BC SEA Signs Up its 400th Member: Richard Neufeld
BC SEA Signs Up its 400th Member.
The BC Sustainable Energy Association signed up its surprise 400th member today: BC Energy Minister Richard Neufeld.
Mr. Neufeld said he had been talking to a lot of people recently about BCís energy future, and he thought it was time to develop a more secure energy supply for the province.
Over the Easter break, Mr. Neufeld said, he had a chance to listen to his familyís concerns about global climate change. His grand-daughter had been coming home from primary school with disturbing new information from recent global conferences on climate change, and as someone who cares about how her generation will live, he thought it important to address the matter. The BC Sustainable Energy Association seemed like a good vehicle for developing new policies and approache! s, so he had decided to become a member.
He was not aware that there was a special award for the person who became the 400th member, or that he was entitled to a free gift of any title he liked from New Society Publishers. "Thatís a pleasant bonus," he said.
"The prospects for North Americaís supply of natural gas are also not reassuring," he said yesterday. "It makes no sense to premise our future energy supply on natural gas, when the fuel is going to become very expensive and then start running out very soon, leaving us dependent on liquefied natural gas imported from Iran."
"In an ideal world," he went on, "we could depend on the Americans to secure the Iranian gas supply for us, and BC would be able to obtain all of its energy from coal, oil and gas."
However, he went on, "The BC Liberal government does not believe in an ideal world. It is important to be pragmatic about these things. If we have to heat our homes w! ith solar energy, and provide power to the grid from wind, so be it. There are plenty of good business opportunities to be had in these sectors, and if BCís businesses want to be global leaders in this field, the government will back them all the way."
"This is an exciting challenge," he said. "This is what I like about British Columbia. One day you urging BC Hydro to do whatever it takes to press ahead with the new gas-fired power plant at Duke Point, Nanaimo, and the next day you are thinking "Maybe thatís a really dumb idea".
When asked if his government would pressure BC Hydro to cancel the project, he said "Iíve tried, but they wonít listen. People think that we cabinet ministers have all the power, but itís not true. It seems that Iíll have to join the people on Gabriola and stand at the gates to protest, if I hope to make any difference."
"I may need to do the same to make sure that the moratoriumon oil and gas explor! ation of our costs stays in place," he said.
When asked if he had been to any BC SEA meetings, he said no, but he hoped to meet with the Board soon, to start crafting a new sustainable energy policy for the province.
The President of the Association, author Guy Dauncey, said "We welcome all members who support our goals and objectives. We are very pleased that Mr. Neufeld has joined us, and we look forward to working with him as we lay the plans for a total phase-out of all fossil fuels in BC over the next ten years."