Media Release: December 20, 2004
Victoria, BC – BC Hydro & Williams Gas Pipeline announced earlier today that their GSX pipeline project is finally well and truly dead. The need for natural gas on Vancouver Island was overestimated and less expensive and less damaging alternatives are available. The same economic and environmental arguments should now help cancel the proposed Duke Point Power gas plant in Nanaimo, according to the GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition (GSXCCC).
"BC Hydro recognized their mistake and has had the courage to admit it," said GSXCCC president Tom Hackney. "We trust they will now move as quickly as possible to renew the sub-sea cable system to Vancouver Island, which should have been the priority all along."
However, GSX was only one part of the BC Hydro’s gas strategy for Vancouver Island. The crown corporation still intends to go ahead with the Duke Point gas plant, an expensive and polluting long-term solution to a short-term energy supply problem.
"BC Hydro consistently overestimates Vancouver Island’s future energy demand," said Dodie Miller, a director of GSXCCC. "Now that Hydro has acknowledged the pipeline was misguided, it is time to re-examine the need for Duke Point. This project is not the least-cost option because gas-generated electricity is no longer cheap, and it is time BC Hydro recognized this."
Cost effective solutions to meet the Island’s short-term energy needs are available: Norske and other large industrial users have offered to take action to compensate for the theoretical brief periods of time, estimated at a few hours per day over a week at most in the winter of 2007/08, when equipment failure could potentially cause a power shortfall.
"Over-sized and over-priced, GSX was doomed from the start," said GSXCCC director Arthur Caldicott. "So many people on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Lower Mainland and Washington State have fought long and hard against the pipeline project and they all deserve credit for this great victory today."
The GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition has campaigned since 2000 against BC Hydro’s gas strategy for Vancouver Island. The Coalition has a hundred individual members and eight member groups, including the Sierra Club of Canada – BC Chapter, Georgia Strait Alliance; Council of Canadians – Victoria and Cowichan Chapters, Saturna Island Community Club, Pender Island Conservancy Association, Shawnigan Lake Watershed Watch and the Canadian Parks And Wilderness Society – BC.
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