B.C. to take back power

W.A.C. Bennett at 1976 25 minutes MP3.

Or read the html W.A.C at '76

W.A.C. Bennett on the Downstream Benefits On the two river policy

Lyndon Johnson President of the United States, Mike Pearson Prime Minister of Canada and W.A.C. Bennett premier of British Columbia signed the Columbia River Treaty, September 16, 1964, at the Peace Arch.



B.C. has taken back the power through Greater Vancouver transmission lines and has resold it to the U.S.
B.C. imports 15% of its power needs, some from other provinces and some from the U.S. - almost all from coal plants, and is talking about buying back the power. John Weisbeck, MLA for Kelowna, said the B.C. Liberals would not buy back power but this is just what they are doing.

BC Citizens for Public Power

Update August 12, 2014

Ten years later the results of the Columbia River Treaty, Hugh L. Keenleyside

"Monday, the 16th of September 1974, was the tenth anniversary of the ratification of the Columbia River Treaty. On that date in 1964 the United States paid Canada, and Ottawa transferred to Victoria, a cheque for the equivalent of $273.3 million Canadian dollars. In return British Columbia agreed to build three dams on the Columbia River in Canada and to operate them in such a way as to produce optimum power and flood benefits in Canada and the United States.

The Treaty which was negotiated by the Diefenbaker Government, was subsequently re-examined in great detail, and then endorsed for ratification, by the Liberal Government under Mike Pearson. It was approved by overwhelmingly majorities in the House of Commons and the Senate. There was no negative vote by any Liberal, Conservative or Social Credit member. The only opposition came from the CCF whose counsels were divided but whose votes were unanimous. Across the country the Communists were the most vehement opponents of the Treaty."

Update May 30, 2014

Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett, not former premier BIll Bennett, stated that BC does not need Site C tomorrow, or five years from now. However, BC will need the Site C dam eight to ten years from now. An editorial in the Westsider paper in West Kelowna asked why we need to dam rivers when there is much more new technology. The truth is hydro-power is the most economical way to produce power. I saw the valley that is to be flooded by the Site C dam. There are some trees and some hay fields. Big deal.

Update November 16, 2012

This website, by Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of BC, would have you to believe hydro-power is not important to BC. For seniors who may not be alive in 10 years when the real energy crunch may hit, hydro-power may not seem important. Already, I have been told, 30% of the power from the Site C Dam is being committed for mining. The provincial Liberals may have made a mistake in supporting Run of River projects in my estimation. The tried and true way is to build dams that have large reservoirs behind them to be drawn upon in time of need. This is the very thing teachers in BC teach against. I am witness to it. They teach dams flood green vibrant valleys and are bad. There are no alternative energy sources in BC. The alternative is, to quote my grandfather: These people that say no growth, then they must recognize one thing, they must love to see unemployment, the Master condemned, people idle in the market place. This reminds me of a light and darkness Bible study my aunt Winnie told me about. It was in the 1950's if I remember correctly. The worker I believe was Reuben Bennett. Half way through the meeting the lights went out. So everyone held tight till the lights went back on. Reuben concluded the meeting by saying "I think we all prefer the light to darkness".

