Tag Archives: commission

Importing BC Hydro to California – California Rejects BC Hydro

posted November 12, 2013
by Thomas O’Keefe

California was accepting comments on whether or not it made sense to import dirty hydropower from Canada to meet renewable energy standards. Comments were specifically being called for on the draft report entitled “Including British Columbia run-of-river facilities in the California Renewables Portfolio Standards,” that included a March 2013 Consultant Report entitled “Analysis of regulatory requirements for including British Columbia run-of-river facilities in the California Renewables Portfolio Standards.” The prospects of importing British Columbia’s dirtiest hydropower to California are very dim, but the state was soliciting public comment on the report. (Notice of Availability and Request for Comments).

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posted January 21, 2014
by Megan Hooker

On January 15th, 2014, the California Energy Commission adopted a final report that reaffirms the integrity of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) regarding imported hydropower. After 5 years of hard work, American Whitewater and our partners in the California Hydropower Reform Coalition (CHRC) and river advocates in British Columbia are celebrating this important victory, which will have a reaching impact on rivers across the border.

What do rivers in B.C. have to do with California’s RPS? In 2011, the state legislature passed the California Renewable Energy Resources Act (Senate Bill X1 2), increasing the state’s RPS goal from 20% to 33% by 2020. In a rush to capitalize on this new standard in the years leading up to the bill’s passage, hydropower developers in B.C. and utilities in California pushed the idea of allowing new hydropower development in B.C. to be considered as renewable.

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Preston Manning Argues Conservatives Should Support Carbon Pricing – CBC – The Current

An excellent CBC interview on “The Current” – Preston Manning talks about California rejecting of BC hydroelectric projects.  He refers to hydroelectric with reservoirs as “dirty hydro” because of the methane that is produced by reservoirs – which is much more worse for our climate than carbon dioxide.  He says there should be a price on power sources that damage the environment.  Check out his interview here.

The World Commission on Dams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe World Commission on Dams (WCD) was formed in April 1997, to research the environmental, social and economic impacts of the development of large dams globally. The WCD consisted of members of civil society, academia, the private sector, professional associations and one government representative.

Its members acted in an individual capacity, not representing the organizations or governments of which they were members. The commissioners were: Kader Asmal, Lakshmi Chand Jain, Judy Henderson, Göran Lindahl, Thayer Scudder, Joji Cariño, Donald Blackmore, Medha Patkar, José Goldemberg, Deborah Moore, Jan Veltrop and Achim Steiner.[1] It was chartered to measure the impacts and effectiveness of large dam development, including the effect on dam affected communities and project developers. The ultimate outcome of the WCD was to issue a final report which was launched under the patronage of Nelson Mandela in November 2000. The WCD established the most comprehensive guidelines for dam building to date and issued ten key recommendations.[2]

Key WCD Recommendations

  1. Development needs and objectives should be clearly formulated through an open and participatory process, before various project options are identified.
  2. A balanced and comprehensive assessment of all options should be conducted, giving social and environmental aspects the same significance as technical, economic and financial factors.
  3. Before a decision is taken to build a new dam, outstanding social and environmental issues from existing dams should be addressed, and the benefits from existing projects should be maximized.
  4. All stakeholders should have the opportunity for informed participation in decision-making processes related to large dams through stakeholder fora. Public acceptance of all key decisions should be demonstrated. Decisions affecting indigenous peoples should be taken with their free, prior and informed consent.
  5. The project should provide entitlements to affected people to improve their livelihoods and ensure that they receive the priority share of project benefits (beyond compensation for their losses). Affected people include communities living downstream of dams and those affected by dam-related infrastructure such as transmission lines and irrigation canals.
  6. Affected people should be able to negotiate mutually agreed and legally enforceable agreements to ensure the implementation of mitigation, resettlement and development entitlements.
  7. The project should be selected based on a basin-wide assessment of the river ecosystem and an attempt to avoid significant impacts on threatened and endangered species.
  8. Mechanisms to ensure compliance with regulations and negotiated agreements should be developed and budgeted for, compliance mechanisms should be established, and compliance should be subject to independent review.
  9. A dam should not be constructed on a shared river if other riparian States raise an objection that is upheld by an independent panel.