Friday, May 18, 2012

J'accuse - BC Hydro, plaything of fraudsters

BC Liberals and their media surrogates regularly accuse BC's NDP governments of responsibility for "skyrocketing spending and debt." Not that it matters to Liberal supporters, but we can determine if the aspersion is based on fact.

Exhibit 1: Graphs of BC Hydro debt guaranteed by taxpayers, taken from Ministry of Finance debt summaries:



It seems that facts don't support myth. Remember, this does not include commitments made by BC Hydro to purchase future energy from private power producers. That amounts to tens of billions of dollars - money that will be paid by consumers.

Exhibit 2: Graph of energy purchase commitments, taken from BCH audited financial statements:


Consider if these numbers demonstrate a change in purpose behind BC Liberal policy. When they first formed government in 2001, I believe they had the well motivated objective of modernizing government and having it operate efficiently.

For example, BC Liberals claimed that NDP failure to create a business plan before starting the fast-ferry program was proof of inept management. They said that future program spending would be subject to careful consideration and effective controls. (In 2012, Liberals refuse to release any business plan that relates to the planned disposition of LDB assets.)

However, at some point, greed and arrogance became the driving forces behind Liberal policy. The enrichment of insiders became paramount and the favourite target was BC Hydro. In 2010, with Gordon Campbell losing his grip on power, the restraints came off.

Read more on BC Hydro by clicking here and scrolling through many Northern Insight articles.
Recommend this post

13 comments:

  1. Very informative. Thank you, Norm. The public needs to see these graphs. LR

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Govt was apparently hoping to use an excess of IPP to allow BC Hydro to export a surplus of power into California, at a big profit. Only it didn't work out, unless you own an IPP.

    Now the Govt thinks it can make a lot of money exporting LNG. Another dumb BC Liberal idea. LNG would be subsidized by BC Hydro with lots cheap electricity. The huge amount of new electricity needed for LNG comes from expensive sources like IPPs and Site C.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "When they first formed government in 2001, I believe they had the well motivated objective of modernizing government and having it operate efficiently."

    Jeepers, with all due respect Norm, it is gullible folks like you admit to being above that are responsible for the situation this province is in. This crooks never had a "well motivated objective of modernizing government and having it operate efficiently." In 1996 Gordo the Capo was at least honest enough say he wanted to sell BC Rail (or privatize it), in spite of the fact it was contributing not only money to the provincial treasury, but serving the people of the province as W.A.C. had intended.
    Since that didn't work for him, the next time he just lied his face off and claimed the opposite of what he intended, and once in office lied even more about the financial status of the railroad.

    The fast ferries too were never as big a screw up as the Liberals harped on for over a decade. Mistakes were made, however, mistakes were made in the space program by NASA as well - but eventually we got to the moon and built a space station. At least the mistakes were made by people in B.C. who were earning decent wages and without the politicization of the issue we would probably not only have fast cats running on the appropriate routes in B.C., but might be selling new vessels to other jurisdictions. One of the biggest mistakes was using them on the Nanaimo run, where they were unable to utilize their speed without inconveniencing elite Liberal tending beachfront property owners on Bowen and Gabtiola Islands with their wake. These vessels would have been much more suited to say Port Hardy-Rupert-Masset, where no rich folks lined the route to bitch about the damage to their beaches and the distances involved would make the speed of value. I've crossed the Hecate Strait more than once and it always took at least half a day, or more depending on the weather, with no land in sight most of the trip, much less beachfront property belonging to rich folks, who tend to vote BC Liberal, SoCred, Conservative etc.

    The LNG jackpot is over rated also as currently the world has a surplus of natural gas and it is hardly worth shipping anywhere, much less processing.

    These guys were into ripping off and pillaging the province from the get go and all the B.S. about sound management was no more than empty rhetoric and lies to convince fools to let them have their way on a scale that would make Bernie Madoff jealous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree because I had direct knowledge from people involved in the transition in 2001. Sure, Kinsella, McLean, Hochstein and others were salivating at their new prospects in those days but there was a real effort to provide good government. The NDP were guilty of providing employment to people whose prime qualification was party loyalty. Many who entered government in 2001 aimed to make the world a better place. There was a specific effort to hire new people who had demonstrated management abilities.

      In the early days of Liberal rule, there was improved accountability and access to information. However, that did not last and gradually, the crooks found that competent, principled people got in the way. Those that couldn't be contained or bought off were discharged. As more time passed, the power of the unprincipled people soared. Greed overtook them. Instead of grabbing thousands, they began grabbing millions. BC Hydro is the ultimate play.