Update August 2, 2012

My family was just to the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. This was the latest dam to visit since visiting the Mica, Revelstoke and Keenleyside dams. I asked for an energy supply and demand chart for BC. There was a red wedge representing demand exceeding supply, beginning now and widening considerably by 2020 when energy from the Site C dam is projected to come online. If the Site C is delayed there may be brown outs and rotating blackouts in BC. Christie Clark has not approved the Site C for construction. She is waiting for the environmental review to be complete by December, and perhaps make a decision then. Legislation made several years ago by the BC Liberals, stated industry power demands would be cut before the public consumer. So does this mean we will have a to shut down industry, mines and forestry? The backbone of our economy? So when the interior mills shut down in a few years because of beetle kill, we will not be able to turn to mining either? Will there be lawsuits if industry is denied power? So how costly will it be in delaying the Site C? How successful has earth hour been? Do you really believe conservation is the answer? B.C. is growing. Industry is growing. We could ask for the downstream power from the Columbia River Treaty back. On the other hand, the thought of an American soldier at every street corner makes me think it may not be worth contending with the U.S. government. My grandfather called the NDP the New Depression Party. The costs of delaying construction of the Site C will only grow. CSIS considers Green Peace a terrorist threat to Canada's energy needs.
In an interview, W.A.C. at 76, he was asked: Do you think we are in a period of boom?
We are in a period of expansion.
You don't prefer the word boom?
I was never a boomer. I was called a boomer, was never a boomer. I was an expansionist. I believe in growth. These people that say no growth, must love to see unemployment, the Master condemned, people idle in the market place.

Update July 19, 2010

W.A.C. Bennett said he prefered B.C. take the power instead of the cash and grow the B.C. economy. So we sold the power, only to buy it back again on the market for the next 30 years! Run of the River and Wind Generation produce hardly a few percent of our power needs. There is a big gap between public perception and reality. The Site C Dam will really help. The Site C Dam will not come online for 10 years. However, if we are still short in twenty years we are in trouble.

Update May 13, 2010

The Government announced its intentions to proceed with the Site C Dam a few weeks ago.
The reason the canal at Canal Flats is not being used is mostly because of the Libby Dam and American politics.

Update April 27, 2009

Now we are nearing the May 12 election the NDP has promised a moratorium on run of the river projects. This would kill any more power generation in BC. Sure run of the river produces most of its power in the spring run-off. However, this is green energy that can be exported to places we will later import power from. Fewer coal generated plants need to work when BC exports power. There is a local run of the river project nearing completion on the family Eldorado Ranch. The Eldorado Hydro-electric Project of Lake Country BC. This will provide enough power for 300 homes. We need many more run of the river projects in BC.

Update March 7, 2008

BC Hydro has updated its plans to include progress on the Site C dam and plans for two more turbines at the Revelstoke dam and two more turbines for the Mica dam.

Update January 27, 2008

South Africa: Power Crisis. South Africa is closing down its mines to retain power for its hospitals etc. BC has legislated to turn off power to mines also if there is a shortage of power here. We do not know if the independent power produced in BC will remain in BC. Unless the BC government acts now we could be in the same position as South Africa.

Update September 28, 2007

Provincial government to consider giant hydro project. The BC government wants to add large-scale electricity supply increases by building the Site C dam on the Peace River.

Update June 12, 2007

Independent Power Producers in BC show they are on track after many years of no new dam contruction. The latest science shows run of the river projects may be better than dams for fighting global warming because they do not produce methane. Methane may be produced in a reservoir when the decomposing trees under water have no access to oxygen and methane is 20 times more a global warming gas than carbon dioxide. However, BC Hydro has stated there is no difference between storage dams and run of river projects in terms of green energy and that the site C dam would be classed as run of river project. Never the less here is a map of private power water liscences for BC.

Update October 19, 2006

BC Hydro is publicly stating it has a plan for BC to be self sufficient in 10 years. This is without building any more large dams. BC's economy is growing fast. The 38 contracts to supply power to BC Hydro may be vastly insufficient in 2016. In 2014 the Burard Generating Station, a natural gas power plant that supplies 20% of BC's power, will close and the Columbia River Treaty must also be renegotiated that year.

Update September 22, 2006

Mica Dam and Revelstoke Dam were built with capacity for 6 turbines each but only have had 4 turbines since they were built. The extra 2 turbines were to be purchased and installed when the Canal Flats Kootenay River Diversion project was complete. I have heard the extra 2 turbines in the Mica Dam and the extra 2 turbines in the Revelstoke Dam are being purchased and installed. However, unless the Kootenay River is diverted up into Mica Dam their only use will be when there is extra seasonal runoff. The diversion project if completed will increase energy production by 50% at the Mica, Revelstoke and Keenleyside Dams.

