkok; 12-15-2017 at 02:13 PM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 11:06 PM
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xj6- you forgot to mention the terrible affront to Aboriginal rights and traditions, but that probably wasn't talked about in the 60's very much. That you're making connections between WAC and Cite C is scary because it shows that in the 60-ish years since, our political leaders have moved little past the idea of divisive mega-projects to solve our so-called problems.

Also, the WAC dam (to my knowledge- as I've flown over Williston Lake numerous times) didn't really harm much in the way of agricultural land/economy, but Site C most certainly will.
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I hear what you're saying but the argument that first nations are singularly wounded by Site C just doesn't hold up. In fact the Saulteau First nation has signed a community benefit agreement with BC Hydro over Site C. For sure there are aboriginals who disagree but their leadership, their first nation, made a decision for the greater good of their people.

Everything I've studied on the matter tells me that the oft-stated declaration of farm land losses has been badly overstated. The reservoir will have surface area of 9,200 hectares, which is only double the area of the existing river(at high water) How can it then flood the 13,000 hectares of farmland as stated by environmentalists and media? Additionally, if the actual surface area being flooded is that much smaller, then claims about massive loss of wildlife habitat are equally overstated. This issue was raised at several of the public meetings and the response from opponents was to just repeat the same incorrect info.

I believe Horgan made his decision on the basis of correct, verified data. It was the right one for BC, it was the right one for everyone. That said, projects like will have an impact but the trade off in benefits and the ability to mitigate impacts make the decision to proceed correct, in my view.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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That a First Nation would sign an economic benefit agreement with BC Hydro is nothing new. Many bands have similar agreements, including those impacted by the WAC dam and Williston Reservoir. But I think it's more a case of "if they are going to screw us (or have already screwed us) we should at least get something out of it," than an indication of overwhelming FN support for Cite C. I say this because there are currently still bands opposed to the project who have spent years in court fighting it.

Regarding the agriculture... you might be right... there seems to be all sorts of numbers floating around... but at a time when agricultural lands are under siege from a variety of angles, from big business to climate change, and the fact that food prices are expected to increase, it makes little sense to ruin some of the best quality farmland in the province. Not to mention the ranchers and families who will be displaced.

Right decision for everyone? How is it the right decision for you? There's no indication your electricity bills will decrease. In fact, along with current increases, prices are expected to increase even more! Who is going to pay for this wildly over-budget project? Personally, I rather my money went to more innovative ways of meeting our energy needs.

I don't know what "verified data" you're referring to. Like I said, there's lots of numbers out there. But the BCUC's report wasn't exactly rosy, and even suggests that alternative energy sources could be just as good or better for ratepayers. There's also an argument that BC Hydro cannot sufficiently show that we even need the energy.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 12:00 PM
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I don't think it's just about our daily hydro rates, it's also about development of the province. The ability to export power to the USA and having the power to develop LNG are vital, in my view. We need those revenues for health care, schools etc. It's also key to have the 'hydro reserve' capacity to augment renewables, such as wind/solar. This has become a problem in California now, with far too much power being produced by solar when it is not needed. They have almost no capacity to 'hydro storage' their surplus power, but we do, and we could take their surplus, and ours to store in hydro reservoirs, instead of using gas backup plants. That's what killed Ontario's 'green energy' schemes.

Site C will be invaluable to BC. There are many ways it could benefit BC. We could potentially use wind/solar for export, as Hydro Quebec does, using our own hydro domestically. Hydro Quebec brings about $1.5 billion in power export NET revenue each year. BC hydro exported about $2.5 billion to the USA in 2015 and this should go up a lot. B.C.’s hydroelectric power qualifies as “low-emission” under the rules of California’s carbon market, making it more attractive than other options. The National Energy Board said that some B.C. wind farms have been certified to sell both energy and renewable energy credits that California utilities can use to meet obligations under the state’s renewable energy standards. We NEED this money for public services and Site C is critical to doing that.

