NEB turns down the heat

A victory for clean air, the health of citizens, and for public participation was scored by the National Energy Board today when they turned down an application from Sumas Energy 2 to connect their proposed 660 MW gas-fired generation plant at Sumas, WA to BC Hydro’s Clayburn substation in Abbotsford, BC.

A powerful coalition of forces was aligned against this powerline – not because of the powerline, per se, but because it was an enabling component of the SE2 generation plant – which is clearly against the public interest, because of its emissions.

In this case, the NEB understood the logic, understood the public interest, and turned down the powerline.

The NEB did not use the same logic or appreciation of the public interest, in approving the Canadian portion of the GSX Pipeline proposal from Sumas to Vancouver Island

Nor did FERC in approving the US portion of GSX – an almost perfectly analogous situation to the SE2 powerline, except the powerline is downstream from the SE2 generation project, whereas the GSX is upstream from the Vancouver Island generation projects.

The NEB deserves applause for this decision, but it is weak applause, given the contrary GSX decision of November 2003.

The NEB’s news release.

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