Update September 16, 2006

All the temperature rise from global warming comes from man. The sun has not changed temperature in a million years. The ice ages were due to earth being furthest from the sun in winter in its elliptical orbit 10,000 years ago. There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than there has been for millions of years. Therefore, global warming is 100% man made. Recent forest fires in the Western States and British Columbia are due to extreme drought caused by global warming.

Update July 28, 2006

"BC Hydro announced on Thursday (July 27) the results of the 2006 Open Call for Power, awarding 38 contracts to independent power producers around the province" for $4 billion, enough energy to power 700,000 homes and meet BC's demand as its demand for energy grows. 25% of it will come from fossil fuels. Coal-fuelled power projects receive purchase agreements, in Tumbler Ridge and Princeton. BC Hydro siding with dinosaurs to meet BCs energy needs. My grandfather told me one of BC's greatest assets is that it has lots of coal. There is no difference to CO2 pollution if coal is exported or used for generation here. Coal generated power may be a valid option in BC.

Update July 4, 2006

Thermal natural gas generation in BC will be closed down in 2014. This will leave a 20% lack of power that must be imported, and from where? Before this forecasted demand in BC will exceed capacity. Also, in 2014 the Columbia River Treaty may be renegotiated. It will take several years and $5 billion to build the last mega hydro dam in BC, the Site C dam. If we do not start soon BC will have major power shortages.

Update May 23, 2006

Lastly, amendments to the Utilities Commission Act will serve to clarify the intent of the act, help foster investor confidence for independent power-producer projects in British Columbia, and diversify energy supplies through a one-decision-maker process, similar to other resource development approvals. It will also bring certainty to local governments in clarifying their jurisdiction over IPPs located on private land and that of the province for projects on Crown land. "On Thursday, just before the long weekend, the Liberals pushed through Bill 30, which takes away the right of municipalities to stop a project of that kind that they don't like. you have to remember that British Columbia, which used to be the great Canadian energy-producing giant with a plentitude of dams and power projects, is today a net importer of electricity. Whose fault? Doesn't matter, it just means we've got to somehow get more electricity production on line." KIM CALLOWAY'S MINUTE

Update May 20, 2006

China Completes Three Gorges Dam. Neither Harper nor Howard directly addressed the question of repatriating nuclear fuel waste.

Update March 30, 2006

The BC government announced today that they will be building coal and natural gas power generators to supply BC with much needed power. They estimate BC will be importing 45% of its electric power needs in 20 years.

Update November 25, 2005

Greenhouse Gases at Highest Levels in 650,000 Years The ocean may rise 3 feet by 2100 BC, polar bears and other arctic wildlife may become extinct also. The process will become irreversable unless something is done soon.

Update June 27, 2005

The BC provincial government announced today that BC Hydro is interested in building the Site C dam on the Peace River. The dam will cost two billion dollars to build and produce 900 megawatts of electricity - enough to power 500,000 homes.

Update June 18, 2005

BC Hydro has abandoned the natural gas power plant proposal for Duke Point. They will instead lay cables in the ocean connecting Vancouver Island to BC Hydro's power grid.

Update April 12, 2005

Ontario is closing down its 5 coal plants to be replaced by private clean energy, such as wind, in 2007

Update April 5, 2005

Finally a hydro project for BC on the Kettle River. This is a step in the right direction to reduce green house gases.

Update February 17, 2005

The Kyoto Protocol is now in effect. We must reduce green house gas emmissions by 6% to their 1990 level.

Update February 16, 2005

"The decision to import energy instead of utilizing hydro generation is based on many factors, such as the forecast market price of energy in future periods relative to the current period, current reservoir levels and future demand requirements." BC Hydro Income Up, BC Hydro press release. The forecast price of energy is sure to go up and future demand is certain to increase as BC's economy booms. What are we doing importing increasing amounts of power with no future dam development to meet demand. Sure legislation means power that would have gone to industry will go to consumers to prevent brown outs and black outs. However, the province must compensate in money industry for this power and we are headed for a literal gridlock not of politics but of demand on our current supply of hydro power.

