Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold
Energy Privatization in British Columbia

By John Calvert  

We’ve all read those horror stories about South American towns that have had their water supplies privatized and thereafter poor people are ruthlessly gouged from their access to resources that were previously free. We think that sort of thing can’t happen here. But according to John Calvert, the privatization trend is underway big-time in B.C.’s backyard. “The government has mandated that new electricity generation will be private, not public,: says Calvert in Liquid Gold: Energy Privatization in British Columbia (Fernwood $24.95). “BC Hydro now has to acquire virtually all its new energy through long-term contracts with private power developers at extremely high prices. “At the same time, BC Hydro is effectively providing the collateral for developers to borrow the funds they need to build new power plants. “Yet at the end of the lucrative contracts, BC Hydro will have no assets to show for all the ratepayers’ moneys it has committed. “Nor will this approach provide adequate protection from future energy price increases. And there is no guarantee that this privately owned energy will not be exported in the future.” Lookout #32

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