      Adrian Dix will face similar problems. The NDP will surge into power, with a government almost without opposition. They will have the best intentions to start. Will they be able to keep focused on those good intentions? That will be the largest challenge faced by Dix. Will he be victimized by his own success. Gordon Campbell was.

      Delete
    2. "The LNG jackpot is over rated also as currently the world has a surplus of natural gas and it is hardly worth shipping anywhere, much less processing."

      it will be a jackpot for the companies involved when they get the province to pay for the required infrastructure and to ensure natural gas inputs cost next to nothing.

      There is a rush now to get the deals in place. The clock is ticking on Premier Photo-Op's return to talk radio.

      .

      Delete
  4. I wonder what that graph will look like when the March 2012 numbers are available?

    Wow. Why is this kind of information not available outside of blogs like yours.

    ReplyDelete
  5. re 7:13 post: "...to export a surplus of power into California, at a big profit."
    Has California finally paid back the power we exported to them 10 or so years ago?
    I think it was to the tune of $200+ million.

    About 5 years ago, I wrote to BC Hydro asking that.

    Got a 2 page email reply from their Communications person that read like a political speech.
    By the end of page 2, they had neither said "yes" nor "no".

    Unfortunately my hard drive croaked, so it's gone.
    But in the ensuing years, I've told everyone who would listen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the 2011 Audit Notes prepared with the BC Hydro financials:

      "Powerex has obtained dismissals of all but one of the lawsuits. In the remaining lawsuit, ...Powerex has obtained an indefinite stay of this remaining lawsuit...'

      These are one part of the games that allow lawyers to drive BMWs and live in $2milliion homes.

      Delete
  6. "it will be a jackpot for the companies involved when they get the province to pay for the required infrastructure and to ensure natural gas inputs cost next to nothing."

    That's the point Norm, it doesn't matter if it actually makes business sense, like the IPP's as well, as long as the money winds up in the right pockets. The gooey tar pits are another loser economically for Albertans, Canadians and the planet in general, but as long as the right folks cart off money in wheelbarrows, all is peachy keen. In spite of the economic engine of the tar pits, Alberta continues to run deficits, a children's wing of the hospital in Edmonton was accommodated in a tent, and may still be, and they can't even apparently afford to build a decent road to the money pits at Ft. Mac - what's wrong with this picture.

    I don't think the brown eyed oil sheiks (as opposed to the blue eyed Harper type) in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Quatar etc. run deficits and they certainly are big on building big flash infrastructure.

    Of course if I'm not mistaken even places like Nigeria charge higher rents to the Oil Corps for the privilege of raping their resources.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sadly, this is what a modern democracy, comes down to in the end ...pure greed.

    We deserve the government we get. Elect sociopaths, and you get dysfunctional governanace. The road out of this, is frought with arguments, about ethics, integrity, morality and social justice amoungst others.
    Maybe we are witnessing the end of democracy in this country. Governance by "corporations", will inevitably destroy the middle class, and make us all "modern serf's". Without income to offset rising costs, individuals will be unable to afford to live, in the new corporate world, and be reduced to subsatandard living conditions, and social programs that are non existent etc. A "shallow" world where profit is everything, and justice and equality are not even considered. Sounds like a receipe for eventual world conflict to me.

    Is it worth it? Of course not. Allow this nonsense to continue at our peril, and recovering any sense of equality in society, will be almost impossibe.

    ReplyDelete
  8. As long as there is an economy somewhere that is growing, such as India or China, our dear corporations such as GE or Apple will do just fine. It no longer matters where they are based as they have no allegiance to anyone, except themselves. They have no patriotism and do not want to pay any taxes, whatsoever. They have no need to be a part of a liveable society or worry it their employees lead a good and balance life. It is all about the profits, at the end of every quarter of course.
    Sheesh, and we as citizens let them get away with this stuff because so many of us own a small piece of them. What a recipe for failure.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "They have no need to be a part of a liveable society or worry it their employees lead a good and balance life"

    Well, they can't make a living selling stuff only to the ONE PERCENT, if nobody has money to buy crap, there will be no reason to make and distribute it and voila, no need for corporations! As fascist tending as Henry Ford was, he at least understood that he could never make Ford a success if the automobile was just a toy for the few and set new standards in workers' wages creating in the process a mass market for his mass produced products. Once every job is in India or China or Central America, with products being made by those who can't afford to buy them and even more Europeans and North Americans are jobless and homeless, there won't be a need for even cheap labor and maybe the insects can take their shot at being the dominant species, they could hardly do worse........

    ReplyDelete
  10. Norman, you are on fire recently! Good job.

    ReplyDelete

Courteous and relevant comments are welcome. Please use a consistent screen name so other readers can connect your contributions.