On another note, I know some of the native people in the ft St john area, having been involved in some land use planning work for them some time ago. I have no data to support this but it seems to me that many, if not most, are looking forward to the revenue sharing benefits of Site C. They are quite a business focused people and want to provide more benefits and economic development to their people as well as the community at large.

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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You've shown that California needs the power from Cite C, but I don't think anyone has conclusively shown that WE (ie. taxpaying British Columbians and our future generations) actually do or will.

Apparently, there's also some research being doing that's challenging the notion that hydro dams are actually green and low emission. Even if they are, many people don't feel that BC should be ruining our rivers and farmland to help California meet its targets.

On a side note... at least they killed Ajax for now.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 12:37 PM
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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^That's definitely food for thought.

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 01:00 PM
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Studies regarding reservoir emissions are often very one dimensional. I say this as someone trained in forest ecology and having been involved in biomass decomposition studies elsewhere in my research life. The premise of increased hydro reservoir GHG emissions is largely based on CH4(methane) production from anaerobic decomposition of forest floor and rangeland biomass that sits on the reservoir bottom once the area is flooded. Indeed CH4 emission sampling from existing reservoirs shows this to be the case in older reservoirs.

However, it is errant to infer solely from studied emission measurement that GHG's are uniformly higher from reservoirs, particularly new ones, like Site C, here's why:

- In almost every respect, reservoir emissions studies ignore the fact that GHG emissions were occurring from the land base prior to flooding, particularly if the area was farm land. Agricultural land, particularly during fallow years, are large GHG emitters from natural decay of vegetative slash/waste etc. If the land was grazing area for cattle the GHG output from animal waste is even higher. When these GHG emissions, which would be there if the dam was not built, are subtracted from the estimated GHG yield of a reservoir, the reservoir output is NOT a large emitter of GHG's, in almost every case.
- In the case of a new dam like Site C, site preparation and clearing of biomass is in fact very intense. Have you seen the site C reserve area? I have. There is virtually no biomass left on site to decompose. You can see the Vegetation Clearing and Debris Management Plan" here: https://www.sitecproject.com/sites/d..._Mgmt_Plan.pdf
- Most emission studies ignore the carbon uptake of the new, developing aquatic ecosystems that develop in stable water bodies.
- further, in the case of reservoirs with site preparation, the rate of GHG production declines very rapidly after a few years as any organic matter is consumed either aerobically or anaerobically
- Site C is about 20X SMALLER than the current Bennett dam reservoir, I can't think of a more efficient area to build a reservoir per KWH/sq unit area.


There is NO credible evidence that Site will be a large GHG emitter, none, at all. In fact, I submit the opposite is true . Site C will be a valuable resource for clean, low emission power and the decision to build it is indeed the best one that could have been made. I suggest in 15 to 20 years time we will be very glad we built it, particularly as we ramp our electric vehicle fleet and produce more power from wind/solar which needs hydro or gas backup.

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Last edited by xj6response; 12-16-2017 at 01:05 PM. Reason: missed words
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2018, 08:26 AM
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You've shown that California needs the power from Cite C, but I don't think anyone has conclusively shown that WE (ie. taxpaying British Columbians and our future generations) actually do or will.

Apparently, there's also some research being doing that's challenging the notion that hydro dams are actually green and low emission. Even if they are, many people don't feel that BC should be ruining our rivers and farmland to help California meet its targets.

On a side note... at least they killed Ajax for now.
You make it sound like BC get's nothing from CA in return for that power. If that were the case, you would be correct that there is nothing in it for the BC taxpayer.

Fortunately for all of you, that's completely untrue. BC has been a net importer on a kwh basis for years, but made a profit on kwh bought / sold due to hydro power's inate ability to ramp up quickly to meet peak demand (selling power at a high rate), and then ramp down quickly during low demand hours when other jurisdictions have excess power (think coal or natural gas plants that run at steady state 24/7/365), buting their power for a much cheaper rate than we sell ours.

The same goes for CA. When the sun goes down and the wind dies off, they're screwed. Time to open the gates and charge them out the ass for the power they need!
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