Update February 7, 2005

Glaciers shrinking in a warming world. The first phase of global warming is evident. Only hydro power and nuclear power can generate enough power to replace fossil fuels.

Update September 15, 2004

BC Hydro announced rate increases today because there was less rain than they forecasted. Everyone knows western North America is in a severe drought that some predict could last 30 years or more. Now BC Hydro has to import more power to meet current demand. BC Hydro needs to quit misleading the people of BC, blaming power shortfalls on the weather, playing with questionable alternative power sources such as the wind, and build large generation capacity - such as Site C on the Peace River. More power is needed immediately from the Columbia to meet energy needs on Vancouver Island. BC should not be held hostage by one community, namely Canal Flats. The canal diversion into the Mica Dam is needed now.

Update September 6, 2004

Today was the day of my grandfather's birth in 1900. One noteable part of the Columbia River Treaty he signed that has yet to be accomplished is the Kootenay River diversion into the Mica Dam. A canal and lock system was operational in 1900. "Due to curiosity of geology, the headwaters of the vast Columbia River are separated from the south-flowing Kootenay River by a low, 1.2-mile wide (2-km) berm of land called Canal Flats." The greater project of diverting Kootenay River into Mica Dam has never left the planning stage. This would mean the remaining two empty turbines both in the Mica and Revelstoke Dams could be employed, also more power generation at the Hugh Keenleyside dam, and much needed power for B.C.'s growing energy needs met.

Update June 29, 2004

"The other serious worry is that rising sea levels from the melting of the polar ice caps could severely flood many countries." This 1 metre rise in about 25 years is irreversable and damages from further rises are incalculatable.

Update March 30, 2004

Developers rushing into B.C. hydro market The BC Liberal government has got it right. Allowing private hydro generation may make up the 10% shortfall from BC Hydro.

Update March 28, 2004

The Federal government is trying to reduce CO2 emmissions by getting Canadians to conserve by buying energy efficient light bulbs! The $60,000,000 savings is theoretical because the program is voluntary. Per capita we produce 23 tons of CO2 a year, 18 tons of that is industrial and 5 tons is from personal use. New fuel efficient cars will help. Likewise Europe is developing wind generation. However, only 2% of Europe's energy comes from wind power. Hydro power is the only major alternative energy source.

Update January 12, 2004

In the cold snap a few weeks ago power demand was approaching BC Hydro's limit. Aquila Power (Now FortisBC) warned of rotating blackouts for the Okanagan. The Site C Dam on the Peace River was planned to be online by 2010 to meet B.C.'s growing power needs. B.C. will have to go into debt and probably lose their credit rating to build the dam. The accumulated provincial debt is to blame. Now there is no plan. It gets complicated, see Correspondance from the Premier - bcpolitics.ca

Update November 28, 2003

Melting glaciers may make billions thirsty. Melt water from Himalayan and Andean glaciers supply water to billions of people. Island states will be drowned. If the average temperature rises by 4° Celsius, all glaciers will melt by the end of the century. If Antartica and Greenland glaciers melt the ocean will rise substantially. The average temperature is expected to rise by 1.4° - 5.8° by the end of the century.

Update November 23, 2003

Decrepit power grid poses blackout threat "Energy and Mines Minister Richard Neufeld agreed with Mansour yesterday, admitting that B.C. hasn't kept its facilities up to date while demand has surged since 2001." If power demand is surging we need to build more dams and generators.

Update November 20, 2003

Exxon rep: CO2 output to rise 50 percent by 2020. 7 billion tons of CO2 go into the atmosphere each year. CO2 emmissions will increase by 3.5 billion to 10.5 billion tons by 2020. Most of the increase, 80%, will come from developing countries which have a 4.5% growth rate. There will be four times more cars by 2020.

