This is the energy section from today's provincial throne speech. It signals an intensified push in the direction the government has been going for years with energy, with a focus on independent production and exports. Site C advances!. Following the energy section, I have included a large excerpt from the throne speech which talks about harmonized and reduced environmental assessments, accelerated permitting, attracting investment. Changes to come at the BC Utilities Commission, for one, and more strong-arming of local government. Partnerships galore.
Caution: One person's excerpting. The entire speech is here
Speech from the Throne
2010 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 39th Parliament
The Honourable Steven L. Point, OBC
Xwě lī qwěl těl
Opening of the Second Session,
Province of British Columbia
February 9, 2010
A Future Powered by Clean Energy
Clean energy is this century's greenfield of opportunity.
British Columbia is blessed with enormous untapped energy potential.
We can harness that potential to generate new wealth and new jobs in our communities while we lower greenhouse gas emissions within and beyond our borders.
Clean energy is a cornerstone of our Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one‑third by 2020.
Building on the contributions of the Green Energy Advisory Task Force, your government will launch a comprehensive strategy to put B.C. at the forefront of clean energy development.
We have enormous potential in bioenergy, run‑of‑river, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave and solar energy. We will put it to work for our economy.
A new Clean Energy Act will encourage new investments in independent power production while also strengthening BC Hydro.
It will provide for fair, predictable, clean power calls.
It will feature simplified procurement protocols and new measures to encourage investment and the jobs that flow with it.
New investment partnerships in infrastructure that encourage and enable clean modes of transportation, such as electric vehicles, hydrogen‑powered vehicles and vehicles powered by compressed natural gas and liquid natural gas, will be pursued.
We will support new jobs and private sector investment in wood pellet plants, cellulosic ethanol production, biomass gasification technologies and fuel cell technologies.
Bioenergy creates new uses for waste wood and beetle‑killed forests and new jobs for forest workers.
A new receiving license will give bioenergy producers new certainty of fiber supply, while a new stand‑as‑a‑whole pricing system will encourage utilization of logging residues and low‑grade material that was previously burned or left on the forest floor.
Government will optimize existing generation facilities and report on the Site C review this spring.
It will develop and capture B.C.'s unique capability to firm and shape the intermittent power supply that characterizes new sources of clean energy to deliver reliable, competitively‑priced, clean power — where and when it is needed most.
New conservation measures, smart meters and in‑home displays will help maximize energy savings. New smart grid investments and net metering will provide more choices and opportunities for reduced energy costs and more productive use of electricity.
New transmission investments will open up the Highway 37 corridor to new mines and clean power.
New transmission infrastructure will link Northeastern B.C. to our integrated grid, provide clean power to the energy industry and open up new capacity for clean power exports to Alberta, Saskatchewan and south of the border.
We will seek major transmission upgrades with utilities in California and elsewhere.
If we act with clear vision and concerted effort now, in 2030, people will look back to this decade as we look to the 1960s today.
More from the throne speech
Our government's economic mission is clear: We must foster job creation with faster approvals, lower costs, open trade and labour mobility to encourage economic growth and foster opportunities for families in every region.
The recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the Red Chris mine project demands immediate action to rationalize public approvals both within our government and between governments.
The government will work with other provinces and the federal government to establish one process for one project. There is no time to waste and Canadian taxpayers cannot afford the extra costs, the uncertainties and the lost jobs that are the products of the current system.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act must be amended to create a unified federal-provincial review process that does away with redundancy and unnecessary costs.
Multiple governmental reviews replicate work, add cost, increase uncertainty, delay decisions, reduce investment and ultimately cost jobs.
We will redouble our efforts to conclude equivalency agreements with Ottawa to ensure environmental reviews are cost effective, timely and thorough.
Currently, over $3 billion in provincially-approved projects are stranded in the mire of federal process and delay.
This is unacceptable.
Time is money. Duplication is waste. Tax dollars are limited.
We cannot afford to hold investment and jobs hostage. Byzantine bureaucratic practices have no place in the 21st Century.
The government will fully respect and adhere to First Nations' rights to consultation and accommodation.
That essential ingredient will be complemented with a new unified process for environmental assessment and permitting in British Columbia.
The "One Project, One Process" approach will create a single framework that is timely, diligent and science-based.
A new Investment Process Review will be launched to identify opportunities for simplifying and expediting approval processes across government.
Local governments will be asked to partner in this endeavour that requires us to look at all impediments to reasonable investment, including zoning, licensing and permitting requirements.
A joint committee on municipal property tax reform will identify specific steps to make property taxes more conducive to investment while assuring municipal services are fairly provided for all taxpayers.
In addition, government will take a fresh look at B.C.'s regulatory regimes, including the BC Utilities Commission, the BC Ferry Commission, the TransLink Commission and others.
We must identify new ways to achieve our goals at lower cost, with faster decisions and integrated approval mechanisms if our economy is to thrive and job creation is to revive.
New economic growth and smarter government is at the heart of our New West Partnership with Alberta and Saskatchewan. It will build on the success of the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement to foster free trade, investment and labour mobility across our three provinces.
We will pursue unified and mutually beneficial purchasing, procurement and licensing opportunities.
We will encourage Canada and other provinces and territories to join with us in our continuing efforts to remove all internal trade barriers.
All three western provinces contribute equalization payments to Canada. We are glad to do so. But the burdens of unnecessary protection for other regions at the expense of our provincial economies and jobs must be removed.
Airports should be open to trade, commerce and tourism through Open Skies agreements.
That step alone would add $800 million and thousands of jobs to our provincial economy.
Open Skies enable international air carriers to bring new business and visitors to communities like Abbotsford, Comox, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George and Vancouver.
As we build partnerships at home, we will build new international partnerships as well.
With California, Washington and Oregon, we will commit to a common vision for sustainable prosperity and sign new agreements to work together on innovation, economic development, ocean conservation and climate-change adaptation through the Pacific Coast Collaborative.
Our partnerships with the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region, the Western Climate Initiative, The Climate Registry, the International Carbon Action Partnership and a number of trade initiatives are also yielding results for British Columbians.
A new partnership with Montana will sustain the environmental values in the Flathead River Basin in a manner consistent with current forestry, recreation, guide outfitting and trapping uses.
It will identify permissible land uses and establish new collaborative approaches to trans-boundary issues.
Mining, oil and gas development and coalbed gas extraction will not be permitted in British Columbia's Flathead Valley.
We will build on our Olympic advantage to develop other new partnerships with international investors and prospective buyers for B.C. products.
Over the next two weeks, your government is hosting dozens of events to engage more than 9,000 top-level business leaders, potential investors and dignitaries from around the world.
This is a golden opportunity to promote global investment in forestry, manufacturing, clean tech, tourism, film, entertainment, digital media, life sciences and more.
As we build vital partnerships with Japan, China, Korea and India, we are attracting new customers for our technologies, manufactured goods, education products, clean-energy solutions and natural resources.
We are expanding the markets for B.C. wood products both at home and abroad.
Our Olympic showcase elevates the international marketing efforts and the North American tourism strategy now underway.
Thanks to our celebrity partners and the Olympics, an unprecedented campaign is introducing British Columbia to billions around the world as we all proudly proclaim: "You Gotta Be Here."
B.C.'s success in public-private partnerships has also sent a resounding message around the world.
We will expand those partnerships with new P3s in transportation, health delivery, education support services, systems management and more.