Horgan Will Ensure Environmental Protection is a Top Priority

A John Horgan government will create an energy plan that puts conservation, environmental protection and the interests of British Columbians first

VICTORIA— NDP leadership candidate John Horgan says he’s putting independent power producers on notice - a John Horgan NDP government would immediately put a moratorium on new run-of-river power projects and review existing power purchase agreements to determine if they are in the public interest.

“The BC Liberal government has been forcing BC Hydro to sign secret agreements with private power producers for years, and I believe many are not serving the public interest,” said Horgan. “The buy-high and sell-low mentality under the current energy scheme has to end before our crown jewel BC Hydro is bankrupted. We pay sky high prices for power we don’t need, and then it is dumped on the export market for a fraction of the price.”

Horgan promised to reform the private power system in B.C. to bring it back in line with the values of British Columbians – ensuring public lands and rivers are used in a manner that respects the environment, First Nations, communities, and the public interest. Horgan would:

  • Put a moratorium on new run-of-river power projects,
  • Implement an energy plan that puts conservation, environmental protection, and the interests of all British Columbians first,
  • Review all existing power purchase agreements to ensure they are in the public interest and take action to correct deficiencies,
  • Restore the BC Utilities Commission to its role providing independent review and oversight of all private power projects and billions of dollars in other capital spending exempted by the BC Liberals’ energy plan.

"The BC Liberal energy policy has been a rip-off, not a comprehensive plan. Its objective has been to transfer public wealth into private hands. Hydro should be focused on the public interest and the needs of domestic rate payers. Under my leadership that's exactly what it will do," said Horgan.

“The destruction of pristine forests to build roads and power lines to service these massive river diversion projects is not what anyone expects when they think of ‘run of the river,’ but that is exactly what’s happening.’”

Horgan was the NDP energy critic for the past five years, and was previously a top advisor on energy issues to the Mike Harcourt NDP government. Horgan supported micro hydro projects provided they were small in scale, without fish implications and built for local energy needs, not for export.

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For more information please contact:
Kim Emerson (ph) 250-920-6463 or visit www.horganforbc.ca