Update November 12, 2003

CNN: Wildfires could worsen with global warming. Disease, drought: beetles not killed off by cold winters; warmer and windier, longer and drier, summers. More lightning strikes, more rain in places mean more growth and fuel for future fires, higher temperatures mean drier fuel.

Update October 14, 2003

After the B.C. Utilities Commission refused permission for BC Hydro to build a natural gas generation plant on Vancouver Island, BC Hydro is looking for private generation, perhaps fueled by wood chips.

Update September 16, 2003

Canada produces 18.3 tons of CO2 per person per year. One of the highest polluters per capita in the world.

Update July 30, 2003

Memo suggests dams may be privatized Seven dams are to be sold beginning the fall of 2005. This will guarantee consumer and industrial rate increases that will perhaps sky rocket, destroy mining and industry in B.C., and the power may leave the province in time of need.

Update July 28, 2003

BC Hydro has stated they will be able to handle the spike to cover the high temperatures of today and tomorrow. Highs of 40° C (100° F) for the Thompson Okanagan are already here. Anyone with airconditioning will be using it. As the earth warms up from green house gases more hydro power is needed.

Update July 23, 2003

As world swelters, some rare cool spots High temperature records are being broken worldwide since records were taken in 1860. 1,500 people died in India in a heat wave of 49° C (120° F). The WWF predicts oceans will rise this century.

Update July 16, 2003

BC Hydro: "green energy alone cannot meet Vancouver Island's needs". See Why U.S. Is Running Out of Gas. BC Hydro insists on a natural gas power generator for Vancouver Island. Natural gas is a non renewable resource, not a permanent solution, and consumes oxygen to produce CO2. New hydro generation, such as the abandoned Site C on the Peace River, is a permanent solution that does not pollute.

Update June 30, 2003

The last 12 years of the last 140, since records were taken, in south central British Columbia, were the driest. Reservoirs are at 50% capacity. We have had days this month 8° C above normal on 33° C days. The average temperature has increased more than .6° C since the 1900's and is expected to increase at least another .6° C this century for earth. The average temperature in B.C. has risen 1° C since 1950.

Update June 4, 2003

B.C. Liberals Know the Facts about B.C. Hydro.

Update June 1, 2003

China is building the world's largest hydroelectric project, the 3 Gorges dam. 578 feet high and 244 square miles of reservoir the dam will be complete in 2009. 26 generators will produce 18.2 million kilowatts, 1/9 China's output. This will significantly cut greenhouse gases. The melting sea ice cover is linked to temperature and rainfall in this Yangzte River basin in the rainy season.

Update May 29, 2003

"Raymond (Exxon) played down the role of solar and wind power as a source in the global energy market, saying that the two sources will not likely exceed a 1 percent share of the world's energy needs by 2020." "Hydropower is one of the main suppliers of electricity in the world"

Update May 24, 2003

"Valhalla Power has pre-qualified to develop a $2.5 to $3.5 million, 12.4 gigawatt hydroelectric project on Enterprise Creek near New Denver." "Customers to provide BC Hydro with 500 gigawatt-hours/year of electricity" This private power generation is estimated to constitute little more than 1% of B.C.'s power needs by 2006. Some private power generation appears to be happening. The B.C. government must balance the budget or not be able to borrow which would bring economic disaster. Therefore, perhaps the Liberals are right in selling off crown assets. However, British Columbians may pay dearly if power generation is taken away from the B.C. government. A 60% hike in industrial power rates will drive industry and mining, jobs and tax revenue, out of B.C. Power generated in B.C. will go elsewhere in North America while there is, or soon will be, a power shortage here in B.C.

