To the Editor,
At least a dozen years ago, probably more, I read this article in Canadian Geographic about how big state-owned electrical generating entities like BC Hydro or Hydro-Quebec, were too ponderous to respond to the modern world’s energy needs. In fact, I heard a member of the now-defunct Reform Party loudly declare, “We’ve got to get rid of BC Hydro!”
Well, come to think of it, if Gordon Campbell had his way, he would have sold BC Hydro off along with the rest of B.C. But we’ll ship this along with Site C for the moment.
According to the free marketers, a loosey-goosey, largely de-regulated system of various sources, oil and gas, solar, wind, hydro and even nuclear, would b ring a “New Jerusalem” of cheap, clean power. Paradise for all!
For a great example of how not to do things, just what can happen when one tries to make a poorly thought out fantasy to actually perform. One can just, as in health care, look south of the border, to the Lone Star State of Texas!
True, it was exceptionally cold weather, which of course, brought the climate change deniers out of the woodwork — remember the Polar Vortex.
And when the fan blades froze up on the windmills, that proved that this alternate power was no good. Even the governor of Texas peddled that line!
In all actuality, alternate power is about 10 per cent of the Texas grid. It was the other 90 per cent, the gas powered generators whose water pipes froze, that forced the residents of Texas into the deep cold darkness — and people died!
Those few whose lights stayed on later received bills in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars, just how is that possible?
Also, the one nuclear plant that was part of the Texas grid went offline, frozen water pipes could be quite dangerous with nuclear power.
But the main fault here appears to be the “Mickey Mouse” shady way that the Texas power was put together: Don’t spend any more money. The shareholders have to be kept happy. Don’t insulate the water pipes, etc.
Making things worse, Texas refused to join the U.S. national power grid — didn’t want to associate with those from California, which had its own problems with de-regulated power. Remember ENRON? Burn baby burn.
So when someone sings you the siren song about the joy of privatized de-regulated power, remember Alamo?
Nah, just remember Texas.