I have a few comments in response to Louise Taylorís letter of last week (Opposed to Lillooet Hydro project).
To preface, I'd like to point out that despite a solid decade of obstructionist denial and inaction by our political leadership it is now abundantly clear that fossil fuel induced global warming is becoming a defining issue in our continued success as a species. It is also abundantly clear that electricity must become an energy replacement for much of our fossil fuel consumption. Hydro sourced electricity, like all other low environmental impact sources must be prioritized if we have a hope in hoary hell of mitigating global warming. At the risk of generalizing, this issue blows all other environmental concerns pretty much right out of the water.
Much of Mrs. Taylorís complaints about the Upper Lillooet power project are of little consequence. The valley has been logged from stem to stern and the impact of structures, construction activities, temporary camps, pipes and powerlines should have little significant impact both visually or ecologically. I do agree that water flow is a significant issue that requires management discipline, something woefully lacking from our environmental regulators true, but something that is within our capability. The technology is not the problem. Site selection, construction controls and operation management are controllable issues and it is the duty of our government to ensure that this happens appropriately.
The last part of her letter, to do with the highly suspect financial deals between BC Hydro (us taxpayers) and the private developers, I generally agree on. It is perplexing that in these times of inadequate funding that our provincial government would place such a stable revenue source at risk ... unless it was by purpose in order to privatize? Perhaps my good friend and old co-worker Jordan Sturdy could kindly explain this as his chosen political party has so far been remiss in doing so despite the existence of a multi million dollar funded "communications" apparatus. Explain the sale of BC Rail while youíre at it.
My point is that there are legitimate concerns surrounding these projects, but they have little to do with the technology itself. Nor does the problem lie with the conduct of the private corporations. The whole problem exists with our governmentís ideological bent and their continued evisceration of environmental regulation and oversight. With adequate resources, authority and power of enforcement these projects can be managed and faith in our government restored.
I suggest that the technology deserves much consideration for its high benefit and low risk. I would also suggest that our current governments, in this case primarily the BC Liberal party, be considered negligent in ensuring adequate management of this important industry, and should be summarily fired.