Update May 13, 2003

The Columbia River from the Canadian border south: "The potential waterpower--30 GigaWatts--is about one third that of the entire United States." Just think of the potential for the Canadian portion of the Columbia and for the many other rivers in British Columbia. The river drops 1000 feet from the border to the ocean. Almost all of B.C. is at high elevations with high percipitation, and rivers here could generate a lot of power. B.C. Hydro will focus on off shore methane generation. The off shore rigs must penetrate a layer of ice underground to get to the methane. If they miscalculate and do not send the same pressure down as there is coming up the rig will be blown up and contribute to green house gases. Very risky business.

Update April 24, 2003

The B.C. government asked for a B.C. Hydro feasability study shortly after taking power. They were told that even with B.C.'s high debt, building more dams is still profitable.

Update March 7, 2003

April 1, 2003 the final 40% of the downstream benefits must be returned to BC. That is, the extra power produced at the Grand Coule Dam from Canada water storage must be returned to BC in full to either use here or sell back to the U.S. for the next 30 years. In 2014 the U.S. must agree with the present treaty or a new one has to be negotiated. Britain's Tony Blair is pushing strongly for Kyoto world wide. We cannot stop economic growth, we must build more dams.

Update February 20, 2003

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/02/20/mercury.report.reut/index.html Report warning of emissions of mercury by coal-fired power plants.

Update February 14, 2003

From the Big Book of Knowledge, p.169: "Hydro electric power is the only major alternative energy source."

Update February 11, 2003

The proposed Wuskwatim dam faces public utilities and environmental hearings this spring and summer. Manitoba Hydro is promoting the alternative to green house emmissions. California is investing in energy suppliers. The B.C. government is contracting out its services to Accenture, which the California State Treasurer will not do business with. So much for selling our surplus power. Private companies do not have the resources nor can face the environmental hurdles to build significant hydro generation in B.C.

Update February 8, 2003

Time Magazine's Eugene Linden "Who's Going to Pay For Climate Change?" Some one has to pay.

Update February 5, 2003

"A small coal plant (such as the one proposed by Fording Coal in the Kootenays) produces 1.25 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year the same amount of emissions produced by 300,000 cars." A small dam would save the same amount. Hydro energy is the only real alternative.

Update January 21, 2003

The B.C. government has announced plans for a coal fired generating plant in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Local residents are concerned about air quality. However, the government says clean coal burning technology is being developed. However, past research has not come up with anything that works. The other option is a natural gas pipeline and power generator. The under water power cable from the mainland needs to be replaced and so the immediate need for a solution.

Update January 20, 2003

The B.C. premier announced that new energy will be supplied by coal fired generators. The Suzuki Foundation noted that the lower grade coal not exported for steel production is intended for energy production in B.C. and will produce more pollution than current Bee Hive generators.

Update December 16, 2002

B.C. has been a net importer of power over the last 10 years. There were 10 hydro projects shelved in the 1970's for fear of environmentalists. B.C. is almost all mountains and valleys - perfect for hydro development. We should not be putting ourselves at the mercy of the rest of the North American power market to buy power on their terms. Vancouver Island faces a crisis if new power generation is not found soon.

Update November 29, 2002

The Suzuki Foundation claims increases in greenhouse-gas emmissions will warm the Pacific and drive the Sockey Salmon from coastal BC to the Bering Sea in Alaska. The Necho Dam development was halted because the altering of the river flow would harm the Salmon. This also halted other dam development in the area. Saving the earth from CO2 pollution by building dams will help the Salmon and the economy.

Update November 28, 2002

The government claims to have saved the environment by not building nuclear power. W.A.C. told me he feared radiative contamination from nuclear power. Is why he built hydro dams. Now the BC government is turning to coal and gas generation. Kyoto is to be ratified by the Federal Liberals in just weeks. Kyoto would be best served by building more hydro dams in BC. The Prime Minister has offered Ontario part of a $5 billion hydro-electic project in Manitoba to reduce greenhouse-gas emmissions.

