It’s a shame the Site C dam didn’t get built back in the 1980’s when we had the chance. Maybe we didn’t need the power back then, but in hindsight it would have been a lot less expensive to build and we could have been selling the power for past couple of decades and using the revenue to pay for the dam.
Dams have always been built in this province with extra power we didn’t need at the time. We routinely sold that extra power outside the province and it helped keep BC Hydro rates down. Jobs were also created in the dam building process, good jobs. Plus, when we finally needed the extra power, it was there for us, ready and waiting.
Now, instead of staying a step ahead of the game and ahead of population growth, we’re buying power from outside the province to top up what our existing dams are no longer able to supply. That seems shamefully short sighted and completely contrary to the province’s time honoured tradition of keen foresight in energy matters.
Why we aren’t in the enviable position of having extra power beyond our own needs, which was traditionally the case in this province, is for greater minds than mine to figure out. But having a surplus of something others need is obviously an enviable position to be in, and doubly so if you’re creating jobs along the way.
We’ll never recoup the missed energy revenue opportunities of the past, but we can learn from the experience and get ourselves back ahead of the game. The need for power certainly isn’t going to get any less in the future. So let’s get things back in gear and not miss out on the energy opportunities still to come.
White Rock, B.C.