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Mr. Harper: Canada needs you to support electric vehicles

BCSEA’s Electric Vehicles Letter Writing Team is off to a fast start, with 50 and counting volunteers committing to write Prime Minister Harper and members of the government and opposition.

We are calling for the policies and support that Canada needs to cut its greenhouse gas emissions from transportation to zero by 2040.

And BCSEA has added its own voice:

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

Electric Vehicles Policy Backgrounder


  • There is constant evidence of the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions greatly, in order to tackle the climate crisis. A recent paper in Nature showed that for a 50% chance of keeping the global rise in temperature below 2C, cumulative global emissions up to 2050 must be limited to 1,100 gigatonnes of CO2. Most fossil fuels will need to remain in the ground, including 99% of Canada’s oil sands. Globally, fossil fuel reserves are 2,900 Gt. The Earth’s known fossil fuel resources are 11,000 Gt.

BCSEA Position on the 10-Year Transportation Plan

12 December 2014

The Honourable Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation

Dear Minister Stone,

BC on the Move: A Ten-Year Transportation Plan

We appreciate the opportunity to share our thoughts on BC’s proposed 10-Year Transportation Plan, in addition to completing the survey.

Low Carbon Fuel - Where's it Going?

Brady Irwin is a research analyst for Whole Energy Fuels Corp, a provider of support and distribution services for biodiesel and biofuel producers in Washington, Oregon, California, and British Columbia since 2006. See whole-energy.com

In the fall of 2013 the governors of Washington, Oregon and California, along with the Premier of British Columbia, gathered to sign the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy.

This event has laid the groundwork for the establishment of a Pacific Coast Collaborative climate policy, a set of harmonious regional policies for fuel and energy greenhouse gas mitigation for western North America. The Action Plan can be viewed in full here.


Are BC Hydro's Rate Hikes Enough? Maybe Not.

The Energy Minister, Bill Bennett, has recently approved BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), and announced a series of major price hikes for BC Hydro customers: up to 28% over five years: 16% in the next two years; and an 11% cap on rate increases for the next three years. Compounded it comes to 28%.

The response from many has been to complain, especially about the impact on people on low incomes, on BC’s schools and hospitals, and on a cooperative such as Catalyst Paper with its huge, multi-million dollar electricity bill, which is already tight to the bone financially.

Government-Imposed Hydro Rates Compound the Problem

The BC Sustainable Energy Association said today that BC Hydro’s rate increases aren’t high enough to cover the actual cost of providing electricity to customers.

In response to Energy Minister Bill Bennett’s statement yesterday that the government would put an artificial cap on electricity rate increases, BCSEA’s policy director Tom Hackney said, “Setting rates that are below the true cost of our electrical energy simply shifts today’s expenses into interest-bearing ‘deferral accounts’ that will have to be paid back by even higher rate increases in the future.”

The Wrong Long-Term Plan for BC Hydro: What Government Should Have Done


For the past three years, BC Hydro has been working to develop an updated plan to estimate the loads it will need to serve in the next twenty years and to determine what resources (including conservation and efficiency) should be acquired. In September 2013, BC Hydro workshopped this plan – the 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”) – with interested parties, prior to submitting it to the government for final approval.

BCSEA participated in the September workshop and subsequently called on the B.C. government to reject the IRP and to send the plan to the Utilities Commission for an independent public inquiry.

On November 26, Minister Bennett announced the government’s approval of BC Hydro’s IRP.  BCSEA thinks that was the wrong decision. This is why:


BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan: Big Hydro and Less Energy Conservation

Early this past August, BC Hydro submitted its Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”) to the government for approval. The main themes are: a commitment to build the Site C dam; a retreat from energy conservation; the continuing uncertainties about liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects and how much electricity they would require; cuts to renewable energy resources; and an increased reliance on gas-fired generation. The public and interested parties now have a modest – and inadequate – opportunity to provide comments. More....