Update November 26, 2002

Premier Gordon Campbell said today after meeting with Prime Minister Jean Chretien that the emminent Kyoto ratification is unfair in that there are no credits for hydro power generation. Hydro will no longer build or operate new power plants or transmission lines but will allow the private sector to build dams to supply industry. Hydro will concentrate on off shore oil and gas and methane coal generation. (The technology to drill offshore safely probably will not be available for 20 years or more) BC faces power supply shortages in the near future, possible brown-outs in Vancouver.

Update November 15, 2002

Premier Gordon Campbell answered the contestion from Paul Nettleton, now sitting as an independent, to say BC Hydro is not for sale. Richard Neufeld, minister of Energy and Mines stated the policy will become public in a few weeks. Fact #1: All the Crown corporation's "wires and dams" will continue to be owned by the people of BC. Fact #2: BC Hydro rates will be re-regulated (not deregulated) and fairly set by an independent B.C. Utilities Commission.

Update October 22, 2002

The Canadian Federal government is not offering credits to the provinces for hydro-electric power generation to meet Kyoto limits. David Anderson said the Federal government is open to changes in their program from the provinces.

Update October 2, 2002

The U.S. may build a dam backing up the water up the rocky mountain trench. General McNaughton wanted to flood the entire Kootenays with dams to which W.A.C. objected. However, hydro power is much needed in North America.

Update September 5, 2002

The U.S. federal government is considering taking over P.G.E. in California. Also the U.S. government said concerning Kyoto this week that nothing will be accomplished unless it is put in concrete. My interpretation is building more dams for hydro-electric power generation is what is needed to reduce CO2 emmissions. The Canadian federal government is backing Kyoto. If they are serious about the world environment then they should back dam development in B.C.

Update August 6, 2002

The 2010 winter olympics will cost B.C. lots of money. Money that could be used to build the Site C dam on the Peace River. I asked Pop (W.A.C.) if B.C. should host the olympics. He said "No, it would cost B.C. too much money". And that was in 1975, how much more so now?

Update August 2, 2002

"Canada has the right, after the expiration of twenty years from the ratification date, to divert not more than 1,500,000 acre-feet of water a year from the Kootenay River in the vicinity of Canal Flats, British Columbia, to the headwaters of the Columbia River, provided that the diversion does not reduce the flow of the Kootenay River immediately downstream from the point of diversion below the lesser of 200 cubic feet per second or the natural flow." The extra two generator bays both at Mica and Revelstoke were built in anticipation of this extra water flow.
BC Hydro's plans to construct the Kootenay Diversion was protested because it would have seriously impacted Kootenay River & Lake. A local referendum on the issue lead to a 90% rejection of the project. As it is locals are concerned about flooding basements. Likewise a scheme to divert water from the North Thompson River into Kinbasket Lake, the lake behind Mica Dam, was rejected by the NDP, 1999.

Update July 5, 2002

Excess run off at the W.A.C. Bennett Dam may be poured out the spill way because power generation is at a maximum.

Update July 4, 2002

The B.C. Government's panel on energy policy is determined to privatize B.C. Hydro, and perhaps nothing can stop them. This may be a good thing if it brings American investment to dam development in B.C. Good for the power needs of North America.

Update June 20, 2002

Flooding on the upper and lower Fraser River could be controlled by a dam on the McGreggor, the proposed Moran Dam. The Fraser went above the first flood stage in Prince George and Mission yesterday. Wells along the lower Fraser may have been contaminated by flooding.

Update May 14, 2002

Prime Minister Jean Chretien is trying to sell the G-8 on the Kyoto Protocol. Hydro power from B.C. dam development could reduce CO2 emissions considerably.

Update March 22, 2002

The B.C. government's panel on energy policy is insisting that B.C. Hydro be privatized and provincial electricity rates hiked. BC industries may face a 60% increase and be forced out of business.

Update January 10, 2002

W.A.C. had told me hydro power is best because this is a renewable resource that does not pollute.

Update December 18, 2001

BC Hydro proposed to raise hydro rates 30% to the average North American rate. And focus on wind and natural gas generation.

