I can certainly see how a natural-gas-fired
"660,000 megawatt power plant" would cause a lot of pollution :-)
....no wonder federal Environment Minister David Anderson is calling the Yanks about that one !
(they must have one hell of a gas pipeline down there....)
Power plant would pollute, critics say Canadians to ask U.S. governor to reject plans for gas-fired facility near B.C. border
ROBERT MATAS 18 July 2002 The Globe and Mail
VANCOUVER -- Several Canadians opposed to a new power plant in a U.S. border town south of British Columbia will make a strenuous plea today to Washington state Governor Gary Locke to refuse to approve construction of the $350-million (U.S.) facility.
Federal Environment Minister David Anderson called Mr. Locke a few days ago. B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell phoned on Tuesday.
Local business, environmental and community leaders will add their voices to the opposition at a special meeting to be held today in the state capital, Olympia, to hear from all sides in the controversy.
National Energy Systems Co., of Kirkland, Wash., has proposed a 660,000 megawatt power plant in Sumas, Wash., which could provide enough electricity for 400,000 homes in the western United States. Critics say the natural-gas-fired facility would increase pollution in the Fraser Valley, which already has air-quality problems.
An advisory panel, the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, unanimously recommended that Governor Locke approve the power plant.
However he wants to hear all sides before making a decision, Kristen Kendrick, a spokeswoman for the governor, said yesterday in an interview.
"This is one decision he does not take lightly," she said. "He will take the council's recommendation into consideration but will also take into consideration all the comments he will hear at the meeting."
A representative of the county where the plant would be built says the governor may find it difficult to go against a recommendation from a site evaluation council whose chairman he appointed. But widespread Canadian opposition also poses a problem for him, Sharon Roy, a member of the Whatcom County Council, said.
The decision may test the strength of the
relationship between neighbours who rarely fight.
Business, community and sports groups in the area regularly cross the Canada-United States border for meetings, shopping and joint-venture initiatives. Finding more in common with their U.S. neighbours than with Ottawa or Toronto, some West Coast leaders in recent years have promoted the creation of a new transboundary region which they call Cascadia.
"I believe the hardest part [of the decision] for Governor Locke is what this will do to our relationship with Canada," Ms. Roy said.
"It's very important to keep good relations with our neighbours," she added, "and it's not just a small group of people against this. There is huge opposition in Canada."
Premier Campbell told Gov. Locke that he felt the concerns of Canadians were not adequately addressed in the council's review process.
In a letter sent before to his phone conversation with Gov. Locke, Mr. Campbell mentioned concern about high emissions during frequent start-ups and shutdowns of the plant, possible flooding problems and incomplete information about the impact of an earthquake.
Mr. Anderson told Gov. Locke about efforts taken in Canada to reduce air pollution in the Fraser Valley and about his disappointment with the council's recommendation, Kelly Morgan said on behalf of the minister.
Patricia Ross, a member of the Abbotsford City Council, said the mountains overlooking the Fraser Valley trap pollutants in the air.