Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's so not easy being green

With apologies to Kermit The Frog... it's getting to where nothing is quite as green as it might seem.

I just got an appeal by email from the Western Canadian Wilderness Committee, a group I've supported for some years, about their opposition to a proposal for a large new hydroelectric dam in B.C. (that's British Columbia, for you outlanders.)

Now I know there are real ecological impact issues with any large hydro dam, and the submerged biomass decaying in low oxygen conditions emits methane - so such dams are not truly climate neutral. However, their letter brought up the kind of unexpected negative spin off that could make your head spin (off?) Here's their beef:

Over half the power from the new dam would be sold to natural gas extraction operations in the nearby Horn River Basin (drilling? or at least pumping, de-watering, purification and compression.) That new gas supply in turn would be piped east into neighbouring Alberta, where it will be snapped up by ... big dirty TAR SANDS operations. Oh, yuck.

So much for the green image of B.C. Hydro.

You just can't win. It is sooooo not easy being green.