Update July 31, 2001

The Federal government some time ago disallowed the Moran Dam on the Fraser on account of the Salmon. I asked Pop (W.A.C.) if the Fraser could be dammed. He said it should not be dammed because of the Salmon.

Update March 15, 2001

BC premier Ujjal Dosanjh has written a cheque for a $110-million health research foundation in honour of Nobel laureate Michael Smith out of these down stream benefits. $625 million were received for downstream benefits.

Update July 2000

Some downstream power benefits have been sold to California. However, 40% is due to begin April 1, 2001 and the remaining 40% April 1, 2003. These are yearly payments for the next thirty years. A fifth generator is being installed at the Revelstoke Dam for peak periods. The Keenleyside Dam will soon be generating hydro power.

Update November 1998

No power benefits have been received since they were due April 1, 1998. Premier Glen Clark has suggested they be used to subsidize a potential aluminum plant. The honorable Bill Bennett (to me "Uncle Bill") suggested this would be a waste because aluminum smelters are poor employers. However, standards have improved considerably since then and health concerns may not be so much a problem. B.C. power chief, Brian Smith, has made millions selling power to California. Seven years ago BC Hydro gave the BC government $300 million in taxes from industry. This year they collected $900 million. To encourage industry, especially mining, why not reduce industrial rates?

Update December 9 1997

Because B.C. has agreed to buy power from the Keenlyside Dam, a power generating station will be installed. The contract for power is 12 years. $250 million over 4 years starting in 1999. Other expansions in the Castlegar area are for the Brilliant Dam and the Waneta Dam.

The provincial government has stated its intentions of building smaller dams with less environmental impact.

Update September 29 1997

B.C. Hydro has made an agreement with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to allow U.S. power companies to sell power in B.C. In return B.C. can sell electricity directly to customers in the U.S.

Update June 27 1997

Premier Glen Clark announced this week that B.C. Hydro will sell discounted power from their surplus power to develop industry in B.C. This is in anticipation of the Columbia River Downstream Benefits to be delivered to the B.C. border starting April 1998.

Update June 1997

B.C. Hydro has agreed to allow U.S. power competition in British Columbia. B.C. Hydro's marketing subsidiary, Powerex, will comply with the ruling by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Annual sales to the U.S. are $150 million a year. B.C. cannot now use all the downstream benefits from the Columbia River Treaty. If a true agreement is made B.C. will sell back this power to the U.S.

Update April 1997

The U.S. has insisted on fair trade and free trade for hydro power. B.C. Hydro must allow U.S. power companies to sell power in B.C. before B.C. can sell power back to the Americans. B.C. wants to take the power back over existing power lines and resell it to the U.S.. Negotiations are under way.

Update November 1996

Instead of the United States building a 150-kilometer transmission line from the Grand Coulee Dam over the border to Oliver, B.C., existing hydro lines will be used. In a new deal signed November 20, 1996 B.C. is to take full delivery of the power and receive $200 million a year beginning in 2003. Nothing has changed just the deal is now signed and a less desirable memorandum in September 1995 has been scrapped. Under the treaty the countries were supposed to split the power generated in Grand Coulee Washington by dams storing water on the Columbia River system further upstream. Canada's share of the power is about 1,400 megawatts. Bonneville Power wants out of the deal and Canada's full share of the power has to be delivered over the border by April 3, 2003, under the terms of the treaty. A transmission line would have cost the U.S. about $150 million and cost BC hydro $40 million to connect the power. Power for the remaining 30 years of the treaty is worth about 5 billion dollars.

Cheaper power from natural gas probably was the main reason. However, natural gas supplies in BC will eventually run out. Power from the Columbia will ultimately become more needed in the future.

W.A.C. Bennett, in an interview with Jack Wasserman, said he would rather BC take the power back and help build industry in BC.

s@sunnyokanagan.com

SunnyOkanagan.com