Northwest Transmission Line Anything But “Green”
For Immediate Release: September 18, 2009
Environmentalists: NW Transmission Line Is Anything But “Green”
Environmentalists are accusing Prime Minister Stephen Harper of “greenwashing” a proposed Northwest Transmission Line they say has more to do with stimulating major mining development in the area than it does with delivering “green energy.””This transmission line is anything but green,” says Merran Smith, Climate Director with ForestEthics. “Stephen Harper is trying to greenwash a project that has more to do with stimulating major mining projects than it does with bringing ‘green energy’ to Northwest Communities.”
During a meeting with President Obama this week, Harper said he would be committing $130 million of federal money towards a “green energy” transmission line in northwest BC.
Federal government has a duty to consult with First Nations
and explore other community-owned energy alternatives
“Harper was under the media spotlight in Washington for having no plan to slow down Alberta’s tar sands and so he fumbled this “green energy” announcement,” said Nikki Skuce, Energy Campaigner with ForestEthics.
“If the federal government was truly serious about developing renewable energy and getting remote communities off of diesel, they would be looking at community-owned power linking the region to its own grid system.”
The currently proposed line doesn’t reach Iskut or Dease Lake, two communities still running off diesel, something that makes environmentalists suspicious. Even though the recession has slowed down environmental assessments and exploratory drilling, there remain 10 active mining proposals in the area including Galore, Red Chris and Shaft Creek.
“The government should support the Tahltan in developing baseline assessments and a land-use plan to determine which mines might be acceptable and which ones shouldn’t be allowed at all, such as Shell’s coalbed methane proposal,” said Skuce. “They’re also interested in developing their own wind power.”
Environmentalists say the federal funding decision is another example of top-down energy decision-making that doesn’t take local communities or the environment into account.
For further information:
Merran Smith, Climate Director in Vancouver
Nikki Skuce, Energy Campaigner in Smithers